WFA Benchmarks & Surveys 09/2020: Global Trends in Creative In-Housing

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This study focuses on WFA members’ creative in-house agencies.

The subject of in-housing has been increasingly prevalent in recent years and has become a bit of a marketing industry buzzword. Yet ‘in-housing’ is a catch all term that risks an oversimplification.

There are many different types of in-house models and it generally forms only part of the overall resource model for a business looking to achieve the optimal balance between internal capabilities and the requirements from their external partner agencies.

This study, which was conducted in collaboration with The Observatory International, focuses primarily on the in-housing of creative resources, but media, strategy, data and technology are all still considerations when building a new creative model, and the learnings and advice included within should prove invaluable to any business considering changing its marketing operations.

• More than half of respondents (57%) have a creative in-house agency set-up of some shape or form

• Almost 75% of respondents established their in-house agency within the last five years

• In the past three years, a mix of new services have been added with a trend towards digital

• Workloads have increased for 82% considerably or somewhat in the past year

• Almost all (95%) also work with external agencies. For those respondents, an average of 37% of all creative work is done in-house

• Top benefits are: Cost efficiency, better integration and increased brand/business knowledge

• Overall satisfaction was high, with 87% stating that they were satisfied with their creative in-house agency to some degree, with 23% being completely satisfied

• Top challenges are: Managing workflow, project prioritisation and expanding capabilities and skillsets

• Seemingly no challenges were experienced with attracting high quality talent, with an average staff turnover of 9%

• External and in-house agencies working together as one team proves to be a challenge for some

Download the full survey report