Blake Cahill, SVP, global digital marketing and media, Royal Phillips, and Bruce Hoang, digital and data communications officer, Orange France, explained how there’s a need to balance the role of in house teams and agencies when it comes to marketing efforts.
Hoang said, "It’s not about internalising for the sake of it. I have a team of 30 people in the communications department at Orange. In this new age quick world, we have to be in touch and have a team for that. When we launch campaigns, we want to take digital data by design. For years, we partnered with agencies. Now, there’s a balance to identify the expertise of the brand team and the agency. You need to be more real time and efficient in using data – that’s the end objective. So some of it has to be internalised so that people get responsible about it."
Cahill added, "The customers are rapidly changing too. If you lead with the customer, they’re giving all sorts of data signals. You need that muscling internally to use it. You can feed all this data to your creative agency for personalised messaging. There is also a cost benefit too (to do it in house), but we do it in order to deliver the best insight. We are not there yet, but we’re working towards it."
Hoang then explained how the company is working with agencies for its conventional marketing efforts, but when it comes to data, it's looking at internal sources.
"We never had the expertise to TV, print, OOH and radio internally. So we focus on the agency for it. When it comes to data, since we have all of it, this is internal. The second thing we are about to internalise is community management. We used to outsource this. When you have a strong client service – and you’re in a sector where people complain a lot, you have to have this basic bottom line relationship. It’s important for a big organisation to be out there when there’s a crisis. The agency can’t do that on its own. To be future proof, you have to go back to basics. If a company hires an agency – it’s to make it more efficient. The agencies have great expertise for sure. However, it means that if the agency doesn’t have a personality in front of them, conversion won’t be efficient. We need real fast decision making to be more efficient and satisfy the customer. It means that you need to reduce the decision making process and have people to understand what people do in the agency. If you do that, you’ll be more agile, " he said.
Cahill added, "Data and tech give us power. It’s about implementing it and bringing it to life. It’s like if a person has a complaint about our product, the last thing we want to do is keep flashing an ad about our product to that person."