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Can we have an honest conversation about going in house? Is it worth it? What are the pros and cons? I'm curious but worry about $ and growth.

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I was hired in-house in a senior-level creative role at a global consumer brand and was there 3 years. I led the creative group and managed agency relationships. I’d worked 20 years at agencies and am with a digital one now. Mine was a great experience. I got to understand how a brand marketing department functions, and interacted with the CMO and c-suite regularly. I introduced a creative brief and conceptual brand thinking. I was a voice for showing the product in people’s lives, not just always showing the product. I was so close to the actual business, and touched nearly every part of it, it was productive and fascinating to see it from the inside. I was worried at first about having one logo on everything but it was a great brand and after 2 years we won with an agency partner Digital Campaign of the Year. To roll out creative and see how well it performed right away was awesome, as opposed to never really knowing. Most days I made an impact and felt useful, though there were some days honestly I felt like a cog since operations drove the business more than marketing. For the most part my colleagues were very smart though we didn’t often if ever talk about great ideas or awards shows. We had budgets and deployed them and did so much work across channels there was a surprising amount of opportunity. There was also of course work that just needed to be done but mattered a lot to the person or department who requested it. Turnarounds were usually a day or two or a week for internal projects but I hired people with experience whose worst ideas after two days were better than a less experienced person’s after ten. I was part of 2 agency RFPs and since I’d worked at agencies helped guide the selection process and manage the relationships that followed. Because I knew what their goals were and also the brand’s I was able to make both happen more often than not which is to say great work that worked for the business. So, no. No negative impact on my career and the way I see it only enhanced it by making my perspective and experience more well-rounded.

likehelpfuluplifting

Krispy Kreme. I was there 2014-2017.

I’m freelance so I move back and forth between agency and client side. They’re very different in culture but the work is not that different. After 20 years in the business, I’m a little bit over the driving need to work on cool creative. I still enjoy it, but it’s no longer my top priority. The main question I think you’re grappling with is if moving over will carry some stigma that you’re throwing in the towel or something. It’s NOT like that anymore. It definitely used to be. When I was younger in my career there was a definite assumption that client side was where careers went to die. Now it’s a place to get invaluable experience that you can use there or bring back to the agency side when you feel like it. Also I’ve noticed that there can be opportunities to move in a variety of directions on the client side. Agency careers tend to be pretty linear. In short, I think it’s worth checking out. You may love it, you may hate it, but it will not hurt your career.

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I worked in-house and I didn’t enjoy it from a creative perspective. The work was dry, we’d try to push, but everyone was lazy (the CDs were). Lots of red tape and layers and layers of “marketers” with MBAs who don’t grasp advertising. That said, the pay was really really good. The hours were flexible and you could work from home easily. This is just my story, YMMV. I’m sure there are awesome in-house agencies out there. Looking at you Spotify, Lyft, Apple, Google, etc.

likehelpful

This has been my experience as well. But it either seems like this or my previous in house department was understaffed and was crazy busy all the time. The expectations were never aligned with the budget and bosses were always trying to motivate people to work harder by always being “disappointed” with work performance. I think a lot of it also hinges on your manager. While we have tons of layers and marketers my boss is amazing and makes all the other bullshit a bit more bearable. I also see my kids way more

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I’d rather be at a creative inhouse spot than a precarious agency with less job security. It’s totally contextual.

likesmart

I'm in house! Worth it. 1. Getting paid more than jr-mid level ADs (fresh out of school) 2. NOT LATE NIGHTS. Solid 30-40h weeks (well my company) 3. Getting approved does not mean constant client calls because you work with said "client" 4. They care about awards. Or they care about more than awards 5. Fully seeing things through instead of quick campaigns 6. Growth means you are on a smaller team with more room to grow.... Titles differ 7. You own the brand. You make it better. You don't compete or pitch to get the brand 8. More stable as long as you work for the long game

likehelpful

One of the best moves I ever made. I think it’s vital for any agency veteran to spend time on the client side. It’s invaluable. I joined a data company and worked for a Forbes ranked CMO. You won’t ever learn as much in your career. Happy to chat more

likehelpful

I went back to agencies. People were nice but the work bored the hell out of me and it was way too corporate. The number of people who would greet you on Friday saying, TGIF was enough to make me want to jump out of a window... or quit

likefunny

OMG this!

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Theres such a big range of in house opportunities. It’s a bit unfair to group them all together. Places like Spotify and Apple rival the best agencies in the world

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No it hasn’t

I’m in house in a strategy role. Hours way better. 9-5:30. nights and weekends are unheard of. The morale is much higher. Coworkers are much more collaborative and less cut throat. Turnover is much lower. Average tenure on my team is 6 years. Base pay is slightly lower than I was making agency aide but with bonus, cost of benefits, 401 contribution at 15%, stock I am *way*ahead. Far fewer politics. I won’t say none, but far fewer. The work is far less glamorous. We solve the same problems over and over again. I’m kinda bored admittedly.

likehelpful

100% all of these same feelings since my switch to in-house 9 months ago ☝️

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idk if it’s something common to all in-houses, but at Verizon, there’s something more 3 dimensional about it than my agency experience (13 years, almost everywhere in NYC). Not better or worse but deeper. In the sense that one day you’re coming up with campaign idea, next you’re re-building a design system for OLA that touches $0.5B/year in media, then next thing could be a documentary series or experiential. You’re influencing how brand or product photography gets made in a really organic way. If you’re a writer you might be defining the brand voice and being really close to the people who will be using it everyday. It could be really creative or really tactical. It’s about finding a balance if you can. I’ve also worked with this brand on the agency side. It’s a lot less stressful on the in-house side. Of course it’s not Apple or Spotify but it’s an interesting moment in the brands history.

likesmart

Very worth it. About to go in-house again. Guaranteed bonuses. Stock options. Work life balance.

likehelpful

Also, Edelman’s the worst, so you’ll def be better off

funnylike

It's a shit show and leadership has no idea what its doing, but we at least get out at five.

likefunny

I’ve done both. Currently in house as a contractor. I’ve found in house to be sleepier pretty consistently, so it just depends on what you value. You definitely make more money

likeuplifting

Working in-house was good for my bank account and the experience, but I didn’t get anything for my portfolio. The hours were also very easy. I only would recommend it for someone in the later stages of their career.

likehelpful

I’m in-house too. One of the things that doesn’t get mentioned enough is that we don’t have new biz pitches. Every assignment I have has a brief and a media plan. Having those two things all but guarantees I’ll get work produced. To the question of being able to go back to agency world... I think it comes down to the type of work I make in-house and if it helps me make a case for myself. Just as working at a shit agency or on a shit account. It’s all about what we do with the opportunity in front of us

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Happy to answer any questions

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Are you in Creative Shop or that other b2b marketing thingy?

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I’m working in-house. AMA

likefunny

@squarespace1: It would be great if your recruiter didn’t ghost on potential candidates after a phone interview.

Notice how none of the in house people want to name their company? lol

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I’m the only ex-agency at a Fortune 100 company.

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In-house is a disaster. It’s a low cost way for companies to pump out an endless array of below-the-line marketing crud in an over-operationalized environment run by middle management nobodies. Want to make a dent in the universe with your ideas? Want the glory of One Show pencils, coverage in the trade press and the chance to have creative freedom and career longevity? Work at companies whose very reputations hinge on the quality of their creative. Not Unilever. Or IBM. Or Mattress Barn.

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Whopper detour is great but if you were in a bar on a Friday night and asked 100 people if they’ve heard of it....

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I forgot to mention. In house means no (or less) ad bullshit

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likefunnysmartuplifting

For those who have interviewed in the virtual environment - do you wear full suits? Or more casual?

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