Post-COVID budgets and resources have taken a hit, but content demand is at an all-time high. Businesses are needing to restructure their teams and figure out how to handle marketing during a pandemic to adapt to the new normal. In most cases, companies are striking a balance and being very strategic about which tasks or roles they’re bringing in-house, and which they’ll still seek from external, third-party sources like agencies and independent contractors. For instance, companies may bring creative staff in-house for marketing, while still continuing to outsource tasks such as SEO and conversion optimization.
As Shannon Denton pointed out, “a report from the In-House Agency Forum (IHAF) found that more than 72% of companies had an in-house agency. Fast forward a couple of months to April (or what felt like years) and an ANA study found the impact of COVID had only heightened the importance of in-house teams. When asked to name the most critical resources for producing ads post COVID-19, 55% of ANA members said in-house teams, compared to 42% who cited other internal teams and 26% who listed external agencies.”
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Marketing during a pandemic
Even large global brands are making this move to in-house marketing and bringing creative tasks in-house. AJC Global Jewish Advocacy is one example. AJC is a leading authority and voice in the fight against antisemitism. Video plays an important role in helping them connect and engage their audience – from global leaders, to the worldwide Jewish community. That can, of course, be a costly undertaking. AJC is one of many organizations that has made the decision to bring the creative process in-house, by building a tech stack that empowers employees of different skill sets to create professional-quality content.
“Before Wibbitz, we would turn to the ‘creme de la creme’ of video production firms, and it would be this huge process — four months later, you would have a video. Now, it takes minutes, not months, from start to finish.”
– Jon Schweitzer, Director of Digital Communications and Public Affairs at AJC
Here are some reasons why the in-house agency trend has become so popular in 2020:
- Cost savings. As AJC has learned producing content, especially video content, internally can save money. Those saved resources can be used to extend other marketing communication efforts.
- Time. The fewer players—and organizations—in the mix, the less time required for back and forth conversation and review.
- Error reduction. The less back and forth involved in creating content the less likelihood of errors being inadvertently introduced into the process.
- Intimate knowledge of company brand and priorities. Face it. External agency staff, regardless of how competent they are, just don’t have the intimate, up-to-date knowledge of the brand and brand priorities that internal staff have.
- Single point of focus. Internal creative staff are focused on one client—your company. External agencies serve multiple clients and you just can’t be assured of the same level of focus and singular support.
- Always on availability. Because your in-house marketing and creative staff are singularly focused on you, you benefit from always on availability—there are no delays in executing your high priority communication tactics.
- Closer connection to your customers. Your in-house agency not only knows your brand inside and out, they also know your customers and target audience. That’s a big brand benefit for any organization.
The future of marketing 2020 and beyond is looking more and more likely to draw upon the creative talent of in-house marketing talent.
Is it time for your company to make this move?