The winds of change are strong across the modern marketing landscape, and as organizations shift their strategies to stay aligned with digital advancement, they’re also adjusting the dynamics between internal teams and external agencies. An article from the Harvard Business Review recently pointed to Society of Digital Agencies research revealing that more than a quarter (27 percent) of companies now work without an outside marketing team, a 14 percent leap from the year prior. In other words, brands are recognizing the value of a fully in-house marketing operation.
“Visual appeal and content diversity are key to a winning email.”
While this shift is indeed liberating and refreshing in many respects, brands that cut ties with external partners will quickly realize that they need to fortify their internal efforts with updated techniques and technologies. Here’s a look at a few facets of digital marketing that decision-makers should keep in mind as they build and refine their in-house marketing strategies.
1. Prioritize the big three: Just because a company decides to rely solely on its internal team does not mean that the core components of digital marketing will change any time soon. This reality was evidenced in a recent report which found that the top three marketing channels – email, social media and mobile – still reign supreme over avenues such as online advertising, trade shows and other forms of outreach. No matter how a brand chooses to approach its campaign development, strategists can’t forget to utilize these proven channels.
2. Make the most of data: One of the most prominent advantages of running an in-house marketing operation is the sheer volume and variety of data that a brand can aggregate throughout its many campaign initiatives. As Mark Schaefer, executive director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions, wrote in his piece for Harvard Business Review, the value of first-party data will continue to grow as more customer-centric trends such as personalization and custom content become vital to engagement. Of course, this data must be put to use in order to achieve the desired results of future marketing campaigns.
“In the old days, we might get a standard report of impressions from an agency, but today taming that data to make the numbers behave in surprising new ways needs to be developed as an internal core competency,” noted Schaefer.
3. Take a real-time approach: Although digital channels of communication have not changed drastically in the past few years, the nature of customer interactions are shifting regularly and in an unpredictable manner. This means that in order to stay on top of consumer demands and deliver the best possible user experiences, organizations need real-time views into their campaigns, as well as the ability to tweak their strategies on the fly. Ideally, in-house marketers will be put on the front line as they investigate and adjust their efforts according to the latest industry trends.
If a company follows these guidelines carefully, it should have no problem flying solo and maximizing its internal marketing efforts.