Defining your role within your company as an in-house agency

An agency within the same four walls as the client – You’re probably trying to figure out if this would be the perfect situation or a disaster waiting to happen. We in-house agency folk lean more toward the perfect situation side of the spectrum, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t opportunities for improvement. Here are four client comments we often hear, along with tips on how to overcome these comments and define your agency’s role within your organization.


  1. “Wait, we have an in-house agency?”


A lot of our colleagues are unaware that we are here for them. It often feels like an uphill battle trying to overcome the lack of awareness in the office, but arguably the most rewarding payoff as an in-house agency is when our colleagues recognize us as creative consultants.


Tip:  Create a deck to introduce your team and your services to each department. Ask for a 30-minute meeting to introduce your team, better yet invite them to lunch – no one can say no to lunch.


After a client recognizes your services and receives quality work they will never forget your value, which leads to the next issue:


  1. “What do you even do again?”


So you’re clients know you exist, better yet they know you’re good – but what are you good at?

Tip: Employees know that you cover a lot of bases, so depending on the mix of proficiencies on your team, everything from booking dinner reservations to contacting the media could be asked of you. A simple solution to this problem is creating a guide to your services to be distributed to all employees.


  1. “Can you have this done tomorrow?”


Once you’ve established trust with your clients, they begin to act as if you are wearing a cape around the office. Of course you like to save the day when you can, but sometimes, competing deadlines and a long work queue means it just isn’t plausible for something to be done on such a short deadline.


Tip: Educating clients on the amount of time needed for the creative process is a tricky battle, but open communication is key. For example, we have a list of standard turn times that we distribute to each of our clients so they know what to expect – and what it’s reasonable to ask for. More importantly, practice makes perfect. After working with you for a while, clients begin to gain an understanding of how long the creative process really takes.


  1. “I’ll get that to you tomorrow. You understand how hectic everything is around here, right?”


Of course we understand. Let us help make things less hectic. Give us the information needed to complete the project, and we’ll do the rest!


Tip: Encourage departments to invite you to initial brainstorm meetings. By including you in the conversation right from the beginning, they will save themselves a lot of time in the long run.