In-House Agencies in Flux? Maybe Not? Always?

In-House Agencies in Flux Maybe not Always

Oh in-house agencies, we’re forever riding your carousel , and by “we”, I mean all the agencies out there.

From our 2023 New Year Outlook survey, unsurprisingly, agencies and marketers are not aligned.

We like the way this in-house trend is going!

In-House Agencies in Flux? Maybe not? Always?

Similar to last year’s report findings, overall, signs point towards marketers’ reliance on in-house teams waning — at least, according to agencies.

We initially asked agencies:

What percent of YOUR current clients have in-house agencies/do agency-like work in-house?

To provide some perspective, in 2021, 14% of agencies indicated that 51%+ of their clients brought agency work in-house, which rose slightly to 17% last year, and now in ‘23 drops to 13%.

But otherwise, agencies overall report less reliance by clients on in-house teams in 2022.

However, in a corresponding question, we asked marketers,

What percentage of your marketing/advertising activity is managed by an in-house marketing/advertising team?

Last year, 39% of marketers indicated that 51%+ of their marketing/advertising activity occurs in-house.

In 2022, it rose to 47%.

In-House Agencies in Flux? Maybe not? Always?

Here we go again

So we see agencies and marketers at odds here, with 13% of agencies reporting clients doing work in-house, but 47% of marketers reporting the same thing in 2022.

And when we asked agencies, “Looking ahead to 2023, do you see your clients moving more or less marketing agency-like work in-house?”,  66% of agencies expect either no change or a reduction in the amount of work being managed by their clients in-house.

Last year’s report saw that number at 77%.

Be prepared

The need to co-exist and work with in-house groups continues to be important, but more than ever in 2023, being proactive with your clients, having an organic growth plan, and making them aware of all the things you can do for them are key.

And from a Mediapost article that mentioned our report (Bringing Agency Work In-House: Best Practices For Tough Times):

The swings between acceleration and slowdown of in-housing leaves the function with an unsettled role. We know that industry sentiment will ebb and flow. We know that getting an in-house agency off the ground is a complex process that takes time, thought and planning — whether the strategy is motivated by cost-savings or broader marketing transformation. We know that there are no one-size-fits all solutions.

Your agency mindset in 2023 should be to treat your clients like ongoing prospects, in terms of the value and thinking you can bring, along with your work.

The in-house carousel will continue, but you can at least control the way you structure your new business strategy to bring in more new clients.