12 Insights from the ANA In-House Agency Conference

March 18, 2019

By Bill Duggan

Jessica Cipolla-Tario of MGM Resorts/ANA

Last week's ANA In-House Agency Conference was a sellout and I learned so much. The following outlines 12 of the many insights from the conference.

  1. A virtual, flexible work environment can be a game changer for getting talent that otherwise wouldn't be available — Jack Teuber, PwC.
  2. If your goal with insourcing is to save money, that's probably not the best foundation to build on — Josh Palau, Bayer USA.
  3. Get to the intersection of "right and Interesting" with creative that is right for the brand and stands out in an interesting way — Maureen Boyle, Truck Club.
  4. Establish clear swim lanes among the in-house and external agencies to optimize collaboration — Warren Chase, Verizon.
  5. It's important to move from a creative "services" mentality to a creative "agency" mentality — Jean Batthany and Joe Rand, Disney.
  6. Relationships between agencies and brands are evolving and external and in-house agencies can work effectively together, with communication and clarity being key — Marla Kaplowitz, 4A's and panel.
  7. Talent is everything. Recruitment is a bit part of getting people in-house. Details like the environment of the agency really matter — Darren Moran, The Wonderful Company.
  8. Name your in-house agency. Dig deep and look to your historical roots for inspiration — Kerri Martin, Clorox.
  9. In-house agencies are being asked to develop more content than ever before, faster. But one doesn't want millions and millions of fragmented, forgettable moments. Take your client to a place they've never been before, to an unexpected place — Mike Boyd, Nationwide.
  10. You can't have a successful business unless you have in-house media knowledge — Belinda Smith, EA.
  11. Get dirty. Get into the weeds of problems. Nothing is too insignificant for your enormous talents — Leland Maschmeyer, Chobani.
  12. Happiness is the number one in-house agency KPI — Charissa Messer, Bank of America.

A special thanks to Jessica Cipolla-Tario of MGM Resorts for her superb chairing of the event.

Leaving the conference on my way to the airport, this story came up on my phone — "Unilever Saves €500m as In-Housing Is 'More Efficient' Than Agencies." I think this in‑housing thing is here to stay!


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