Agency In-housing Debate Resurfaces, With Fresh Shades of Nuance

Marketing Dive – In-housing has found itself back in the spotlight in the early months of 2023. With influential companies recently claiming they’ve saved tens of millions thanks to the strategy, the space is primed to see more client-side initiatives in the months ahead, some experts say. But third-party agencies are also in a more resilient position than in the pre-pandemic days and may have a more meaningful point of differentiation to offer brands that are juggling complicated mandates around first-party data, digital transformation and more.

[Broader] changes in the marketing landscape are spurring a wide range of marketers to ponder the in-housing question more deeply. The need to acquire and securely manage first-party data is top of the agenda for many with the deprecation of third-party cookies slated for 2024. Similarly, tweaks to iOS have affected mobile strategies in substantive ways, not to mention a proliferation of budding platforms to master.

“If you want to know who or what is responsible for the focus on greater effectiveness, look to Apple, TikTok and any equivalent of the National Bureau of Economic Research,” said Greg Paull, principal at R3, over email. “The impact of privacy, content platforms and economic performance are what’s driving marketers to explore how they can increase ownership, control and spend. It’s a sign of the times.”

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