With new technologies and platforms fragmenting the advertising and marketing space, Utah's agencies are finding it increasingly important to be able to collaborate with clients' in-house teams and other outside agencies--all while staying on top of the latest trends and technologies.
Chase Marketing Group
R & R Partners
Holland & Hart LLP
YESCO Outdoor Media
A special thank you to Brian Jorgensen, associate professor at Westminster College and market research consultant, for moderating the discussion.
Q A: One notable trend in our industry is that more clients are bringing the marketing and advertising function in-house because of user-friendly technologies. How are you dealing with that particular challenge?
M. CHASE: We've seen a cycle. We've seen people take it in-house and then realize that some of the stuff they brought in-house, the people that they brought in-house to do it, were kind of one dimensional. They didn't have the ability to do a lot of the different things we offer. Maybe they were decent at some digital. Well, they're limited to the digital that they know. Sometimes some creative, sometimes some design, but they're limited to what they know. But we are seeing a trend where they're just bringing in specialized people. And those specialized people are actually working with us now.
PERKEL: We welcome it. We see it a lot with clients of ours who have a lot of production work, and it's just not cost effective for them to have an agency do all the production across the board. And when we look at billing on a regular basis and we see that we're spending more than a certain amount of full-time hours in one specific role, it's time to have that conversation before the client brings that conversation over. Help them to bring in the right person--we've done that before. We can provide templates, if we need to, and help them. So, we can stay with some of the more strategic and creative work, and let them do the more production-oriented work.
STOKER: Traditionally, from an advertising agency standpoint, the immediate desire is to control the entire marketing plan. But a lot of these venture-backed tech companies, they have somebody to manage each channel. And their long-term goal is to bring everything in-house. But a lot of times they have a hard time getting head count approved to have someone to manage each of those individual channels. So we have to be willing to manage by channel as opposed to controlling the entire big picture, which has been a shift for us, but also a lot of opportunity if we're willing to do that.
PARKIN: From the client side, I can't imagine doing my job and doing it effectively, as the marketing director for the zoo, without the opportunity to lean on our ad agency. They're very much more than just a contracted service. They are a true partner with everything we do. We're in the middle of a rebranding this year, and the expertise and the know-how they've gained from other rebranding projects has made all the difference in what we're planning to do moving forward. So, yeah, we do a little bit in-house based on budget. But what I can get from our agency partners, the expertise they bring to social and analytics is more than I could do on my own.
PHARIS: It's allowed us to be more collaborative and transparent with some of our clients. Whereas before, we kind of had the black box, like, "Oh, we do all the cool stuff over here," now it's more like, "look at the analytics we have, look at all these campaigns we've run with other partners that we can provide to you." So the competition with in-house has been healthy for us. It's just pushed us to provide a little bit more transparency than we did in the past.
BRIAN: Having a client who knows how to leverage it the right way is what's really critical. So many times you'll have a client come to you and say, "Oh, we figured it out. We got it." And then four months later they come back and say, "OK. We didn't figure it out. Help us fix it." But to have someone that understands how to leverage that agency the right way is really, really important and hard to find.
THOMAS: People are so frugal, so do-it-yourself, that often they lose the true essence of the value we provide. And it's an education process. Once they understand what Brad understands, we're able to really bring that to the table. Too often they want you to do just an element of it. We can handle all of this, but could you just do this? Can you just do this tactical element of this broader strategy? And it really doesn't work.
M. CHASE: We are seeing clients that are taking stuff in-house that are coming back to us because they're like, "We can't take the turnover. We're...