It’s Your Year—Your Decade!

Every time I write one of these year-end posts, I want to boldly declare it the year of the in-house agency. As we step from 2019 into 2020, I’m glad I never used that descriptor because it’s actually been the decade of the in-house agency.

Our research shows that the penetration of in-house agencies has increased by 71% over the past 11 years. And, throughout that time, the IHAF community has grown by 200%. So, as December winds down, let’s look back at what made this an instrumental year, wrapping an influential decade for in-house agencies.

Lessons from the Leaders. We began 2019 talking about what it takes to achieve peak performance at the IHAF Leadership Summit in Chicago. With an enthusiastic audience of 100 in-house agency leaders, executives from Bloomberg, Experian, IBM and McDonald’s shared their strategies for organizational and operational success. For a replay of lessons learned, visit page 2 of our past presentations, then scroll down to find “Leadership Summit” in the listings.

Breaking Through by Breaking Free. Our In-House Agency Roundtable series came next. IHAF toured the country with industry expert Marta Stiglin, as she facilitated group discussions on what it means to breakthrough by breaking free of the confines of how we work today—with inspiration from in-house agencies who do things differently and, in turn, do things better. Here’s a recap of the series.

Redefining the In-House Agency. Research is a cornerstone of our member offering. Our 2019 study, Redefining the In-House Agency, explores the cultural nuances that impact performance and practice in house—with added perspective from external agencies and client-side marketers. Fielded in partnership with Forrester Research, 368 companies participated. Why should in-house agencies redefine themselves? Download our report and find out.

In-House Accolades. For over a decade, IHAF has celebrated creative excellence and team performance through the IHAF Awards. This year’s In-House Creativity Awards featured 115 winners from over 700 submissions across nearly 40 print and digital categories. The Coca-Cola Company emerged as Best of Show while The Clorox Company’s Electro Creative Workshop was named In-House Agency of the Year.

Future Proofing Your Team. Our late-fall conference centered on the strategies and skills in-house agencies need to be ready and resilient in the future. We were inspired by Hallmark, intrigued by Orvis, and info-tained by Dropbox. Our Skills Labs offered deeper learning on topics from agile to presenting your work. Keynotes and select labs are available for members to download. And, if you’re not a member, our highlights reel offers a taste of what you’re missing (and why you should join us).

A Connected Community. For the past decade and throughout 2019, we’ve helped our members connect in ways that don’t exist anywhere else. A connected community with countless opportunities to listen and learn from one another. From assorted events to our member directory to our private LinkedIn group, the benefits that go along with being an IHAF member truly are immeasurable.

We’re pleased to continue supporting the in-house agency community. And, we thank all of our members for sharing with us—you have made IHAF what it is today through your participation and contribution all year long. 

From all of us here at IHAF, have a safe and joyful holiday season. We look forward to working with you, celebrating with you and supporting you throughout the new year, and beyond.

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