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Can Brands Live Without A Digital Agency? – Digital Gabe
Digital Gabe
Cutting Edge Commentary On All Things Media

Can Brands Live Without A Digital Agency?

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Earlier this year Bayer charted an audacious strategy to completely in-house all of its digital media operations by 2020.  Up until then Bayer had let their lead AOR Mediacom run digital, along with other marketing services.  But in a surprisingly smooth transition, Bayer just flipped the in-housing switch earlier than planned.

So how did they do it?  The key was a strategic partnership with a digital marketing services vendor called MightyHive.  The contract was set up as an “attrition model,” where MightyHive would take people off the Bayer business as the client built up its own staff.  During the transition period MightyHive helped Bayer set up a DMP, onboard a DSP, ink publisher-direct PMPs, and get their tracking tag vendors in order.  Through this process Bayer started to acquire the intellectual know-how to successfully run a digital operation on their own.

The early results of Bayer’s pivot have been remarkable.  During just the first six weeks of going solo they’ve estimated to have saved $10M in agency and programmatic fees.  They’ve also started to transform their entire media mix to take advantage of their new programmatic chops.  In 2019 Bayer is spending 40% of its ad dollars digitally and 60% on television. However, next year Bayer’s digital spend will be higher than its TV spend.  Talk about a game-changer to a brand’s media strategy and entire bottom line!

Makes you wonder how many other clients may try to take digital media in-house over the next few years.


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