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  • Writer's picturePablo Montenegro

Is your company ready to have its own 'In-House' advertising?

This almost always happens: in a company meeting where certain 'annoyances' With the agencies they have worked with, someone jumps in with the brilliant idea "What if we make our own In-House?"...everyone turns to look and are tempted by the first sensation of being able to have control total of the creatives and at the same time do what they always wanted to do with the layout on a silver platter.

This is not a lie, on two occasions I have had the opportunity to validate that this happens, then a couple of weeks pass, to water with creating the 'in-house' ;.

And everyone starts off excited, mainly the marketing manager because of the feeling of having their own playground at hand without considering (due to lack of experience) what it entails creating an advertising and design department.

3 expenses to consider when starting your own 'in-house' department

1) Equipment:

The equipment used by a creative-designer is usually very demanding so that he can function properly on a day-to-day basis. From a computer with good capacity (Q18,000), a drawing tablet (Q2,000), UPS (super important).

2) Licenses (Monthly)

They are extremely important and necessary: Shutterstock $99 monthly, Adobe Suite $39.99 (per person), Cloud $9.99, Other Assets $19

3) Forms...

Remember that when you have someone sitting inside your offices working, you are creating...whether you want it or have a contract with them or not...a LABOR LIABILITY, so considers a fixed salary for a Jr of Q6,000 and for a Sr Q12,000, plus IGSS, plus the percentage of Reserve for settlements, bonuses and annual bonuses.

This is one of the expenses that is not considered and is very delicate, since there are intrinsic risks when assuming employer responsibilities with one or more people.

Planning startup expenses, monthly expenses, equipment depreciation and projection of labor liabilities is the first thing you should do before jumping into the water with your department.

Not everything is money! It is also a lot of experience. (Ask yourself these questions)

These questions will help you determine if you and the company are prepared to receive talent, educate them and guide them on their new path:

Who is prepared to assume responsibilities of the In-House Department?

Remember that you are going to have to dedicate time to correct, give feedback and accept any errors that come from the department, since at the end of the day... you suggested creating it. When you have more personnel in your charge, you have to take responsibility for their results, that is why the most important thing in this question is that you have defined the communication objectives of the company, the department and generate the KPI's with the that you will measure them.

Hiring a person with experience in managing creative personnel is of utmost importance, choose carefully based on the person's experience but above all, look for ATTITUDE, a pro-active and purposeful person (in difficult times you will appreciate having someone on your team like that)

Do you have enough experience to see as a whole the aspects covered by advertising and marketing?

In an advertising agency it is very common for people who work within them to get involved with bosses and seniors with a lot of experience in terms of graphic design, use of media, applications in different formats, use of words and images free of legal commitments, delivery times to suppliers, effective creativity and above context, investments in guidelines and budgets, etc.

This question is key, since the synergy that is generated within an agency usually has an average of 15-25 years of experience in the medium (if not more), and you should consider if your level of experience You will be able to lead a department that is responsible for placing the company it represents on a map through your guide.

One of the benefits of working with agencies is that you will obtain talent that polishes themselves every day to generate value for your brand and company. The Agency Creative Designer is formed in an ecosystem with a broader worldview beyond the business sector in which you work, thus providing the necessary seasoning with different perspectives.

Surround yourself with people who are in the middle and who have been there longer than you, this will allow you to have insights on how to solve the most common problems. Read articles and books related to the management of creative personnel, festivals like Cannes have a lot of material to learn where you can educate yourself.

The chicken and the chart

When you have this department it is important that you know that everyone is going to want to "take advantage of it", by which we mean that you will probably have HR requesting graphic material, events or anything else that facilitates their communication, likewise You will have the Boss asking for his presentations to be able to communicate, also management demanding campaign results...

and so on a chain of all of us who require some creativity, but STOP! The 'In-house' It should not fulfill anyone's wish at any time, so you must prepare the plans:

· Process manual for Arts/Campaigns Request

· Objectives of the Department: what the department is specifically intended for

· Organization chart: Who do creatives receive orders from?

· Limitations of the department

· Use of Department resources

· Adequate communication of the objectives of its creation

Remember the most valuable thing in the department is time, since it is the asset by which the agency business works, not selling arts or billboards...they sell time; so take care of it and protect it from work that really does not bring value to the brand's communication.

"Having your In-house is not unreasonable, but it takes time, dedication and preparation to be able to get it up and running, maintain it and, above all, for your team. be motivated"


✅ THE GOOD: It is a team fully committed to your company, it has a more complete understanding of the brand because it is immersed in it daily. You can trust this team at any time, as they will constantly come up with new strategies to achieve renewed goals.

⚠️ REGULAR: It is challenging to expand abruptly, as it implies the need to hire and train a greater number of people to create the content you need.

🚫 THE BAD: Individuals with creative and analytical profiles share a fundamental characteristic: the constant search for challenges, diversity and experimentation. This could result in high staff turnover, with the resulting risk of unfinished projects and the need for ongoing training.


Remember, first keep in mind the costs that maintaining this department and your valuable time providing feedback will represent for the company. Remember that the greater the assets...the greater the responsibilities.

Surround yourself with people with experience in managing creative departments to soak up solutions that can help you in the future.

I want to know your thoughts:

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