Com(ras)ing to a Close.

I was nearing the end of my great adventure into the wonderful world of in-house digital marketing. I’d spoken to some of the biggest names in the biz who had provided me with some big answers and big insights.

Comras poetry

For those of you who like their information bite-sized, in this piece I will summarise some of the main points that emerged from the project as well as highlighting the more interesting anomalies. Happy reading.

Moving in-house…

…does mean you still have to get your hands dirty

A popular preconception is that moving in-house means escaping the grisly bits of the job – the reporting and implementation. It doesn’t (sorry). Whilst there could be some outsourcing, you’ll often be moving into a small team with one or two people meaning it’s up to you or your colleague to get it done.

…doesn’t mean you’ll work shorter hours

Perhaps one of the biggest clichés doing the rounds in the digital marketing community – working in-house does not mean you will be clocking-off at 5pm. However, from those that I spoke to it does vary. Darren said he worked far longer hours now he is in-house and those that worked in fashion had to work fairly frantically. Ok, ok, aside from these guys the general consensus was that the hours were more manageable but often this came with costs in other areas.

…does mean you can diversify your skills. Sort of

A few of the people I spoke to recommended moving in-house as a way to diversify and broaden your digital marketing skills. This was pointed out fairly emphatically by Darren in particular but for those without his seniority this actually is not always the case. It’s more likely you will be a specialist in one discipline – most set ups bear more of a resemblance to agencies than you might think.

…doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll earn more

For this one we surveyed more than 20 people who have made the move from agency to in-house and interestingly, two of them took a pay-cut and one moved for the same money. Again it varies though with one lucky person receiving a 100% pay-rise. We knocked up a handy graph which you can take a look at here.

…does improve career progression (sometimes)

The consensus here was that in an agency career progression is slower. Reasons cited for this was that agencies have a progression ceiling because of how siloed they are and the difficulty of diversifying. I also heard that because of the job-hopping culture that exists it takes longer for agencies to put enough trust in you enough to promote you. That being said, in-house promotions do not always equate to the same level as agency with it depending on team size and discipline

In conclusion

So what have we learned folks? The truth is we have learned lots of different things from people with strong opinions and notably, often conflicting opinions. The reason for these conflicting opinions is that no two in-house companies are the same. They vary in size, structure, ethic, environment and direction. And this is what I have learned.

What does this mean? Well, one consistent opinion was shared by almost everybody I interviewed, expressed as a result of what I had learned above. This is that when considering a move in-house the most important thing to think about is whether you share the values of that company and their vision for the future.

That’s it folks, that’s the key. Maybe.



I make no apologies for all the puns and childish rhymes that were used in this series of blogs. Here’s a little round-up for those of you that are interested (I imagine that’s the vast majority).

Top Pun – Half a Mihalop the Google Tower (Andy Mihalop)

Smooth Pun – Put a Sokhan It (Anna Sokhan)

Too Easy –  Is Moving in-house just Peachy? (Jamie Peach)

That’s OK – I’m Loving Angel’s Instead (Richard Angel)

Ouch – Com(ras)ing to a Close (Matthew Comras)

That’s not a Pun – What’s Driving Bentley? (Darren Bentley)

And did anyone notice our beloved reporter appearing accidentally in the series? No? Here he is.

Matt reflection copy