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What is hybrid in-housing? Perhaps first, we should define in-housing.

In the corporate world, in-housing is the act of bringing a capability into your company that you were formerly outsourcing to an expert provider. More specifically in our field, the term refers to in-housing your creative work. According to IHAF, almost 80% of Fortune 500 companies have in-housed some or all of their creative activities.

An age old business maxim says that you should focus solely on your core business, and outsource the rest. However, in recent times brands around the world have begun to see all expressions of their brand, whether its video production or packaging design, as part of their core business. As media channels and social media platforms proliferate, never has brand been more important to the success of a company, particularly B2C businesses.

Increasingly, in-housing is viewed as a cost-efficiency measure to combat the opaque and expensive costs of working with top tier creative agencies. However, many companies who have overzealously in-housed all of their creative activities have quickly discovered that running your own internal agency is no simple task, particularly when it comes to hiring and retaining the best talent.

Enter hybrid in-housing. With the hybrid in-housing model, companies bring elements of the creative process (often brand strategy, brand identity, and content ideation) in-house, while leaning on expert external teams for execution. In many cases, companies hire a “production house of record” to cover all of their production and execution needs. This brings multiple benefits, including cost transparency, fast scaling, creative elevation, and consistent expression of their brand across all channels. We also term this approach as “decoupled production”, meaning that ideation is decoupled from execution.

Production is complex, and requires a huge range of skilled talent. For most brands it’s not practical to hold every role in-house, especially given the dynamic nature of production. In-house teams are inherently the most familiar with their company’s brand, so a hybrid in-housing model allows in-house teams to swing big and reach for their strategic north star, without getting bogged down in the details of execution. Additionally, working with a decoupled production shop will expose your team to talent and creative approaches that they may not have otherwise considered.

Finding the right production partner is crucial for long term success. Ideally, they should operate as an extension of your team, complementing your in-house skills. By gaining a deep understanding of your brand and how you work, the collaboration can render brilliant long term results.

If you’re curious about in-housing and have an eye on building towards a fully self sufficient in-house team, hybrid in-housing can be the perfect route to gradually move towards this goal, learning as you go and minimizing the chance of costly mistakes.

It’s crucial to find the right balance of what should be in-housed, and what should be delegated to a creative agency or production house. At MikeTeevee we have dedicated ourselves to helping companies to find that balance, bringing our global network of production talent to bear for our clients. We’d love to support you in building an effective in-house practice. Drop us a line.