Untraditional Futures | FIRST

The evolving relationship between marketing success
and in-house teams.


More and more clients are asking us how they can continue to build high-performing and effective teams.

So, how do we work at the speed of transformation?

In a FIRST report, backed up by first-party research and proprietary data from over 350 global marketing leaders, we aimed to answer that question. We explored how the current and future expectations can be met by agile and often untraditional working models.

You’ll often hear “there’s a lot going on” from agencies nowadays. While demand may be increasing, the quality of outputs is not keeping pace with customer expectations. According to our survey, 52% have a higher demand for quality events and experiences. 

There has been an increase in advertising and media as a budgetary priority to adapt to consumer behaviors and expectations. This marries up to the idea that if you are creating more content and having more output, the importance is placed on people. All of these marketing outputs aren’t going to be created by themselves.

Embedded teams

Our survey shows that creative and content strategists are the most essential roles moving forward, with 70% of respondents agreeing, which foundationally highlights the pattern of brands leaning on agencies for ‘strategy’ and ‘creative ideas’. 

Between 2019 and 2021, across FIRST in-house teams, we have seen:

– A 63% overall increase in the number of in-house roles
– A 7-fold rise in content strategy roles
– A 100% increase in multimedia production roles

multi media production

We predict that for 2022 and going into 2023, roles like virtual event producers and content strategists will continue to be pivotal and specifically, roles like copywriters, content producers, and motion graphic experts will begin to form the creative nucleus of in-house teams. Finding untraditional ways to collaborate will be the most important factor in building partnerships and maintaining quality outputs

Our report shows that marketing departments across the board are turning to subject specialists for help. Growth in digital opportunities has led to a rise in in-house partnerships with agencies, with 74% being established in the last five years. In-housing is not a trend. It’s a model and mindset that is staying. It’s perhaps the biggest evolution of our industry right now.

Let’s break down the benefits:

Cost savings: Almost half (47%) that use the in-housing model said they have saved between 30%–50% of their budget.

Creativity: 85% said creativity has increased.

Agility: The main benefits cited were ‘faster decision making’ and ‘efficiency of roll-out and production’ (29% and 27% respectively).

In-plant marketing team

For clients making the transition, trust in partners who will help them embed the right talent is paramount.

Whether your organization is part of the 89% considering a scalable in-housing model or simply looking for outside consulting, we can bring our experience and specialists to help you achieve your goals.

To stay ahead of the trends, consider turning to an experienced partner like FIRST.

Download the report here

Get in touch to learn more about how FIRST can help you deliver industry-leading creative and engaging live, virtual, and hybrid brand experiences.