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In-house marketing agencies are gaining momentum. What should agencies do?

IT-Agency has worked in digital marketing for 17 years, most often with large and medium-sized businesses. Clients such as Yandex. Praktikum, PIK-Remont, and Mango Insurance want to spin campaigns and achieve specific business goals. We combine marketing with management and sales so that, as a result, the customer gets a working system with transparent processes and metrics.

Develop fundamentally new services

Let’s compare the requests that came to us before, during, and after the pandemic. The dynamics are apparent: companies want to accumulate knowledge and skills inside, not from external experts. There are many advantages to this for business. For example, in-house marketing specialists are already as immersed in the product as possible, so in the long term, they are cheaper.

In addition, requests of a new type began to arrive, which can be described as “help me figure it out”:

  • “We do not have time to grow as fast as we promised investors, but we still have some time left. Please help us to be on time. “
  • “We put out a great product, got good reviews, but we feel that sales can be even better. What can be done?”.
  • “We make a product, we see a problem with sales, but we can’t pinpoint the exact cause.  

Below we will tell you which services became especially in demand last year.  

Serve as mentors for CEOs and CMOS

One option when you need a mentor is the hiring problem. Competent and experienced managers feel great in their current place of work. For the transition to a new company, they want a salary increase, often in an amount that does not beat the employer’s economy.

A tricky but working solution to the problem is to nurture leaders internally. For example, promote a senior marketing manager to CMO. Previously, a person was responsible for one area in marketing, and now – for all marketing and its relationship with sales. Of course, adapting to new areas of responsibility will also take time. For the company to get the result more reliably and faster, an external expert is involved in helping the manager.

The agency has several projects where our leading product marketing manager Grisha Orlov mentors. Together with the full-time manager, he makes tracks by goals: staging, decomposition by teams, business tracking. They work in four hands-on tasks: creating media plans, developing a strategy, setting up analytics, setting up and testing advertising campaigns, generating and prioritizing hypotheses.

For the company, pumping its people through the agency is beneficial because employees’ salaries do not grow as much as their bottom line.

An external expert does not change anything within the client’s business. He advises: offers solutions based on his experience and supports under challenging times. The leader gets a better view of the big picture, and then he acts based on the resources and limitations of his team.

Provide external CMOS while hiring a full-time employee

Finding and onboarding a new CMO can take three or six months. When our specialist performs, for example, the role of marketing director, he builds processes in the client’s team according to our standards. The project is developing, and hiring a full-time director is going on in parallel.

An agency expert evaluates the work of the company’s employees and how the completed tasks coincide with the plan. As a result, the business manager gets the whole picture and can conclude: hire more people, fire someone, train someone. For example, in the project for PIK-Repair, company executives saw in concrete figures that they needed a new sales manager because the previous one could not cope.

One of the tasks of the interim leader is to establish analytics and build infrastructure. If something breaks down on the client’s side, it will be immediately apparent what the problem is and how to fix it.

Advise tender committees

To choose not the cheapest but the most suitable performer in the tender. The CMO can bring in a disinterested external expert.

For example, the Essentuki brand asked us to help choose a contractor for online advertising. We helped draw up the terms of reference and develop criteria for evaluating candidates, participated in interviews, and gave our recommendations.  

Coordinate complex projects as an external project

On the one hand, our specialist understands what goals and KPIs are needed for the client’s business. On the other hand, he has the experience to outline an action plan and ensure that the contractor’s employees have understood everything correctly and are not lagging behind the work schedule. At the same time, our contract contains motivation tied to reaching the set indicators.

For example, we helped VkusVill keep the traffic during the redesign and launch the new website on time. To do this, we coordinated the work of three teams: one was responsible for the old site, the other for the new one, and we were responsible for traffic and the overall result.

The scheme of interaction of our specialists with the customer and contractors on the project. Result: a new website was released without losing traffic precisely on time


The demand for direct performers is not going anywhere. Companies have hired and will continue to hire agencies to manage advertising, content marketing, and other activities.

 To build all marketing internally at the expense of in-house marketing specialists. For such companies, agencies may not provide teams of middle and June but expert consultants who will strengthen the client’s internal team.

To have this expertise, agencies develop strong leaders (group heads). Specialists understand certain aspects of marketing and build a robust marketing system, leading the client’s team.

There is a potential problem with raising executives internally: Cool group heads hit the ceiling in agencies and go to the client’s side. To avoid this, we at IT-Agency have implemented a system of long-term development and distribution of shares.

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