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By Maddy Smith
In-house advertising has seen significant growth in recent years, below are some of the best firms helping brands achieve this by applying their expertise for a smooth transition
In-house models have long been popular in the US. Across the pond, the UK has been slow to take the plunge, but now there are increasing numbers of organisations working to help migrate production in-house. Whether you’re based in the US, EMEA or UK we have highlighted some of the best names from the industry to talk to.
Below are the companies listed in alphabetical order.
Accelerate by Isobar
Accelerate, launched by digital agency Isobar, is an in-housing solution which aims to help businesses remodel their marketing approach throughout their digital transformation journeys.
The solution offers the ability to fast-track in-house capabilities and a partnership that allows users to respond rapidly to business.
Since its conception, the solution has expanded with the platform Content Symphony, giving clients access to a worldwide network of 24 studios.
Through Isobar’s wealth of expertise, Accelerate escalates in-housing solutions by deploying an on-site team. Clients therefore have greater control and transparency into their transformation journey, simultaneously connecting them to Isobar’s vast network.
Starting out as an offshoot from creative staffing from Aquent in 1997, independent consultancy Aquent Studios takes information from a talent database of almost 2 million design, content and experience professionals. The organisation develops in-housing solutions for clients. Aquent Studios’ also offers RoboHead, a project management software tool for licensing to clients.
Blum Consulting Partners
In 2016, Blum Consulting Partners was co-founded by Andrea Ruskin and T. Alex Blum, who both hold experience in the area of creative production in advertising.
Blum Consulting is a specialist consultancy dedicated to optimising creative marketing organisations and in-house agencies to drive better return on marketing investment. The idea for Blum Consulting came from a gap in the market as Andrea Ruskin explains, “marketers are managing a really complicated, expensive and nuanced process that they may not fully understand, so the goal of our company is to help fill that gap and offer the expertise to help drive forward the creative agenda, whatever it may be”.
The consultancy helps and advises with a range of services from creative execution, production, archiving creative assets, strategy, messaging, technology issues and process challenges.
Pittsburgh-based independent agency Brunner initially began assisting clients in moving creative production in-house in 2016.
The agency helps clients with creative services, data science and analytics, strategy, media, interactive design and development, marketing automation and CRM and innovation, throughout the financial, healthcare and retail industries. In some cases, Brunner has embedded employees as interim CMOs to help set up digital media, search marketing and production functions.
Brunner’s capabilities include creative ideation, video production and editing, content production and print design and production.
Since 1985, consultancy Cella has helped clients with an array of specialisms, most recently including staffing, consulting and managing creative and digital in-house agencies.
In 2012, Cella managed its first in-house agency that now offers account campaign management, analytics, creative and marketing technology. In recent times, Cella has begun to offer embedded teams, which bridge the gap between its staffing and managed services.
Cella arms creative, marketing, digital and proposal development leaders with the tools and resources required to advance and stay ahead.
Essence Consulting helps advertisers bring their media operations in-house by delivering strategic vision, bespoke digital solutions and training, officially launched last year globally.
Globally, Essence Consulting operates in parallel to the agency’s full-service media offering. In EMEA, the expanded consulting division will deliver data, technology, eCommerce and media in-housing expertise. Aimed at brands looking to develop key strategic business areas – ahead of the media planning implementation stage – the venture will ensure clients have clear direction on priority business development areas.
Essence Consulting has three key pillars including Digital Enablement which will offer expertise on eCommerce, privacy and improved use of data. Media Consultancy, the second pillar, will deliver insights into building in-house capabilities and best practice audits. Finally, Technology Solutions & Support will share practical knowhow on designing and maintaining bespoke technology stacks and vendor partnerships.
Independent agency Freedman International uses local teams with cultural insights to ensure marketing communications connect with local target audiences across the globe, while maintaining brand consistency globally, solving problems which accompany the expansion of local markets. The agency helps clients achieve up to 35% savings on global campaign costs.
It has been involved in the production aspect of advertising since the 90’s, but has in recent years begun to assist clients with strategy and creative services, creating content for a range of channels at speed.
With over 2,000 digital experts across 40 locations around the world, Jellyfish is predominantly known as a digital agency, which has come to include in-housing in recent years.
Jellyfish offers digital services at scale, utilising innovative data, creativity and tech with close proximity to platforms and an interconnected global structure. Work ranges through strategy, data, insight, technology, creative, media and training.
Jellyfish operates in almost 20 countries across four continents, in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia, including the United States, Brazil, UK, Denmark, South Africa, Australia, Hong Kong, India and South Korea.
New York-based management consultancy Labmatik, founded in 2015, specialises in marketing data platform strategy, technical design and data workflow, using economists, technologists and management consultants to focus on in-housing programmatic media buying operations.
Aiming to accelerate digital transformation, Labmatik reworks disparate marketing systems into customer data ecosystems to connect brands, use cases, data platforms and finally media channels.
Media.Monks supports marketers at every stage of the journey to in-housing. This consists of the following:
– Solutions design: needs assessment and relative positioning in the market to understand the optimal structure and processes for their marketing function.
– Implementation: application of our deep technical expertise to support creation or augmentation of teams through staffing and training, onboarding new and automating existing technologies, and managing the change required both internally and externally.
– Post implementation: continued advisory for industry leading media executions and data strategy and burst capacity for any marketing functions to accommodate seasonality or personnel transitions.
Established in 2004, Oliver is the world’s first in exclusively designing, building and operating bespoke in-house agencies and marketing ecosystems. Majority-owned by You and Mr Jones, Oliver has over 3,000 employees across 46 countries.
Oliver operates by again, embedding team members within client teams, auditing processes and assisting with content creation and management. They also specialise in fully-integrated campaigns, eCommerce and video content to CRM and social as well as digital advertising.
Launched in 2019 as a spin-off from lastminute.com’s in-house digital marketing agency Forward, the UK-based consultancy has previously worked with the likes of Rough Guides and Danone, where it coupled consumer data with custom video production.
Helping brands to get closer to customers, Playbook has helped grow gross revenues by 40% in just 4 years and has seen a 300% increase in programmatic revenues year on year. The organisation’s work involves helping clients with marketing, product and branding strategies as well as media planning and buying.
Serpico by Croud
Serpico was established as a standalone in-housing division in 2019, helping businesses take control of customers’ data, building data and tech assets in-house to accelerate capabilities.
Serpico works by helping clients plug into the agency’s tech and global network of 2,400 on-demand digital experts to handle their own digital media.
Serpico offers digital marketing services such as tech auditing, requirements and vendor selection, platform implementation, custom data management and integration, digital analytics and audience development and marketing effectiveness. It also works on prediction, customer insight and recommendation services as well as tech resale, management and training.
Founded in 2005, Stiglin Consulting has worked with in-house agencies at a variety of clients. The consultancy helps with areas such as workflow audits, resource redesigns, management coaching and on-site training.
With regards to organisational effectiveness, Stiglin Consulting helps with in-house agency effectiveness, organisational strategy and design, process design and development, resource planning and optimisation and talent assessment and training.
Under the brand strategy remit, Stiglin assists with brand management, positioning and workshops, as well as communications planning and competitive brand analysis.
The&Partnership, an independent agency network backed by WPP, is a 1800-strong agency network which works through multi-disciplined teams, delivering data-driven creativity to complement new marketing agendas.
Since 2008, The&Partnership has worked to embed creative, media and account management teams alongside their internal marketing teams, offering clients agility of a dedicated, customised partner and access to invaluable talent, tools and technology.
Consultancy WBC embeds its leadership within brands on a contractual basis, helping CMOs, communications and brand teams reduce cost and create business impact by updating their content studios, organisational structures, strategy and tools.
WBC Advisors help to improve planning for clients, for brands, organisations and NGOs; training teams on how spending 15 minutes up front can save 15 hours at the end of the creative process, improve cooperation and spend balance leads to reduce costs and remove barriers.
WDC (White Door Consulting)
White Door Consulting helps define the best role for in-house agencies and, if necessary, to build a business case for one. The consultancy identifies the skills, job roles, structure, processes and tech tools required for a successful in-house agency, sometimes starting from scratch, other times working to redefine, reshape or rebuild existing in-house agencies.
By defining the desired values and behaviours in-house agencies, WDC also helps to build a purposeful subculture that can thrive within the organisational framework of the ‘mother ship’. The organisation can also help to find and recruit the talent with the right skillset for the in-house agency, to thrive in the defined culture.
Formerly known as Wunderman Inside, Wunderman Thompson is focused on helping clients build operating models for modern marketing. In-housing is a key component of that offering. In the past, it’s helped Best Buy build a division that now employs more than 100 people.