Roundtable Recap: The More You Know

While not all in-house agencies are alike, they certainly have a lot in common! In fact, this year’s IHAF discussion group series—held weekly from May through early June—had us sharing common issues and some uncommon solutions, with members gaining insights from one another.

Each virtual discussion group centered on a different topic, all guided by experts from leading in-house agencies. We talked about what it takes to build a strategic planning capability, how to earn that coveted “seat at the table,” strategies for evolving stronger partnerships, and how to influence creative decision making.

If you missed any part of the series, we’ve got you covered. Below are highlights from each dynamic discussion. With over 100 members participating, all four conversations were rich with content.

Building a Strategic Planning Capability

There’s no doubt that Deloitte’s internal Green Dot Agency is a high-achieving team. That’s why we were thrilled to have leaders from their Strategy Center of Excellence (CoE) walk us through how they built this core competency. The three-years-young Strategy CoE impressed with a brief presentation and facilitated conversation, including a few key takeaways for their fellow in-housers:

• Focus on driving a more-cohesive brand experience across all lines of business, industries, products, services and company-wide thought leadership.

• Elevate the level at which your team operates, creating revenue opportunities driven by the in-house agency.

• Actively measure and promote the correlation between your marketing efforts and the impact they are having on building brand, driving revenue and deepening client relationships.

• Uniquely positioning your company within US markets will ultimately advance the brand globally.

• Capture the hearts and minds of business leadership and key stakeholders.

Interested in standing-up a strategic planning capability within your in-house agency? IHAF members can watch the Deloitte team’s recorded presentation here.

Earning a Seat at the Table

The Creative Center (C2) is the in-house agency at Charles Schwab. Founded by Schwab himself over 40 years ago, this talented team has skillfully kept pace with the ever-changing advertising and marketing marketplace while driving exponential growth in capabilities and headcount. In 2019, C2 launched a three-year plan to further its reputation within the company. With trust building as a core tenet of its advancement, here’s what C2 recommends to secure a seat at the table:

• Gain a realistic understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of your in-house agency.

• Identify your core competencies and focus on building them as central to your offering.

• Find like-minded partners; tap into their service offerings to complement your own.

• Resilience is key to the success of any in-house agency—be persistent in your pursuits, especially those that advance the skillsets on your team.

• Adopt an entrepreneurial mindset; take full advantage of the opportunities before you.

Looking to increase your team’s influence and ultimately secure a seat at the table? IHAF members can view the Charles Schwab presentation deck here.

Evolving Stronger Partnerships

State Farm’s Creative Services team prides itself on its strong alliances with business partners internally and externally. Over the years, this team has mastered the art of the relationship. Successfully shifting from order taker to trusted partner, driving efficiency in how work is executed, and effectively forecasting resources and skillsets, here’s what the team at State Farm had this to say:

• Become an expert in all aspects of your company’s business and your stakeholders.

• Establish a regular cadence of high-level planning meetings with key business partners.

• Stay on the cutting edge of the latest tools, technology, and creative solutions available to advertisers and marketers, evolving as the needs of the business evolve.

• Solicit feedback from your business partners often, then use that input to make adjustments.

• Always keep the lines of communication open, including using shared project-management tools to enable transparency.

Want to build stronger partnerships with your internal clients and business stakeholders? IHAF members can watch State Farm’s recorded presentation here.

Influencing Creative Decision Making

The power to influence creative decision making starts at the start of your creative presentation. In this popular session, we heard from Realogy on how to present your work with passion and persuasion. A necessity for all in-house professionals, this continues to be one of the leading topics of interest among our members. Check out a few of the tips we heard—worth considering before your next presentation:

• A creative presentation is a performance; find your voice, build your story and communicate clearly.

• Know your strengths and be true to yourself as you are sharing your work.

• Talk with your audience, not at them—presentation plus conversation enhances the experience.

• You need to make it pretty, but you also need to make it matter. Ensure that your work is relevant while also making it attractive.

• Breathe and be sure to smile as you are presenting your work. Show enthusiasm for your work—it just might make those you are presenting to be enthusiastic about it, too!

How effective is your team at influencing decisions that impact the creative product? How confident are you in your ability to influence? IHAF members can watch Realogy’s recorded presentation here.

Want to hear more? All four featured presentations from our 2022 discussion groups are available for IHAF members here. In the meantime, be sure to register for Uncensored, the upcoming IHAF Conference & Awards. Early-bird pricing is available to IHAF members now through August 31, 2022. Don’t miss it!

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