For more than 15 years, Theorem has supported in-house teams at leading organizations, agencies and technology companies with expertise and scale. Here are some best practices that we have observed over that time:
1. Focus, Focus, Focus
What areas of marketing, data and institutional knowledge are the key focus for your core internal teams? What are your internal teams remitting in their support of overarching corporate goals? What elements are critical to the success of your business? The more focused and well thought out your responses to these questions, the better your in-house teams will shape to your company goals.
2. Expertise is Key
Once you have your core focus, you can then determine your team’s true tech DNA. What technology, data, industry skills and attributes are needed within this core team? These desired traits form the foundation on which you can make strategic team-building decisions.
3. What is Your Tech Ecosystem?
What are the core technical skills required for your business’ tech ecosystem? Consider the ad tech, mar tech, programmatic, data among others. Trying to have all skills in-house may not be optimal for a variety of reasons. Some skills are needed on an ongoing basis while others are required only for initial set up or tactical improvements. Some skills will be under-used and some are simply too hard to retain, so decide which ones are core to your everyday operations.
4. The Skills They Are a Changin.’
Tech platforms and associated skills constantly change, so there needs to be a constant upgrading of skills across a myriad of technologies. Does your organization have an education budget and access to training across a variety of different skill sets? Do you have a career path for the best and hardest-to-retain talent?
5. The Ins & Outs of Campaigns—Big & Small.
There will be a multitude of campaigns across channels: social, search, display, content, video, programmatic, email, etc. Some will be for attracting new customers and others will be for retaining existing audiences. These require new campaign set up, QA, optimization and post campaign analysis that will yet again fuel new campaigns. In this circle of campaign deployment, do you have a robust sales and ad operations team?
6. Review Your Resources. Know Your Bandwidth.
Will your in-house teams be responsible for the support of a single brand or multiple brands, business units and teams? Do you have a global footprint or is it fairly localized? Are your campaigns multi-lingual across time zones? If so, have you established internal best practices to manage across various privacy regulations?
7. Data is the Golden Solution
It’s a great time to be good at math! It’s very hard to get the ideal combo of skills: data analysis and data storytelling. Since it’s a big area, on which elements of data will your organization focus? Every ad tech and mar tech platform will output a copious amount of data that needs cleansing, aggregating, rolling up/down by campaign and by brand in order to decipher any useful insights. Then, this data needs to be shared throughout different levels of your organization and teams in a time sensitive way in order to make impact.
8. Does Your Organization Change with the Seasons?
If there’s seasonality in your business, then ramping up for the busy seasons and scaling down after them, will add another level of complexity. If these involve in-demand skills with temp workers who are not part of your ongoing operations, there’s a risk of quality deterioration. Workers outside of your organization may not have the institutional knowledge needed to become part of your team quickly.
9. Media Management is Essential
Different media strategies require different skill-sets. Marketing decision makers should consider the following questions: Do you procure media via private marketplaces, open exchanges or partner trading desks? Do you have your own trading seat? Who manages these relationships and does your organization have the skills and bandwidth to manage media while deploying campaigns to attract new eyeballs and manage existing customers?
10. Good Partners are Priceless
Once you have crafted a plan to identify your in-house must-haves, you will need a stable of flexible partners to tap into that can support those elements of your strategy you need help with. These partners need domain expertise, scalability and best practices that you can depend on now and into the future.