If you watched the show Mad Men, you may remember the clients and the ad agencies had a very close relationship—but they rarely spoke about ROI. That’s the way it largely was in the 1960s. And it remained that way for a long time. Why? Because there really wasn’t a good way to measure ROI effectively. CMOs essentially measured their success (and often their self-worth) by the size of their budgets.
Well, that all started changing about 15 years ago when the internet met CRM software. All of a sudden, CEOs and CFOs could hold CMOs more accountable for ROI. This was a big moment and marketing executives found themselves with no place to hide. CMO tenures started dropping fast. The average CMO tenure is currently around just 41 months.
To deliver meaningful results (and save their jobs), CMOs needed to measure and improve ROI. One way they started boosting the ROI on their spend was by bringing a lot of the creative work in-house instead of paying external agencies a large premium.
I like to tell a story about my first marketing role at a financial services company and how their go-to external agency charged me $80,000 to create a single piece of direct mail. So I hunted around and found that our in-house agency could do it for just $4,500! Guess who I chose to do all my future direct-mail creative work?
Marketers use the money saved on creative to increase campaign volumes, thus boosting performance and ROI. This is precisely why in-house agencies have been booming for the past 10+ years. According to a survey by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), 78% of ANA member companies had an in-house agency in 2018, up significantly from 58% in 2013 and 42% in 2008. And the quality of the work has gone up exponentially too.
In many ways, that’s the origin story for firms like Cella playing such a big role in the world of in-house agencies.
We’ve successfully ridden the wave of growth in IHAs over the past 15 years while establishing ourselves as a thought leader in the space. We are well-positioned to play an increasingly large role going forward as the space continues to expand. What’s more, right down the hall from the IHA are the marketing department and the digital teams. Not only do they have exponentially larger budgets and staff counts, but they are also growing.
We fully expect all three areas to continue growing as channels continue to expand, the need for engaging content continues to explode, and campaign cycle times continue to shrink. It’s a very exciting time to be in this space. And we would be thrilled to have the opportunity to help your team. View Cella’s wide array of services now.