It’s not exactly an invasion but it is feeling rather like one.  News stories seem to be coming out every day about how more companies are turning to Growth Marketing practices and building Content teams to gain market share and increase their ROI. The question is, where does that leave traditional or modern marketing efforts and how are marketing teams supposed to collaborate with their in-house agency partners now?

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Where does the in-house agency fit into the Growth Marketing paradigm?

Don’t panic! There is room for everyone in this new era of rapid experimentation with fast turnarounds of content and their associated assets. While the Growth Marketers focus on detailed persona targets with multiple data inputs to change an experience with their brand or product one interaction at a time, it’s important to remember that larger brand incentives, traditionally created by in-house teams, will still be required at the broader end of the consumer acquisition funnel.

We are witnessing more and more Content teams built to be hyper-focused on a specific persona type or product message and many of these teams have their own creatives dedicated to producing the assets required for the micro-moments designed to change a consumer’s mindset. However, we are seeing many more Content teams being built with limited resources and those teams are leaning on their in-house agency partners to produce singular assets which is great for in-house agencies, but with the caveat that they often don’t have the benefit of a creative brief or context as to why that asset is required. This approach is understandably worrisome for many in-house agencies who do not want to be seen as a ‘no questions asked’ request and deliver production agency.

In what ways can in-house agencies best partner with Content teams?

The ways to address this concern fall into two distinct categories - Communication and Process. The truth is Growth Marketing rapid experimentation is highly effective so it is likely here to stay. In-house agencies need to get on board with this new delivery approach and open the doors of communication with the Content teams and Growth Marketing Leaders.

Fortunately, there is some common ground around communication that will provide a powerful place for in-house agencies to start building relationships with the Content teams. Regardless of the marketing approach, staying on brand is critical.  In-house agencies are already strong brand consistency advocates so they have a great value add in this area. Next come the persona types. Growth teams spend significant time in this area using data from a number of sources to get to the customer mindset and, more importantly, understanding the levers that will create that all important shift from product browser to acquisition and from acquisition to retention. By embracing the rapid evolution of what the Content team, and by association the end point customer, require in the way of assets, the need for the standard communication tools such as  creative briefs, is significantly lowered as the end goal is simple. Stay on brand and ahead of the customer’s needs.

How can in-house agencies leverage process for success with Growth Marketing?

Next comes process where we can leverage methodologies we already know to be effective in highly iterative projects. If you are thinking this would be Agile, then you are correct and before you close this door, as you may have tried it before without success, there are some key points to consider that make Agile a highly viable approach. First, remember that Agile works very well at bringing diverse and cross-functional team members together with a clear and pre-established communication plan. This is very useful as you will want to be included upstream in the journey of the evolving customer mindset and their message.

Agile also allows for each team member to independently solve their own problems or own the responsibility to raise up a concern to the ‘Agile Scrum Master’, soon to be known as the ‘Content Manager’ or ‘Content Team lead’. Finally, the Agile methodology is designed for iterative production of content which is perfect for the rapid updating or next generation of a message or image. In short, just being able to expect the constant changes associated with an Agile methodology is often enough to establish the right approach and mindset to the multiple requests and quick turnaround times that will be expected.

Growth Marketing practices and their Content Teams are the next step in the evolution of marketing and in-house agencies. The traditional partnership between marketers and creatives is going to evolve along with this change and in-house agency leaders should be planning on how to support this shift both operationally and organizationally. If you are facing this change or watching it approach on the horizon, get educated as to what will be needed and how you can be a strong partner with Content teams. For more information on how you can prepare, give us a call. We are here to support you on this new journey.