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Apr 21, 2022 7:34:11 AM | 8 Minutes read

Top five challenges of UK in-house agencies in 2022

April marks the start of a new business quarter. And with that comes a new set of challenges for every business. But what challenges do UK in-house agencies (IHAs) face as we enter Q2 2022 and (an almost) post-pandemic world


Challenge #1: How to do more for less 

The cost issue looms large as heads of marketing and CMOs are under pressure to prove the ROI on their campaigns and projects. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the creative services industry. According to Marketing Week, over half of marketers are experiencing a decrease in their marketing budget. It’s hardly surprising that over half (56%) of UK in-house agencies say the biggest challenge they now face is having to do more for less! 

Is there a way to do more for less though? Well, creative production outsourcing has the answer. An article published by Campaign Live highlighted how Nestlé was able to reduce production costs by as much as 80% by using offshore production partners. For creative and artwork, production and digital work, using an offshore production partner can make significant savings for in-house agencies without any loss in quality. 


Challenge #2: Finding time to be creative

Our recent findings show that 27% of IHAs in the UK say their biggest challenge for their team is finding time for creative work. British actor and Monty Python star John Cleese recently said, ‘the greatest killer of creativity is interruption.’ And, working in-house, there are plenty of interruptions! 

An EKCS poll conducted in April 2021 showed that one-fifth of IHA leaders still felt that they were a production entity, running as a central production team over and above being creative-led.

Robert Berkeley, CEO of EKCS will be exploring this topic at a free online webinar in May hosted by Henry Steward. Why not come along and listen to Robert speak about how to find time to be creative. 


Challenge #3: Tighter deadlines 

Meeting deadlines is one of the biggest challenges, with 51% saying so in the EKCS The Modern Challenges of an IHA survey. For in-housers, time gets taken up with company pressures and priorities. As a result, meeting deadlines creates extra pressure and overtime. Using off-shore production partners who are working in different time zones is an advantage for creative teams. Every business has peak periods, and it is here that IHAs can leverage the help of external partners. With knowledge transfer and collaboration, external and in-house teams work in tandem to handle peaks.


Challenge #4: The Great Resignation

The Great Resignation, scores of skilled workers leaving their employers in droves, started first for our transatlantic cousins. The phenomenon has more recently hit the UK workforce. The UK Labour Force Survey (LFS), released in November 2021 by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), showed resignations and job-to-job moves were at the highest level in 20 years. This trend looks set to continue as, according to a recent CV Library survey, 76.4% of the UK workforce intends to look for a new job this year.

It is no surprise that 32% of people running IHAs feel that having the right skilled staff in-house is a challenge. And, even if you have a great in-house team, skill sets often remain a challenge. Even freelancers are more difficult to employ given changes in tax rules and government legislation too. Should you still outsource if you have a great in-house team? Absolutely! 


Challenge #5: Managing workflow

Our challenges for IHAs in a post-pandemic world survey reveals that 24% of UK IHAs say the biggest challenge for their team right now is managing workflow. For creative teams, nothing is more frustrating than having a timely produced campaign get delayed only due to countless rounds of reviews and approvals. 

By making the most of technology and automation, creative teams and their clients can request and make changes, track progress and set up alerts and actions. All of this enhances the efficiency of the approval process and ensures that deadlines are met and teams are happy.

However, with so many solutions on the market, from Trello, Asana, Monday, Workfront and Wrike being popular among UK agencies, it can result in different people using different systems and a collective and uniform approach not always taking place. 

To combat this, MediaFerry is a cloud-based workflow management system that enables creative teams streamline approvals, saving time and money. MediaFerry enables users to share proofs with stakeholders, mark-up changes, post comments, give and receive feedback and approval in real-time. And, what’s more, it can be integrated with systems such as Trello. 


How creative production partner EKCS can help with these challenges 

Creative production outsourcing is all about enabling staff and your IHA to do more. IHAs consist of talented individuals who should always be leading creative strategy. Download our How to deliver more for less guide to see how your team can benefit from outsourcing the production and keeping the creative in-house.

To find out how EKCS can help you overcome your creative production challenges, get in touch.


To find out more about outsourcing and explore how it can help your team to solve production challenges

Download our FREE GUIDES. They look at the benefits of creative production outsourcing, what to consider in a production partner, and tips on how to get started with outsourcing.

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