Recent research titled "State of In-housing" has identified 91% of European businesses have moved all or part of the digital marketing function in house.
The fundamental reason for this shift comes from fears over media agency transparency. While this issue is common, the lack of transparency is the fault of the organisation not managing the agency.
In my 17 years of transforming businesses, I have personally turned many dysfunctional media agency relationships around with their clients. Most often it is not the fault of the agency. I always start this "correction process" by working with the clients to....
- Provide a clear media strategy
- Which defines clear outputs
- Which then clarifies agency conduct
- Which then drives ROI and/or identifies other supporting components to improve to support campaigns (improve content, resolve site issues etc...)
The survey also found 56% of the respondents cited concerns around the lack of internal skill sets to properly drive this function.
They are right to be concerned. Digital marketing requires specialist skills to drive this function to a high standard.
Bringing this function in-house is a step backwards.
The solution is for organizations to invest and bring in senior digital brains who know how to drive and manage media agencies to deliver the right outputs and ROI.