For Agencies, It’s Strategy Or Bust

It’s no secret that there has been a sharp growth in the development of internal agencies. Ad Age reported about a year ago  that 78% of Association of National Advertisers members have now developed some level of in-house agency. That’s up from just 58% five years ago. Further, of the 22% that didn’t have an in-house agency, 8% said they were considering it for the near future. This year (2019) my team has worked closely with more than 30 Fortune 500 companies on helping to operationalize a content marketing approach, and we’ve seen this trend firsthand. As content marketing becomes a more recognized piece of what the company is doing, centralizing the approach and creating a content-focused team is a natural extension. At The Service Of – Not IN The Service Of  For our clients, building a team to manage and serve internal clients with a streamlined set of creative services, production capabilities, and even media buying may be an extraordinarily productive strategy (though I think the pendulum may be swinging too hard in that direction at the moment). However, our experience is that looking at the content team as an internal agency is a mistake. Content marketing is a fundamentally different approach and needs a leading, not a serving, approach. Content marketing (and content strategy) should be an active and discrete business model within any organization. Thus, for any company, the content team is more akin to your R&D team, your legal team, or your accounting team. No sane company would never look at the legal team as an internal agency (or a firm) that services internal clientele. Can you imagine going to the lead lawyer for the business and telling them, “marketing didn’t [...]