The In-House Agency Council Releases First Research Report

The In-House Agency Council Releases First Research Report
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine

The In-House Agency Council (IHAC) has partnered with Kantar to publish ‘Australian In-House Agency Landscape’, the country’s first research report focussed on the state of the in-house agency model within Australia.

To provide a holistic view of the industry, the IHAC surveyed client side marketers, in-house agency personnel and external agency personnel.

The research aims to provide a benchmark study to understand the current landscape of in-housing in Australia, including the experience of operating an in-house agency, wider industry attitudes towards in-house agencies, and the future of the marketing model.

Research conducted in June 2021 reveals penetration of in-house agencies in Australia is sitting at 67 per cent, showing the move towards this model is well underway in Australia. Of the 33pc of brands that currently don’t have an in-house agency, nearly half (14pc) are considering it.

IHAC founder and chairman, Chris Maxwell (pictured) said: “In 2018, the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) in the U.S did a similar survey and we have used it as a comparison point to give context to our results. Our latest research figures related to penetration of the model show that Australia is much further along than anyone expected, and only about five years behind the U.S market.”

In terms of in-house agency (IHA) satisfaction, research suggests it is high with 86pc of survey responders reporting to be satisfied, 7pc neutral and only 7pc dissatisfied.

Compared with external agencies, marketers are much more likely to be satisfied with the performance of their in-house agencies versus external agencies: 86pc for IHA versus 64pc for external. They are also four times more likely to be ‘completely satisfied’ with the performance of their in-house agency (21pc), compared to external (5pc).

The report also addresses the perceived benefits and challenges of setting up an in-house agency. Interestingly, perceptions of the advantages of the IHA model differ markedly. Marketers who have invested in an IHA list twice as many benefits (9.3) as marketers who have not (4.3).

Marketers without an IHA list ‘set up costs’ at the top of their list of challenges, whilst marketers with an IHA place this outlay at the bottom of their list, suggesting once an in-house agency is established, the benefits outweigh the costs.

Maxwell added, “there are clear benefits including better knowledge of brands, cost efficiencies, speed and agility, but also consistency of output, overall ease of working with and greater control over your own data.

“The model is not without its challenges, with managing workflow, project prioritisation and expanding capabilities some of the primary challenges.

“Helping our members overcome these challenges is why we exist; to work together, share best practices and learn from each other. When your biggest challenges are issues such as managing workflows, the prioritisation of key projects, and expanding capabilities, it tells us that internal clients are increasingly trusting IHA teams with more work.”

Comparing in-house and external agencies, the survey uncovered hybrid models are the most prevalent, with 77pc of marketers who have an IHA also working with externals.

There is some disconnect between how marketers feel about the IHA model as compared to external agencies: 70pc of marketers with an IHA state that ‘in-house agencies increasingly complement external agencies’ while only 41pc of external agency personnel feel the same.

To download a copy of the IHAC ‘Australian In-House Agency Landscape’ research report visit:

To discuss membership and get involved, please contact the IHAC at

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