Barely five years ago, Verizon had more than 46 agency partners, and it outsourced nearly all aspects of its communications business. Cut to the present, and the telecommunications giant has essentially reversed course, with Verizon bringing “core competencies” of its communications business in-house—including a substantial chunk of its creative and brand-narrative work.
As a result, says Andrew McKechnie, Verizon’s chief creative officer, the company has “greater control over the brand’s design, voice and identity,” and who doesn’t want greater control, right? In fact, the trend of brands taking elements of their marketing business in-house has practically become an industry-wide norm as advertisers are increasingly expected to be ready to react at a moment’s notice. The numbers tell a similar story: According to the Association of National Advertisers’ 2018 report “The Continued Rise of the In-House Agency,” 78% of ANA members had an in-house agency last year, and 90% have seen their in-house operation’s workload increase over the last year, too.
But in-housing does not play out the same for everyone. “No two in-house agencies are the same,” notes McKechnie. “They are built to address a specific business or brand challenge, pursue an opportunity to do better work, reduce time to market or create structural and process efficiencies.”
So how does a business successfully implement in-housing? Adweek spoke with industry experts as well as brands including Clorox and AB InBev for their tips as we put together this guide.
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