A new report by email marketing solution Mailjet and Data and Marketing Association found that although marketers are bringing their key marketing functions in-house, expectations are falling short. Dentsu Aegis Network’s annual CMO study recently found that 92% of CMOs from across the globe are planning to maintain or increase their digital and programmatic capabilities in-house.

However, the report found that whilst increased productivity is a big draw for 47% of marketers, just 32% of brands think this objective has been achieved. Similarly, 38% of brands thought they could enhance creativity as a result of in-housing but just 27% said they have actually done so.

However, the report found that whilst increased productivity (47%) and enhanced creativity (38%) are the top expected benefits for marketers bringing their strategy in-house, these objectives are not actually being achieved.

Despite the gap, the top things brands have achieved by bringing their activity in-house include cost saving (57%), better control over campaigns (48%), better brand consistency (53%), and improved decision making (46%). 

Concerns with in-housing 

The report also highlighted the risks of creating an echo-chamber of ideas through in-housing, with key concerns being no outside perspective to innovate (37%), too many people being involved with no clear process (37%) and the fact that deadlines could be missed or delayed (35%). 

For most brands, the most significant challenges when implementing an in-house marketing strategy are limited budgets (41%) and adopting new technology (35%). However, despite the gap, 86% of brands currently using in-housing will plan to continue to do so in the future. 

Brands believe that improved internal and external communication and collaboration would help solve the problems of in-housing, with more than one in six citing a need for appropriate collaboration and communication tools specifically. 

“To address this, companies should focus on choosing tools that enable them to effectively collaborate in the creation and execution of their campaigns, reducing the number of iterations and maintaining a high level of control over their brand,” commented Judy Boniface-Chang, chief customer and marketing officer at Mailjet. 

“In-housing is not a binary choice. It’s not either/or. Our research shows one in 12 organisations are using what we have called a ‘blended’ strategy – combining the two. The key for brands, whichever strategy they choose, is clear: bringing any marketing function in-house is just the first step. To achieve the results brands set out at the beginning of this process means investing in the skills, talent and technology within their organisations. The brands that are able to drive collaboration in this changing environment will be the ones that ultimately succeed,” said Tim Bond, head of insight at the DMA.