Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of in-house agencies grew, as did the number of in-house agency employees, according to the latest Productivity and the Pandemic report released by the In-House Agency Forum (IHAF).
The report, which was conducted in partnership with Forrester research, consisted of 265 companies, including Caterpillar, Experian, HP Inc., Nestlé and PwC. Of all the companies surveyed, 77% said they have in-house agencies—up 7% since 2019. According to the report, 47 percent of in-house agencies said they added to their roster, while 38% remained the same.
Data indicated 80 percent of companies reported they brought more marketing assignments in-house, with 50% saying the increase was triggered directly by the pandemic. This shows that in-house media executives have the opportunity to use digital media strategy, ad tech and data to take control of their media budgets and programs, according to Jay Pattisall, principal analyst at Forrester.
“Ultimately, marketers want a better understanding of how media budgets are spent. In-house media expertise provides that visibility,” Pattisall said in a statement.
The suspension of live events and experimential marketing led to 71 percent of the in-house agencies surveyed to shift their focus from traditional print to digital media.
“In-house teams were prepared to handle the near-total shift to digital that happened over the course of the pandemic, and they did it without missing a beat," said Emily Foster, IHAF director.