Whenever you start reading analysis by an expert consultant who thinks a company like Pepsi is smart to create an in-house content (or other creative execution) agency for whatever reason, get ready for a trainwreck.
Pepsi’s in-house content people blew it. However, an agency could have, as easily, blown it. But here’s how it should work. In-house, there should be an expertise in the goals and missions of the company; the reasons a product exist.
The “out-source resource” should be the expert in how to develop a content strategy that will reach those goals and missions. They should be experts in the nunace of various types of media, like publishing or digital media.
From the first day of Hammock’s existence, we have told clients and potential ones: “You are the expert in your product, we are the experts in the message and media strategy that will help you sell more products and develop a deeper relationship with customers.”
The real problem is not whether content is better or cheaper if it comes from within an organization. The problem is that content that is developed to make the senior management of a company feel good about themselves (the Pepsi problem), will likely fail.
For more about why companies that focus on messages that please themselves are almost always wrong, read this post from 2014: RIP: Osmo Wiio