In-house vs. outsourcing fan data analysis – are you currently at the crossroads of having to choose between the two? That is, whether your sports organization should collect and analyze fan data yourself (do it in-house) or you should outsource it (let an agency do the job). There are three main challenges that outsourcing fan data analysis can bring about:
- No one knows your sports organization better than you - some of the knowledge you have in-house has taken years to accumulate and master. And this is something an agency simply cannot replicate. Sure, they can help you analyze your data, but can they really help you draw the necessary conclusions from that data? Or more importantly, give you the insights that truly matter for your sports organization in order to make the right decisions? No matter how much ongoing communication there is between you and your partner, there is simply never enough time for them to truly understand your business as well as you do. Moreover, it is also likely that you cannot share all of your business secrets with them. And as a result, your agency partner risks giving you limited, or worse, the wrong information about your fans. For example, instead of getting the right report in minutes, you get it whenever your consultant has time.
- Unclear return on investment (ROI) - relying on an agency to do the job for you can end up being costly. Consequently, your return on investment (ROI) is unclear. Even if you set a target for your ROI, it can be difficult to evaluate whether the agency you choose will deliver on it. As mentioned under challenge 1, an agency does not know enough about your business. So they can only rely on the information they have received from you. But then again, even with this information, a high or even just a slightly positive ROI can still not be guaranteed. Because your agency simply does not have enough information and understanding of your business to deliver on your ROI objectives.
- Exclusively outsourcing fan data analysis is a short-term solution in an ever-changing digital world - sports organizations need to rely on data in order to make informed decisions for their different marketing activities as well as their overall strategy. But this becomes limited when working with an agency instead of owning this process in-house. You risk getting outdated data and insights, since you’re not receiving your data insights in real-time from your outsourcing partner.
Being able to act in-house is a huge advantage. Because then you will be able to actually gain the necessary insights you need to be able to:
- Make informed and more accurate decisions – both for your marketing efforts as well as decisions affecting other parts of your sports organization.
- Receive full control over your data analysis – from collecting data to analyzing and acting on it.
- Receive improved results from your marketing efforts – such as increased ROI on your marketing campaigns.
- Help build digital specialisms internally and foster digital skill sets – enable your teammates to become digital specialists themselves and foster a mindset of working digitally in-house.
- Grow and scale – thanks to your employees becoming experts themselves, having internal specialism in-house will help your sports organization grow and scale.
- Increase creativity – thanks to internal specialism, the creativity among your employees will likely increase.
- Decreased cost – from not having to rely solely on an agency to do the job for you.
- Increase transparency – since your sports organization has control over the entire ecosystem and process of collecting and analyzing your fan data.
- Greater control over your brand strategy and execution by it
doing your fan data analysis in-house, you will be able to:
- Get actionable insights from your fan data much faster.
- Act on these insights quicker, such as targeting fans with relevant campaigns based on the insights you have received from your fan data.
- Measure your marketing effectiveness, since you are looking at and measuring the results from your marketing activities yourself.
How to start on your in-house journey
Alright, so how can you actually get started on your in-house journey? Here is a list that can help you get started on your journey.
- Talk to other sports organizations that are also on their in-housing journey – the more sports organizations you ask the better. And make sure to ask those who are early on this journey and who are doing some things in-house and outsourcing some, as well as those who are doing most of their activities in-house.
- Invest in the right technology – whether you are new to in-housing or on your way, having the right technology in place, such as a Sports CDP, is a pivotal enabler to executing your strategy and working data-driven.
- When exploring technologies that enable your in-house journey, make sure that the solution provider is specialized in sports. This will help you support your proposal to start working in-house instead of relying on outsourced partners.
- Ask for use cases – ask technology providers to present use cases and success stories.
- Leverage internal skillsets – you already have internal skillsets across different teams. So depending on which skill sets you have, you can then determine which parts should be in-house and which parts should be outsourced for now. Moreover, you can then build a timeline for progress if your goal is to eventually in-house all parts of your digital marketing strategy. So, build on partial skillsets that you see needed in order to achieve the goal set on this timeline.
If you follow these steps, you will soon enough find yourself well on your way to becoming more in-house driven.