Hands on the Keyboards — Continued Growth of "In-Housing"

March 20, 2018

By Bill Duggan

AB InBev's Lucas Herscovici speaking at the 2018 ANA Media Conference. ANA


A frequent topic at the just-completed ANA Media Conference in Orlando, Fla., was the continued growth of in-house media work that was formerly managed by agencies. It was a topic of discussion among major national advertisers including Procter & Gamble, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Target, American Eagle, Major League Baseball, Nationwide, and Plantronics.

In his opening keynote address, P&G CMO Marc Pritchard noted how the company is reinventing agency partnerships in such a way that includes having more of its own "hands on the keyboards" for important activities. Specifically, P&G has expanded its in-house data management and analytics capabilities and has brought some media planning in-house.

Programmatic has been taken in-house at Anheuser-Busch InBev. Lucas Herscovici, the brewer's global marketing VP of consumer connections, insights and innovation, called programmatic media a "black box" and noted that "when you have people take ownership and control, you can have better quality ads plus savings." Those savings have been 25 percent in the U.S., he said, adding that AB InBev has also created an in-house content production studio that allows work to be done faster and cheaper and be more connected to company culture. Social listening and analytics (in India) are also in-house at ABI.

Target also brought its programmatic operation in-house, per SVP of marketing Kristi Argyilan, leveraging first-party data to reach Target shoppers via the retailer's digital, mobile, and media channels. Additionally, the Target team has built an in-house attribution capability to support such work and has also created a dynamic, in-house influencer marketing program.

The ANA Media Conference also revealed that the following companies were bringing a range of marketing digital disciplines in-house:

  • American Eagle — Social media, including listening and response
  • Major League Baseball — Search and analytics
  • Nationwide — Programmatic
  • Plantronics — Influencer marketing

In-house work has traditionally been driven by the desire for lower costs and faster turnaround. Cost and speed are still important, but now transparency concerns and data protection are also pushing work in-house. At the ANA, we expect the in-house trend to continue!


Thanks to MediaVillage for originally publishing a version of this perspective.

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