News & Opinion

In-housing in 2022

As an in-housing expert, Leonardo Oliveira advises brands on their in-sourcing ambitions, and following a recent Q&A and panel appearance at Kepler’s Media Investment webinar, Leo summarises some of the key shifts which have been observed over the last 2 years. 

Shifting emphasis…

There has been a notable recognition over the last 2 years that in-housing is not simply a cost-saving exercise, but a valuable source of growth and competitive advantage (when executed well of course).  Too many organisations (pursuing such outcomes) jumped in too early, and without adequate planning or vision, failed to unlock the wider benefits of in-housing. Many underestimated the level of involvement required – particularly across the wider organisation such as HR, Strategy, Finance, Procurement, Data & IT – and failed to align their organisations around the potential goals that could be achieved.

Building on such learnings, we’ve seen a discernible shift in emphasis from in-house execution to in-house expertise and ownership. By that, acknowledging that in-housing does not have to assume in-housing of media buying, but as part of a journey towards self-sufficiency where brands are building the capabilities necessary to take more control and unlock wider benefits. Thereafter, using external partners is a more selective way, where they are offering solutions which truly complement their in-house teams and contribute to their long-term success.

Leaning in…

In-housing used to be very much a case of ‘all or nothing’ whereas increasingly we are seeing more precision in what brands are looking to indeed internalise.

The growth of ecommerce and shifts in privacy and regulation have had a profound impact on the way organisations look at their infrastructure for data, technology, and analytics as they [understandably] look to own and control as much as possible. In addition, they are focusing more on [and growing closer to] the 3rd party solutions, which help to simplify the ecosystem and unlock agility.

Internalising these disciplines is part of brands leaning into where they can create competitive advantage, rather than pursuing a more tactical in-housing journey. 

Measuring success…

While many continue to assess in-housing from a pure performance perspective (e.g. media ROI), there is recognition that this approach is failing to address the broader and long-term transformational benefits. And while possibly harder to quantify, the value of increased transparency, agility and capability are critical drivers of growth and effectiveness, and must be measured accordingly.

Increasing transparency is enabling greater understanding of what is working, and how performance can be improved. Greater agility through improvements to integration and collaboration is enabling organisations to respond to the needs of their consumers faster. And enhanced capability is helping to reduce reliance on external partners, enabling greater speed and unlocking operational efficiencies.

Smart hiring…

Brands seeking in-house talent are faced with increased competition from agencies, platforms, consultancies & publishers. With rampant salary inflation and high staff churn, brands are focusing on specific hiring and talent development strategies, which provide greater visibility on candidate growth paths.

Alert to regulation…

Brands are having to pay more attention to the increased regulatory environment in media given the impact this is having to the way they advertise and measure their media investments. Preparation continues to be key – organisations more informed and aligned will be in a better position to thrive.

Considering the ongoing changes, it is critical brands allow plenty of flexibility to experiment with new technology and ways to leverage their own data, while not restricting themselves to a strict number of partners.  Engaging wider Legal, Procurement, IT & Risk teams will be vital in navigating this changing landscape. 

MediaSense support clients through all stages of in-housing, from initial feasibility assessment to design, from deployment to ongoing governance. For more information, contact

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