At Summit, everything we strive towards is to ‘make it more likely that people buy from our clients than their competitors’. Whether through technology or campaign management, our ethos is to really understand our clients and become an extension of their business and team. In some circumstances, this naturally evolves into Summit in-housing one of its experts into our client’s business to better fulfil the objectives of those clients.
What do we mean when we say in-housing?
When it comes to in-housing one of our experts, each business has different requirements, and no two situations are entirely the same. However, it usually involves one of our experienced Summiteers integrating themselves at the client and within their teams for a prolonged period of time to achieve the objectives required.
Recently I’ve returned to Summit after spending four months in-housed at our client, La Redoute, assisting them as they transitioned their in-house team for the next stage of their business growth and here are some of the main benefits I’ve observed…
Improves ways of working & collaboration
One of the key benefits of in-housing an expert is improved ways of working and collaboration between the agency and internal teams. Occasionally there can be an element of disconnect in certain areas of a traditional agency/client relationship. Temporary in-housing means that the agency expert can fully immerse themselves within the business and embed themselves within the internal teams and working practices of the client. The process also builds strong working relationships with wider client teams that usually don’t get as much time with the agency as they would like or is beneficial.
From my own experience, being able to interact daily with other internal teams such as the trading and web team meant that we all had a better understanding of the wider business and capabilities. Decisions around performance and daily optimisation recommendations could be shared with more context from myself which meant changes were understood and implemented quicker- and sometimes that information isn’t as easily available in the traditional ways of working.
Sets you up for long-term in-housing
Most retailers have a long-term goal to bring all marketing in-house as it gives them greater control and responsibility over their own performance and strategy. Nevertheless, a high proportion of these retailers currently aren’t in the position to be able to do this.
Bringing an expert from the agency in on a temporary basis allows both the agency and retailer to lay the groundwork required for achieving the long-term ambition. Ensuring channels are performing well is only one part of the in-housing process for a retailer; establishing the correct ways of working between internal teams and ensuring the right personnel are in place are all key things to get right before you consider relinquishing agency support.
Offers a different perspective
In-housing doesn’t only benefit the client, but also the expert themselves. Having the opportunity to spend 100% of your time with the client offers a different perspective on the day-to-day life within digital performance marketing. As someone with 7 years’ experience in the agency world, being able to experience the ‘other side’ of the relationship for an extended period was fantastic. You are exposed to individuals and different teams more regularly than whilst on the other side of a call or email which helps strengthen the relationship, plus you can impart knowledge and relevant experience to help train up and educate the in-house teams.
It gave me plenty of ideas around how to approach the relationship between agency and client differently once returning to the fold of Summit life. These learnings can then be shared with colleagues to continually improve the relationships between agency and client.
Ultimately, the long-term aim for retailers is to have complete control over their Performance Marketing- and Summit understands this. However, getting to that point is not something that takes a few weeks or months and Summit can support with this plan.
Bringing a channel expert in house, even on a temporary basis, has both short- and long-term benefits and is just one of the services we offer here at Summit. If you’re looking for an industry expert to in-house at your business, then get in touch with us today at [email protected].