WFA: in-housing reaches 80%

WFA: in-housing reaches 80%

The growth of in-housing by advertisers has reached the 80% mark, a global survey has revealed, while the vast majority of marketers are only “somewhat satisfied” at best with their external media or advertising agency.

The report, Agency Roster Transformation, by the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) in partnership with Observatory International, found in-housing adoption is up from 57% in 2020, to 80% in 2022. More than one in 10 (13%) of those surveyed are considering establishing an in-housing capability.

Three quarters of respondents to the WFA survey said they are only “somewhat satisfied” or less with their current agency rosters, up from 57% in 2018.

Tracy Stallard, global VP, experiential and founder of AB InBev’s in-house agency draftLine, told the WFA researchers that the in-house agency allows the brewing giant to “maximize the effectiveness opportunity of bringing content and media closer together”.

She also identified in-housing as enabling AB InBev to “better understand out consumers”, “having creativity closer to our business”, and “diversify our marketing talent to match the increasing specialisation trends we see in the industry”.

The report warned that changing agency rosters required proper resourcing and can take significant time to complete.

When asked about their most recent roster transformation, nearly half (45%) said it took longer than six months to finish and 38% were unsure.

Key factors to changing agency rosters were narrowed down to the Covid-19 pandemic, digital evolution, budget shifts, in-housing, and diversity, equity, inclusion and sustainability considerations.

The survey isolated eight different agency models including: multiple agencies managed individually by marketing, multiple agencies managed by lead agency, integrated/full-service agency, integrated lead agency with some specialists, network agency with specialisms from same holding company, holding company team solution, combination of external agencies and in-house team, and fully in-house.

The majority of clients, or 90% of those surveyed, used “multiple agencies managed individually by marketing”.

It is most common for clients to work with 1- 25 agencies globally and regionally, 67% and 71% respectively.

A centralised model is the most popular (53%), with a further 8% moving to that model, compared to 22% with a decentralised model and 3% moving to that model.

One third of those surveyed said they did not use, or did not have, a consistent agency performance measurement and evaluation approach.

The report said: “This report has highlighted that agency roster transformation is needed by many clients at this time of widespread industry change, however there is no template or one size fits all solution”

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