Forrester’s step-by-step guide for brands to bring media in-house

Forrester’s step-by-step guide for brands to bring media in-house

  • Market research firm Forrester tapped brands including Bayer, Logitech, Molson Coors and Sprint to create a step-by-step blueprint for marketers looking to take their advertising in-house.
  • Forrester says brands should start by auditing their current approach, identifying the case for owning their media, and setting goals before signing on tech and other partners.
  • They should also start small to mitigate risk to performance and avoid overburdening their teams.
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Brands are in-housing more of their advertising functions that were traditionally handled by outside agencies. But the process can be daunting. For a new report, Forrester talked to brands including Bayer, Logitech, Molson Coors and Sprint to create a blueprint marketers can use to ensure a seamless experience.

First, brands need to make a business case for in-housing beyond just saving money.

“If paid media gives you a significant long-term advantage, then it could be worth the complexity of bringing it in-house,” said Tony Weisman, former CMO of Dunkin’ Brands.

Companies should evaluate the scope, number of employees, fees, working dollars, and performance of their media operations to eliminate any redundancies. They also need to get leadership and other departments like finance to buy in.

Forrester also recommends that brands bring their media planning, buying and measuring in-house bit by bit. Sprint, for example, focused on its data for eight to 10 months.

Bring in the right experts and technology partners

Next, brands have to hire and find technology and other partners.

Forrester recommended hiring agency people who know the ins and outs of media. For example, Bayer’s head of  head of media, digital platforms, and content, Josh Palau, is a former Razorfish executive.

Brands should also consider using outside experts that help companies set up in-housing operations. Molson Coors, for example, uses tech platform Amobee alongside its media agency to help with negotiations and buying. Other brands that handle most of their media internally still lean on outside agencies.

They should also ramp up slowly, buying ads on one media channel at a time to limit their sales risk and avoid overburdening staff. Logitech, for example, started by in-sourcing search buying, said Michael Knott, its director of digital media and marketing analytics.

Once they’re set up, in-house media teams need to scale up and demonstrate ongoing value.

One way brands can do this is by working with publishers and adtech and martech suppliers. Proctor & Gamble, for example, worked with Verizon Media and HuffPost to develop P&G LifeLab, which used virtual reality to promote P&G products.

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