Talent remains the biggest challenge for brands managing their marketing operations in-house. In a survey of 53 brand marketers, all of whom have in-housed at least some marketing functions, 43% of them said they “disagreed” with the statement that in-housing has made it easier to hire and retain staff.  Only 527% said they agreed strongly with that statement.

The survey also asked about some other effects of in-housing. Three-quarters of respondents said it had improved speed and agility, while 68% of respondents said it had reduced marketing overhead costs.

Marketers are doing more work in-house than ever before. In a survey of 67 brand marketers by Digiday this fall, only 17% of respondents said they were “mostly using agencies” for marketing tasks, while no respondents said they’re completely relying on agencies.

About 53% of respondents said they’re managing their marketing either 100% or “mostly” in-house.

These findings are mostly in line with the Association of National Advertisers, whose July report found that 78% of its members have an in-house agency, up from only 58% in 2013.

What brands are taking in-house varies. About 70% of respondents said they’re managing all brand strategy in house, while programmatic ad buying — probably the hardest function to build an in-house team for, is only being managed in-house by 23% of respondents.

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