When reviewing the pros and cons of in-housing your digital marketing in part one of our in-housing series, we identified some of the key challenges which all brand needs to overcome.


These key challenges included:


  • Risk of slower campaign delivery
  • Lack of future planning and thinking
  • Having to learn entirely on your own payroll
  • Accessing the right technology at the best price
  • Finding the right talent


For those brands looking to move some or all of their digital marketing in-house, these obstacles can be overcome if a comprehensive forward looking plan is put in place. In my experience, this planning phase can often be overlooked.

Top 10 tips for in-housing your digital marketing

To help you on your way, here are my top 10 tips for getting the perfect plan in place and hopefully avoiding the awkward conversation of ‘why has it gone wrong’ with your boss:


  1. Understand the why from everyone involved - have a clear and consistent view across all stakeholders of why in-housing digital marketing is the way forward for you. Is it purely about saving money or time? Set clear KPI's will help you measure the success once you have launched.
  2. Understand the risks and have a clear mitigation plan - I am a big fan of scenario planning. These could be as simple as ‘what will I do if performance drops below what I am expecting?’ or ‘what if a member of my team goes off on long term sick?’
  3. Review the talent pool in your area - the talent demand will not only inform which areas you should outsource but also how you should design the role. What flexible working should you put in place? Are you willing for the team to work remotely? Will you need a mixture of permanent staff and contractors?
  4. Have a clear strategy and plan in place for what you will migrate, when and how - if your online marketing generates a high amount of sales or leads are at risk, a phased approach could be best. Ensuring this is shared with all key stakeholders including key internal stakeholders, media partners and your current agency is crucial.
  5. Get buy in from your current partners early - don't be afraid to tell your current agency or tech partner. Bring them into your plan, rationale and what support you would like from them. They are more likely to be open with you with knowledge sharing as you build the team.
  6. Have strong leadership in place to manage this change programme - ensure you have the right person to lead this first, before recruiting in the rest of the team. Search for someone with strong subject matter expertise and who ideally has migrated activity in-house too.
  7. Give new recruits the time to breathe - the temptation can be to start the transition as soon as your team is in place. Although they have the technical and personal skills you are looking for, they need time to understand the brand, the people and the product or service.
  8. Identify the 3rd party support you need moving forward - although the temptation is to reinvest all the fees you have saved back into media, a pure in-house approach is unlikely to be the right approach to grow your business. Having someone impartial who understands what is happening in the market will actually save you time and wasted budget. As part of your mitigation plan, you should identify were support is needed and put the budget in place to cover this.
  9. Budget for learning and development – less reliance on 3rd parties means you need to plan for alternative ways to stimulate the mind and make you think differently. Understand what your team will need to ensure they have the knowledge to keep up with the latest techniques in their specialist field. What conferences should they attend to keep abreast of the latest trends?
  10. Continuously measure to ensure your objectives are being delivered on – have clear checkpoints to ensure that the strategy that you are carrying out is correct. The main area of focus is typically the short term (e.g. has my performance levels remained the same over the initial week / month of the migration). Following this initial period, quarterly reviews should be carried out as a minimum.

If you are considering moving your digital marketing in-house or have started the process and would like some further advice on how best to approach this, please get in touch with us.

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