Agency or in-house? It’s not a binary choice.

It’s a new year with some fresh new challenges, but even in the midst of a pandemic, as Brexit moves into its next phase, some of our fundamental questions still remain the same.

How do I get the best bang for my buck from my marketing budget?

One solution may seem to be to simply take more work in-house.

The reality of the world now is that most large organisations have some level of in-house creative resource. A recent US study showed that 72% of “corporations” had an in-house capability. And at BPL, we estimate around 80% of our clients have some type of in-house resource.

If you’ve read any of our content before, you’ll know that at BPL we believe in Powerful Simplicity – simple things executed brilliantly. That means that our solution to this has been to get better at working with these resources – to complement their skills, show them the respect they deserve, and watch our shared results get better and better.

Many marketers get frustrated with their in-house resource. They may not have the breadth of experience or skillsets that an external agency may have – but they do have many valuable assets, and when partnered with a cost-effective complementary agency partner, can deliver fantastic results.

Clearly, an in-house resource will know their product well. But they can often get trapped in the same way of thinking. Do they feel they can truly challenge a brief?

Like any relationship, it can never be a one-size-fits-all or take-it-or-leave-it answer. We have to adapt our solution to the specific requirements, making sure the right resources are marshalled against the objectives.

At BPL we work in many different ways with our client’s in-house teams.

  • We produce master campaign assets and copybooks which their internal studios use to create final assets for media.
  • We work in partnership with their internal resource – where we may focus on the delivery of seasonal campaigns, while they focus on BAU assets.
  • We produce the concept creative and their internal creative resource execute it.
  • We develop the brand, becoming creative brand guardians for all their comms assets.

In short, we would question why you should choose to work with a narrow set of skills from your agency or your in-house team, when choosing the right agency partner can give you the best of all worlds, as well as cost effective powerful results.

In the same way that photography didn’t kill off drawing, but rather turned illustration into an art form; we believe the same can be true of the relationships with your creative and strategic partner agencies.

The single best way to get the most out of your in-house resource is to team them up with the right agency.

After all, in the words of Abraham Maslow: “If the only tool you have is a hammer – every problem is a nail”. And part of BPL’s powerful simplicity philosophy is simply to use the right tool for the right job.