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Almost Half of Marketers Find In-House an Operational Nightmare


With 80% of marketers saying in-housing could be improved but 77% saying they would consider using a variation of the approach, it is clear a new model is needed

Almost Half of Marketers Find In-House an Operational Nightmare

New research shows that marketers across the industry think in-housing is an operational nightmare (43%) that teams lack creative inspiration (39%) and that it's difficult to implement (33%) as a model. 

The study of 150 CMOs across multiple disciplines at businesses with more than 250 employees was carried out by Content Studio, a new in-house offering where the client’s in-house teams are placed within the creative agency, which also handles recruitment, training and development. 

You can download the report for free here. 

The findings also show that 80% think in-housing could be improved and 77% say they would consider using a different model. 

The report, The In-house Marketing Model Reimagined, also found that 27% of marketers also believe that in-housing makes it “difficult to recruit talent”, “difficult to retain talent” and is not “cost-effective. 27% also say they haven’t seen concrete proof it works. 

The “operational nightmare” issue also increases as company size increases. Between 250-499 employees is 33%, 500-749 employees is 38%, 1,000-1,499 employees is 45%, 1,500-1,999 employees is 50% and, 2,000 employees is 53%. 

Similarly, when asked Which of the following would most sway you to adopt an in-house model? The answers were “If it helped us increase the quality of our work” (41%), “If it helped us become more creative as a business “ (34%) and “If it helped us solve our hiring needs” (33%). 

All of this clearly points to the need for a new in-housing model which alleviates the issues of operational difficulty, finding and retaining staff and lack of creative inspiration. 

Pete Markey, chief marketing officer at Boots, quoted in the report, says: “There’s a danger that the in-house model can become quite cookie-cutter. This lack of flexibility might not get the best out of our people or the way we operate. For me, the right answer is a hybrid combination of the way an agency works and the way a client works to find that solution. 

Launched this year by global digital creative agency Collective, Content Studio is an innovative in-housing model that keeps creative talent where they want to be: in a creative agency.

Chris Shadrick, strategy partner at Collective, said: “In-housing is here to stay. That is for sure. But this report shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that clients are crying out for a more creative and less nightmarish model. Content Studio is that. 

“It flips the in-housing model on its head, giving clients a dedicated team immersed within their business but sitting within our creative agency, giving them all the benefits and creative inspiration on offer from the creative world.”

Leveraging a new Salary+ model, Content Studio puts the onus on Collective to source, hire and retain talent, saving money on agency rates and removing the logistical challenges of sourcing, hiring and managing their own team. 


The research was carried out in summer 2022 and surveyed 150 CMOs at organisations with 250+ employees. It also includes 5 interviews with 5 brand side CMOs, marketing directors and in-house thought leaders. These are:

- Pete Markey - Chief Marketing Officer, Boots

- Tina Fegent - Global Marketing Procurement Consultant

- Jasper Martens - Chief Marketing Officer, PensionBee

- Abba Newbery - Chief Marketing Officer, Circa 5000

- Marta Stiglin - Organisational Strategist & In-House Influencer 

view more - Trends and Insight
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Collective, Fri, 16 Sep 2022 08:45:03 GMT