Retailers Bring Digital Skills In-House

by Chelsea Blacker on 13/10/2011

Generation R: Employees who survived recession cuts and took on more responsibility quickly as teams were slimmed down.

As surviving retailers are coming out the other side of this recession, they’re not looking to hire back their old staff. Instead, there is an increasing trend for retailers to take on their own in-house digital teams rather than outsource to agencies, says Carlie Newman of Major Players in Digital Professional’s June 2011 Edition.In House Outsourcing Digital Agency

Why would this be? Apparently, online retailers believe the benefits of being “highly autonomous from agencies” and more beneficial in the long run. The skills they are looking to hire aren’t just specialist in one digital area, but those with a comprehensive understanding of the multi-channel marketing mix, with strong communication skills.

I too have seen this trend towards building up in-house teams, like Newman says. It may be right for some, but it’s not accurate for all. Digital retailers in a range of niches are aware they work within a “bubble” which does not accurately reflect the wider digital environment, and agencies are a great way to comprehend the lay of the larger land.

Hiring an outside agency for consultancy, even if they already have an in-house team, will mean the culmination of insights from a range of industries. Agencies are also full of experienced consultants, who can provide new insights in a way a in-house graduate team probably wont come up with. Lastly, especially in agencies offering more than one service, it’s amazing to get an integrated opinion which covers channels an in-house team may not be that experienced in.

I enjoyed reading this Search Engine Watch article about the benefits of working on in-house vs agency side.

What are you thoughts on sites taking digital skills in house? Have you been part of that shift? Any benefits or cons you’d like to add?

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