In the rapidly evolving world of corporate communications, a paradigm shift is occurring. The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) conducted a comprehensive survey with 45 multinational companies, uncovering a significant trend towards in-housing communication activities. This move marks a pivotal change in how global brands manage and execute their communication strategies.
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Evolution of In-House Communications
In the past two years, there has been a notable increase in the number of large brands with internal communication agencies. From 2020 to the present, there has been a 16% increase, with 66% of large brands now having an in-house agency. Moreover, 21% are considering establishing one, signifying a 17% increase from 2020. These in-house agencies are not just logistical centers; 70% of them boast strategic capabilities, showing a maturity beyond mere content creation. However, the synergy with external agencies remains critical, especially for tasks that exceed the in-house capacity.
Expanding Scope and Skills
Interestingly, many of these in-house agencies are relatively new, with three-quarters being between one to five years old. Yet, their skills and services are rapidly expanding. Currently, 56% of these companies are planning to increase digital production in-house, 33% are focusing on boosting offline production, 22% are enhancing their data strategy, and 11% are improving data management and insights.
Additionally, there's significant growth in online planning and procurement. For instance, 83% expect to handle some social media purchases internally within the next three years, a 37% increase. Meanwhile, 67% intend to add social media planning, and 50% aim to take over digital media planning and purchasing.
Motivation Behind the Shift
Initially, cost-saving was the primary driver for in-housing. However, these operations have unveiled substantial additional benefits such as improved response times. Interestingly, the performance measurement of in-house agencies diverges from external agencies, focusing more on output rather than traditional metrics.
High Satisfaction Rates
The satisfaction levels with in-house agencies are impressively high. Overall satisfaction stands at 86%, with a significant increase in complete satisfaction from 23% in 2020 to 33% in 2023. This data underscores the efficiency and effectiveness of in-house communication strategies.
The WFA's study highlights a clear and growing trend towards in-housing communication activities among global corporations. This shift is not just about cost efficiency; it’s about strategic control, responsiveness, and aligning communication more closely with brand values and objectives. As this trend continues to evolve, it will undoubtedly reshape the landscape of corporate communications.
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