Inhousing set to rise but brands admit they need help

marketersThe march to take media capabilities inhouse looks set to turn into a stampede, with nearly half of all marketing decision-makers insisting inhousing is a top objective, and 40% expecting it will remain so in the coming years.

According to a new study by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Acxiom, entitled Gaining Digital Media Control & Transparency, there is a strong desire but also common barriers to success.

The biggest barriers to inhousing media are predominantly internal, the report reveals, with the cultural and operational shifts that are the foundations of success being highlighted by respondents as both a current and future challenge.

The study also reveals data ownership as the most realised benefit so far, by nearly half of those surveyed. While 38% of respondents expected data ownership to be a benefit to in-housing, 48% said data ownership delivered more benefit than anticipated.

Acxiom chief executive Chad Engelgau commented: “Responsible marketers want to deliver more meaningful marketing and better brand experiences, but the task is becoming more difficult.

“Customer preferences change, technology capabilities rapidly advance, and privacy regulations mean marketers are held more accountable for the data that fuels their marketing and media operations.

“While many marketers are opting to bring media capabilities inhouse for more control and visibility, doing so is best viewed as a journey over time. Every successful journey requires a roadmap, and this research can help marketers take a strategic and cost-effective approach.”

While most brands are eager to gain control and transparency of their digital media, understanding where to start and what skills, technology and processes are needed to do this are less clear.

The research outlines the key pillars that impact a company’s readiness to bring media in-house – strategy, process, people, data, and technology – and emphasises that bringing media inhouse does not have to be an all-or-nothing proposition.

Acxiom is of course quick to point out that three quarters of marketers reported plans to include two or more partners in their media inhousing transition to help create the needed foundation of data, skills, and technology.

Nearly half of those surveyed would like agencies to share a significant responsibility for key media tasks, and less than one third want to completely manage media channels on their own.

Engelgau added: “The in-housing journey requires substantial effort, and partner support both accelerates the path to inhousing readiness and provides key support throughout the journey.

“You don’t have to do everything yourself to gain greater control and transparency into your media efforts. With a strategic approach – and strategic partnerships – you can create the media in-housing plan that works for your business.”

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