Modern brands have become frustrated with the costly inefficiencies associated with traditional advertising agencies. From bloated creative and approval processes to billing practices that lack transparency and accountability, brands are looking inward to increase quality and value.

 Digital Creative Production & mobile ad banners

According to a recent study by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), there are an unprecedented number of brands using in-house agencies today. In fact, the study revealed that 78% of ANA members have some type of in-house agency at their workplaces—a dramatic increase from just 42% in 2008. Also, 90% of those respondents stated that the levels of work assigned to those in-house resources rose in the past year—especially services related to social media, creative planning and media strategies, programmatic media buying, and a host of other services key to traditional and digital media campaigns.1

By building in-house creative teams that collaborate with digital production partners, brands establish direct access to customized levels of service, expertise, and flexibility. In particular, brands are seeking production partners to create value in these four capabilities.

1. Streamline Productivity & Deliverables

Continuity is the hallmark of a streamlined creative process. Big, full-service advertising agencies employ large numbers of interchangeable people who often shift from one client or project to another. In contrast, brands who engage strategic production partners deal with individual creatives and small teams dedicated to specific tasks and projects, from start to finish. Brands that build in-house teams designed to work with compatible production partners are able to collaborate closely on a set of objectives, eliminating the need for redundant explanations regarding the nuances of the vision or goals. Unlike larger rich media agencies, production partners focus on deliverables and not process, because each individual understands their specific responsibilities and executes those duties in full communication and compliance with the brand’s in-house team.

Dynamic Ads

Dynamic Ads

2. Build Brand Identity & Equity

Production partners are not a third-party asset, but an extension of a brand’s in-house team. The same vital institutional knowledge that members of an in-house team internalize every day become the same values and sensibilities that guide the decisions of the production team.

Brand voice, tone, and identity are key to creating digital assets that engage customers and drive revenue. The more fractured the creative processes, the more diluted the brand messaging becomes. When in-house teams are aligned with production partners, a brand’s identity and internal culture become the center of gravity for the creative process. Digital banners, ads, and marketing campaigns must capture the more intangible aspects of a brand, such as its humor, sophistication, or philanthropic beliefs. If a brand’s personality has become washed out by cumbersome and timely processes, the resulting advertising assets will struggle to connect with customers. Production partners are fiercely loyal to the brand’s they represent.

3. Reduce Cost & Inefficiencies

Eliminating redundancies, disruptions, and unwanted results is key to effective cost management. The creative process, unfortunately, has historically been a messy endeavor fraught with surprising failures, unlikely successes, and constant leaps of faith. For decades advertising agencies have leveraged the unpredictable ambiguity of the creative realm to their economic favor. However, a new era of data collection and analysis and consumer behavioral modeling ushered in by powerful technologies has changed digital advertising forever. Today, a simple dashboard can tell brands, in real time, what their customers are thinking, why, and whether or not engagement strategies are working. Production partners are at the forefront of digital capabilities, and rely on data, instead of disruptive or redundant human guesswork, to build digital assets that elevate the brand and its profitability.

High Quality Banners

High Quality Banners

4. Increase Flexibility, Speed, & Scalability

Consumers are constantly bombarded with advertising everywhere they turn—commuting to work, celebrating in stadiums, looking down at their phones. As brand feverishly attempt to outspend and outsmart competitors, savvy digital advertising partners know the key to engagement is flexibility and speed. Armed with data and robust analytics, production partners are able to help brands understand not only where their customers are, but where they will be, and how to engage them. The dedicated individuals and small teams that comprise production partnerships allow for immediate action to be taken when new information becomes available. Crafting digital ads and promotions that are nimble enough to pivot when a major snowstorm means increased online shopping along the East Coast, or a major celebrity endorses brand of shoes at the Oscars, or the subreddit r/Games blesses an unexpected video game, having the talents and resources of a dedicated production partner becomes invaluable.

In conclusion, digital transformation has revolutionized the relationship between brands and the creative process. Advertising agencies that once warehoused the world’s creative resources have become marginalized by the agility and efficiency of in-house creative teams working collaboratively with dedicated production partners.

  1. “ANA: Over Three-Quarters Of Our Members Have In-House Agencies.” 10/15/2018,