Digital marketing agency Croud is leaning in to the in-housing trend by launching a new-business division and platform to support brands.
Consulting and tech platform Serpico helps in-house digital marketers navigate complex tasks, such as tracking and targeting a consumer or programmatic buying and bidding.
Croud has invested £2m in the platform. Serpico is not to be confused with the whistleblowing New York detective portrayed by Al Pacino in 1973.
By using proprietary tech, Serpico operates as a client-facing software-as-a-service model. It has been named the first Google Marketing Platform partner in 2019. Formerly known as Doubleclick, the Google Marketing Platform is Google’s unified advertising and analytics platform that allows brands to buy and measure digital media campaigns.
Serpico audits and benchmarks an advertiser’s digital activity and provides prioritised recommendations to improve the performance of a digital campaign. It also includes monitoring and alert functions that are designed to prevent mistakes.
The threat of in-housing has preoccupied agencies as brands look to make savings and take greater control of digital media buying. Earlier this month, PepsiCo media director Josep Hernandez said the drinks giant was focusing on "upskilling" by building more digital-facing expertise in its marketing team, while Vodafone has taken all of its biddable digital media in-house.
Trust between advertisers and their media agencies fell to a two-year low last year, according to ID Comms.
Luke Smith, chief executive of Croud, said: "Being an in-house marketer is a fantastic job, but like any other role it has its challenges – from pressure on resource to a diversity of skills required to lack of automation – and this is why we’re launching Serpico.
"This is just the start – we will be launching the technology side of our platform over the coming months – allowing teams access to tools, technology and our network of talent to help develop their digital presence."