In-house Advertising: How to Make the Shift Like a Pro

by Julio Urbina

Posted on 04-18-2019

Brands have tra­di­tion­al­ly relied on exter­nal agen­cies to man­age their entire adver­tis­ing activ­i­ties, and up until recent­ly this has com­plete­ly made sense. But nowa­days dig­i­tal adver­tis­ing is more tar­get­ed and data-dri­ven, and the most impor­tant lever is a detailed knowl­edge of the audi­ence. Brands are look­ing to bring their adver­tis­ing in-house because this is where that IP lies. The log­ic of this trend is sound, at least in the­o­ry. But the real­i­ty is that adver­tis­ing man­age­ment is a seri­ous under­tak­ing, and the tran­si­tion to agency inde­pen­dence is far from simple.

To a large extent, the rise of Demand-side plat­forms (DSPs) togeth­er with Data Man­age­ment Plat­forms (DMPs) has been a cat­a­lyst to brands tak­ing full con­trol of ele­ments of their mar­ket­ing man­age­ment. This is allow­ing brands to build up audi­ence intel­li­gence in-house, but it is also help­ing them secure this infor­ma­tion in the con­text of evolv­ing pri­va­cy reg­u­la­tion. Using DSPs, mar­keters have access to vast amounts of inte­grat­ed and con­sol­i­dat­ed data, which can be used to tar­get adver­tis­ing more strate­gi­cal­ly. This intel­li­gence can also help mar­ket­ing teams make bet­ter sense of their cam­paigns’ per­for­mance, putting them in a bet­ter posi­tion to adjust and opti­mise over time.

Indeed, dig­i­tal plat­forms are adding a lay­er of trans­paren­cy to adver­tis­ing man­age­ment that has his­tor­i­cal­ly been lack­ing. This is one of the main moti­va­tions for clients decid­ing to adopt Adobe Adver­tis­ing Cloud. The overview pro­vid­ed by the plat­form helps brands take a more aligned and tar­get­ed approach and allows them to more accu­rate­ly cal­cu­late ROI across their over­all spend.

Tech­nol­o­gy alone is not the answer, of course. Brands need to re-skill to take advan­tage of their invest­ment. We have already seen sev­er­al instances of com­pa­nies poach­ing man­agers direct from their agen­cies to grow a team inter­nal­ly. Some, like Uber, are busi­ly build­ing up their own inter­nal teams to rival exter­nal agen­cies. Oth­ers are upskilling their exist­ing staff to take on these com­pe­ten­cies. The approach will vary by com­pa­ny, but inter­nal upskilling should be part of any in-hous­ing plan, as your employ­ees are best placed to under­stand your busi­ness and its broad­er goals.

Adjust­ing to a dig­i­tal adver­tis­ing mind-set also involves a cul­tur­al shift. Aus­tralian-based real estate group REA decid­ed to auto­mate their paid search bid­ding, which in turn helped them to respond more quick­ly to chang­ing mar­ket con­di­tions. But this required REA’s employ­ees to be more flex­i­ble and agile, and to con­stant­ly ques­tion them­selves in the inter­est of improve­ment. A greater lev­el of data intel­li­gence is a major advan­tage, but only by adopt­ing the right atti­tude can brands ful­ly benefit.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not advo­cat­ing that brands com­plete­ly do away with agen­cies and part­ners. Brands do have an inter­est in own­ing direct rela­tion­ship with their tech­nol­o­gy and inven­to­ry part­ners, how­ev­er agen­cies and part­ners will always have a lot of val­ue to bring to the table tal­ent-wise. They will con­tin­ue to play a role in set­ting the stan­dard in plan­ning, buy­ing, opti­mis­ing and analysing media, as well as offer­ing best prac­tices for brands to aspire to. It’s up to a brand to devel­op the mod­el that works best for them – com­plete­ly in-housed, com­plete­ly out­sourced, or a hybrid of both. The most impor­tant thing is to main­tain con­trol and account­abil­i­ty for their adver­tis­ing strate­gies and how progress is report­ed back to their business.

One things for sure – the good old days of com­plete­ly out­sourc­ing adver­tis­ing to third par­ties are a thing of the past. Brands need to shift their adver­tis­ing exper­tise to where their audi­ence intel­li­gence is, and in many cas­es this means bring­ing it in-house. For more infor­ma­tion on Adobe Adver­tis­ing Cloud and DSPs, check out our web­site.

Topics: Adobe Summit, Ad Cloud, Customer Experience Management, data, Data Management Platforms, Digital Advertising, In-housing, UK, UK Exclusive, Digital EMEA

Products: Advertising Cloud