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This is why digital advertising is moving in-house

May 29, 2018 | 5 min read

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Removing the mystery of digital advertising – that’s what in-house is all about.

This is why digital advertising is moving in-house

This is why digital advertising is moving in-house

In recent months global holding companies have been subject to share price drops. Agency mergers have continued unabated, while international advertisers have been trimming their roster of agencies.

And what binds these stories? Businesses taking greater control of their digital advertising. For brands the shift in-house is all about removing uncertainty, barriers, and illusion.

Transparency and budgetary clarity are in-house benefits

Businesses want tighter control over their digital spend. The days of simply signing-off on a campaign, or buying media via a “black box” are over.

Yes, tracking marketing spend and ROI are tough things to do. Every marketing manager and CMO knows how difficult it can be. Yet, command of this spend is lost once it’s outsourced. Indeed, once you lose control of who is doing what, and how your money is being spent – how can you be certain about performance?

Brands are answering this question by bringing their advertising in-house; gaining accountability over things like programmatic spend. Gaining insight into the actual cost of media and becoming fully aware as to why an ad was served on a particular page.

But none of these benefits are possible without employing the right staff.

Developing an in-house team is key to making it work

Can you accurately inform your CEO or board on the reasons behind results? Can you transparently keep track of your budget? If the answer is no, then you have a problem.

Creating an in-house team is an investment – it takes time and money to set-up. Yet, the results outweigh the initial expenditure: you can answer uncomfortable questions and keep track of marketing activities.

Knowing your costs, and understanding the metrics in-house allows you to identify the worth of specific marketing strategies. You can analyse, compare, and work across channels independently. If you employ suitable people that is.

Brands are slowly building teams with the knowledge to make in-house a success. There are even recruitment agencies offering specialist services. Connecting the dots and tracking performance is set to become an internal skill set.

Linked to this, expect the growth of universally agreed metrics and a total rejection of ambiguous performance data. Yet, rather than constraining brands, this has the potential to liberate.

In-house does not mean a lack of ambition – it’s the opposite

From a Swedish perspective in-house does not mean lowering your goals.

Growth is all about going beyond national borders. Speaking the language of worldwide markets – both figuratively and literally. It’s not for nothing that some of the most innovative and fastest growing companies in Europe are headquartered in Stockholm: iZettle, Klarna, Spotify, Daniel Wellington, etc…

We have to think big from the start.

Being agile, working across multiple markets, and being efficient are marketing strategies that help drive this success. Talk to Swedish brands and you’ll also discover they’re key reasons for working in-house too.

If the technology exists to improve advertising processes and workflows – we use it. If it enables us to punch above our weight even better. And if we can’t find what we’re looking for we’ll invent it.

Technology is helping make in-house advertising a reality

Ironically, technology that once used to obscure and complicate digital advertising is now enabling brands to go it alone. For example, businesses can do programmatic internally – as long as they employ skilled staff and use the right solution.

Digital ad production is another area where in-house technology is changing the way brands work. The development of creative management platforms (CMPs) is helping brands to produce complex digital campaigns, for multiple markets, from a single editorial location.

CMPs are reducing production time by weeks, removing costly repetitive tasks, and providing real-time performance data. They help make dynamic creative campaigns possible, and mysterious acronyms like DCO (dynamic creative optimisation) a reality.

Expect creative management platforms to become format agnostic too, eventually encompassing ad formats as varied as digital out-of-home (DOOH), social, and video. It's offering in-house teams the potential ability to produce and control multi-channel campaigns with full transparency.

A brave new in-house world

Those with nothing to hide, have nothing to fear from the shift to in-house advertising. Being open and honest, may even make businesses more confident and ambitious. Plus, with data protection hot on the agenda, remaining in full control is now a minimum requirement.

In-house offers the tantalising prospect of finally realising the potential of digital advertising.

Nicholas Högberg, CEO at Bannerflow.

Read our report on how two Nordic brands have made the transition:


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