Why are marketers increasingly mulling in-housing?

The UK's leading brand-side marketers are increasingly unhappy with their agencies over their ability to handle the growing demands of cross-screen campaign management, as ad tech issues increasingly occupy their minds, and some even threaten to take their search and CRM acitivities in-house.

Widespread discontent among the ISBA membership was aired recently when the trade body, frequently reffered to as the voice of British advertisers, hosted an event where attendants were encouraged to share both best practices, and concerns, over the growing role of ad tech.

Here the trade body's members were encouraged to candidly share experiences with peers with those present explaining that some of those present explained they felt "despondent" with their agency's performance.

Many had expressed an interest in bringing online marketing functions such as search and CRM in-house - a tactic that many industry observers state will help them co-ordinate their campaign activity across screens.

"One of the questions many people where asking is: 'how do you make it work if you are to bring all of this in-house?'," recounted one source present.

However, the same meeting also demonstrated that those marketers eager to increase the scale of how they use automated media buying technologies are often hindered by a lack of understanding over the benefit of employing such technologies among their wider organisation.

Simply put, the complexity (including the jargon that has grown up in the sector) as well as the upfront costs associated with of the technology mean advertisers are currently often reluctant to agree to implement the technology.

Paid-for search advertising still counts as the single-largest digital ad unit in the UK, with over £2bn spent on the ad formats in the fist half of this year, according to the latest IAb figures.

The emergence of automated media buying technologies has prompted widespread discussion over whether or not they can equip brands to handle their media buying activity independent of their media agencies.

However, such discussions were also had last decade when search advertising began to form a major part of advertisers' digital strategy, with long-time industry observers claiming that many of those brands that did so later regretted it.

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Ronan Shields

I'm the digital editor at The Drum, and cover adtech and martech. Prefer news and analysis, over opinion pieces. Current fascination(s) are blockchain and media futures trading; also curious about transhumanism on a personal basis. NYC-based, but really London Irish.

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