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In-Housing and Programmatic: Finding The Right Operating Model

August 27, 2018 — by MediaMath

Last month, we released the playbook “Tech & Talent: Four Models for Managing the Evolution of Your Programmatic Media” about why and how different types of brands are taking technology in-house, mostly with the help of their agency partners. Last week, one of the playbook’s authors, MediaMath marketing strategy consultant Parker Noren, spoke with DMNews about the in-housing trend and how brands can choose the best operating model for their goals, capabilities and access to resources. Read an excerpt from the interview below.

So, what is in-housing?

“That’s one of those questions that should have a really short answer, but we haven’t found it yet,” Noren said. He added: “There isn’t really a singular definition. It means different things to different people in the ecosystem.” Broadly speaking, in-housing refers to the process of brands becoming increasingly in control of their marketing, as opposed to outsourcing.

Noren stressed that it doesn’t have to be a binary choice for marketers between the traditional ad agency and outsourcing model, and everything is done fully in-house. To that end, the right model of balancing duties in-house versus outsourcing varies across companies and industries. But before all of that let’s consider …

Why would marketers want to in-house in the first place?

Who wants more work? Believe it or not, marketers’ jobs can potentially be made easier by controlling activation from ideation, to execution. In-housing allows them to control continuity across channels, have a more direct relationship with customers, and in some cases, take ownership of their own customer data. Overseeing marketing campaign processes also eliminates any growing pains felt between brands and agencies as the ecosystem continues to change.

But the reality of the in-housing trend is much more about finding a balance than anything else, Noren explained.

“If you’re saying, OK, I, as a brand, feel that I need to evolve how I operate my media, and you’re telling me my only choice is to go to quote-unquote ‘full in-housing,’ that feels indiscriminate and somewhat disruptive. Right? There’s, from existing relationships, a lot of value that’s reaped from those external partners in an advisory role in actual day-to-day activation.”

Read the full interview here.