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In-house Management

versus Management
Module III

Why a Sense of Skepticism and Unease

Towards Management Consultants
5 Pros and Cons
1. Specialized - you can get the best
2. Personal attention from a senior practitioner
3. Each campaign treated uniquely
4. Holistic view - consultant is intimately aware of all
aspects of the campaign
5. Relationship - its easier to form a long term
relationship with the owner/operator than an
account rep that may change jobs

Specialized - yet another vendor to manage
Has to wear many hats (eat what they kill)
Physical limitations on number of clients that can
be serviced
Can be more expensive per hour
Limited in the number of things that can be done

Cost versus Value of Advice: What can big

companies do today? Organize. Hire an in house
search specialist or project manager, who should be
a strong communicator along with a strong
understanding of SEO

Establish an internal team may include

Person from technology
Editorial/content production
Product development
Strategic planning
Then analyze the data and the roles,- the
goal is to not
become beholden consultants. Lastly,

When to seek outside help?

For a core competency outside your
department. If you do not have the time
and resources, a buy in from the top, it is
not worth the time to bring in a consultant
or imbedded There has to be a
strong commitment from
leadership to perform.

There are 3 options that should

be considered to be the best
model for the company.

All outsourced (what most people do)

Hybrid, and all in house.
People have started to think along the lines of I
can build a great team for the $2 million that I am
spending on Project Management
This is a growing problem for agencies that need
to provide value
Another question to consider: is the current
model working?

What is the culture? Will vendors fit in, and how

are they managed? For the execution, ask what is
the labor resource required? What are customized
toolsdo we need something custom?
For cost efficiency, What is the total cost of each
program? What are the barriers to implementation
and what will the costs be to overcome them? In
measuring/predicting time and success,, he feels
that in the end some form of hybrid marketing will
You can do well completely in house, especially
for the low-hanging fruit

Then there are more advanced things that may

require help such as architectural issues and more
advanced coding problems.
So, if you are going with completely in house: spend
time at conferences, understand you market share.
What are you getting versus what your competitors
are getting.
Completely outsourced: It is nice to have
someone to assign the work to, but you
still need to remain educated, in order to
not go in the wrong directions. Remember
that you will also have to guide the
consultant, especially for keyword
selection and copywriting, as well as link

The larger the company the more

complex the politics, usually.
What are the questions to figure out before hiring
someone? What is the staff t- client ratio?
What is the employee turnover rate?
What is the level of customization? What is
the standard deliverable, and what will
cost extra? How does process, training,
and on boarding work? Lastly: Meet
your team. At the end of the day it is
about the people who are working with
your business.

Share data. It may take longer to

become comfortable with sharing
sensitive data, but when you can,
it will improve performance.
Invest in learning, and plan for
long term gains. Reward success
structure something in the
contract to give agency extra
based on performance. Push for
innovation and exceptional

Summary of the pros and cons

of being in-house:

Pros: Strong connection to the product / service offering

and in depth understanding of the industry and top
Concentrated focus on servicing just one client instead of
balancing the needs of multiple clients.
It may be less expensive to maintain internal resources,
depending on the size and experience of the team.
Timely and complete access to forecasts, sales data,
inventory, etc.
Better integration and coordination with other internal
departments, including: marketing, merchandising, IT,
and finance.

Cons to being in house:

Many of the best consultants are extremely competitive

individuals, yet internal positions do not usually foster this
competitive spirit.
There is often a sense of boredom and eventual lack of
motivation that comes with continually working on the same
site as opposed to new challenges and opportunities.
As part of a small internal team there is often a lack of informal
learning opportunities which inhibits professional growth and
the ability to deliver in a rapidly changing environment.
With a single in house resource, you will be constrained to a
single set of strategies, as opposed to best of breed solutions
that result from an integrated team approach.

Professionals are rarely equally trained or

experienced in both organic optimization
and paid search marketing
You may be sacrificing by relying on one
resource or investing in a larger team. It is
often difficult to drive organizational
change from within.
External resources are needed to justify
priorities, directional change, and budgets.

At the moment across the ecosystem

there does not seem to be a single
model that is totally dominant. We
have some web analytics teams in
companies that are all in-house. We
have a whole bunch that are sort of
a hybrid, some work done in-house
but most of the work done by
individual outside Consultants or via
one of the larger web analytics
consulting Companies. There are
fewer completely out-sourced
models for some reason.

So here is a framework to think through

of the journey and some characteristics

Stage One: Birth

What does it look like?
You have nothing, no web analytics
implementation or a really new one.
You are just getting started but have
some support from management.
What do you need?
1) Web analytics tools
2) Show promise from data and
convert the masses.

What is your role?

1) Find the most senior person
who owns your company policies
and assign them the
accountability for deliverables.
2) Dont expect perfection and
dont pick the most expensive tool
and dont pay the consultant lots
and lots of money upfront (youll
do that later).
3) Ask to speak to a client that the
consultant has recently lost.

What is the consultants expected

1) Talk to the client owner a lot and
some data consumers.
2) Help you find and implement the
best fit first tool fast. (Suggested
vendor selection process.)
3) Teach you not to make mistakes
all their other clients make.
4) Do lots of training sessions and
dog and pony shows around your
company (makes you look good and
shows promise of whats possible).

What should you be careful about?

Most of what will be done in this stage
will be thrown away later, and it is ok.
Make sure you set that expectation
with your internal company customers /
partners. As your first phase targets
choose people who have data affinity
and your friends (so theyll stick with
you through the birthing pains), most
definitely dont over-stretch and give
500 people login accounts to your new
web analytics application.
What do you pay consultants?
Small dollars, more frequently.

Stage Two: Toddler to Early

What does it look like?
You have won over a few converts, the
consultants are pumping in reports that
people are using and you are drowning in
questions, some people have started to
complain about the fact that they dont
know what action to take, the VP of
Marketingis wondering why we keep
changing the site but the analytics tool is
not telling them why conversion rate is

What do you need?

1) Consider hiring a Web Analyst to be the
in-house resident expert, someone wholl
collect tribal knowledge and be on the beck
and call of the VP.
2) Customized solutions for your business
(because you have realized you are unique
and standardized KPIs from books dont
apply to you).
3) You will find lots of data is missing and
the tags are not right so you will need a
massive effort to update your tags and
collect new data (say site structure, site
outcome details, new cookies/parameters,
campaign meta data etc).

What is your role?

1) Help fill the Analyst position as
soon as you can (look for acumen,
curiosity and simple web smarts).
2) Have the consultant spend a lot of
time on the problem talking to the
people who run your businesses.
3) Find out what the financial goals
are for the project or problem, look
for benchmarks, find out how the
success of others channels is being
measured .

What is the consultants expected

1) Really understand your business
and your business success criteria
and bring their business acumen to
the table (vs. tool expertise in Stage
2) Create those aforementioned
customized solutions that incorporate
core financial or other goals for key
metrics to show real success.

3) Help you put standards in place

to capture meta-data that you
need to do optimal analysis (meta
data round campaigns, products,
website customers etc). The
consultant has to help you nail all
the data problems (either missing
data or bad data) in this stage.
4) Teach you how to do reporting
for yourself.

What should you be careful about?

This is a very painful stage for you, the
client. There is more data than you can
digest and yet it means little. Be patient,
practice zen. You very deliberately want
to bring reporting in-house now mostly
because it will be cheaper for you to do
(and a great way to train your Analyst)
and you really want to focus the
consultant on doing true and powerful
analysis (and teaching you that as you
move from toddler to a teen).
What do you pay consultants?
Medium sized dollars, less frequently.

Stage Three: The Wild

What does itYouth
look like?
Problems and analysis rule the
roost. Your conversion rate (or
Problem Resolution Rate for support
sites) has doubled from 1% to 2%.
Your decision makers have realized
that Path Analysis is a waste of time.
You have extracted all you can from
your data Analytics tool.

What do you need?

1)Experimentation and Testing
expertise, to realize you are wrong
about what your customers want.
2) You need to start moving into
collecting Qualitative data (for
example surveys).
3)Help creating a strategy that
would integrate all the new pieces
of data you will capture.

What is your role?

1) Expand your team in the
company to get other bright
people involved on problem and
solution analysis.
2) Identify decision makers who
get Customer Centric Decision
Making and cozy up to them
(youll need their sponsorship / air
cover / money).

What is the consultants expected

1) Bring tools and expertise to the
table for these new things you
know nothing about.
2) Knowledge transfer (because
soon the general ideas wont bear
huge fruits and youll have to bring
business expertise to the table)
and implementing best practices.

3) Help you integrate your various data

sources so that you can do analysis for
survey responses or figure our multichannel impact of your experiments/tests.
What should you be careful about?
Start with modest goals and dont
underestimate the immense resistance
youll get from your company culture. It is
very hard for companies to truly have a
customer centric mindset and at very
step you should be prepared to massage
egos and re-frame things so that they let
you bring customer voice to the table and
not just kill it because of their opinions.

Create case studies when you do

a great test or find out a huge
nugget of information via the
Research work.(it will pay you
back big).
What do you pay consultants?
Big sized dollars, a bit initially and then
only periodically.

Stage Four: Maturity

What does it look like?
You have truly implemented
something akin to the Trinity.You
dont have enough people to do
the analysis work.

What do you need?

1) New and different ways to capture data.
2) More people.
3)Create self sustaining processes that
feed active decision making.
4) Maybe another challenge! : )
What is your role?
1) Chief Cheerleader.
2) Find the right talent.
3) Find Insights from Six Sigma and
Process Excellence (books maybe).
4) Truly consultants who really dont do
much work except come talk to you and
give you ideas.

What is the consultants expected role?

1) For the new technologies you are
trying you will need help in
understanding themandinstrumenting
new ways of capturing data.
2) Bring truly radical outside
perspectives (that a select few
consultants in the world have) that will
both energize you but also help influence
strategy (vs. KPIs or page design).

What should you be careful about?

You are going to be in very rarefied air, make sure
your organization has the appetite for risk and
they back you. You will make more mistakes here
(but you will also win big), be prepared for it and
make sure that that is ok. Ensure that you dont go
so process crazy that people have meetings and
do graphs just for the sake of process meetings
(this happens all the time). Your personal job is to
motivate your team
(analytics/research/web/whatever) and keep the
organization on the right track time and people

What do you pay consultants?

Hugesized dollars,infrequently.
Its that simple.
There are many great
consultants / consulting
companies.Some of them have
different sizes and specialties but
they allknow what they are

Future trends

The numbers of both in-house and agency will

decline; this drop will be partially countered by
growth in self-employed consultants.
An interesting uptick in the number of those "not
employed" in Induvidual advisers(IAs).
Considering how this number had steadily
declined, this is somewhat surprising, but many
respondents indicated that they'd move into
management, broader work, or new activities
altogether. This is supported by predictions in
what portion of our jobs will be dedicated to IA in
the future. IA ain't the end-all-be all

Thank you