Bringing more media capabilities in house is a top objective for nearly half of marketers but lack of resources and institutional reluctance to move away from agency relationships are holding them back, according to a study from Forrester Consulting commissioned by Acxiom.
Desire for greater transparency, control over data and assurance of compliance with privacy regulations are among the biggest factors driving media in-housing, according to the survey. Media planning, analytics, connected TV and other addressable and programmatic media buying are among areas most quickly going in house, said Acxiom CEO Chad Engelgau in an interview.
Improving internal media capabilities ranked as the top objective for 40% of the 300 U.S. marketing leaders in Forrester’s survey. Media in housing ranked slightly ahead of objectives such as implementing advanced technology or improving quality of consumer insights. Forrester found 90% of marketers now expect to have at least some responsibility over all areas of media, but 64% of marketers expect to bring media capabilities in house gradually.
Transparency—knowing exactly how much is paid to whom and for what in complex media supply chains—is one big driver of in-housing interest, according to Forrester’s survey. So is having direct control over consumer data to ensure compliance with increasingly complex privacy regulations and manage the rapid changes brought by the end of third-party cookies and other personal digital identifiers.
The interest also is driven by marketing leaders wanting their marketers to have their “hands on the keyboard,” Engelgau said, repeating a phrase that’s become common in recent years at Procter & Gamble Co. The consumer packaged goods giant has largely brought media planning in house, for example by having brand marketers handle their own buying on such self-service platforms as Meta’s Facebook and Instagram.
But only 30% of marketers want to completely manage media on their own, Forrester found. Social, search, affiliate, connected TV, addressable and other programmatic advertising are among the areas marketers most want to manage directly, Engelgau said. More traditional TV, out-of-home, radio or print buying is more likely to be handled through agencies, he said, though marketers are also looking to manage analytics of how all the pieces work together in house.