So, you have decided to put all your proverbial digital marketing outsourcing “eggs” in the offshoring basket. Still, you are wary of buying a lemon.
You have done your research, factoring in the cost and talent benefits, and sought out prospective offshore digital marketing partners but are wary of the problems associated with the offshoring model.
Like every facet of life and product/service on the global market, this one has pros and cons, too!
And like every well-informed consumer, you’d like to know the exact instances when digital marketing offshoring has been known to fail so that you know what NOT to do and how to prepare yourself for pitfalls BEFORE they arise!
We at Mavlers are dedicated to equipping you with the best and the truest knowledge out there so that you can make the best outsourcing decision. With twelve-plus years of experience catering to 700+ global agencies, we have had our hits and misses.
This blog aims to empower you with all the potential fails of partnering with an offshore digital marketing agency and how to fix those chinks in the armor before you decide to take the final plunge!
Both the agency and its offshore partner have a role to play in the success or failure of an offshoring venture. We contacted our offshoring experts, Jaymin Bhuptani and Nital Shah, to give you the inside scoop on the major reasons why offshore outsourcing ventures sometimes miss the mark!
Check out the list of epic fails and possible solutions so that you can steer clear of them!
- Offshore outsourcing stuff that should be kept in-house or outsourced to local agencies/freelancers
- Not choosing the right offshore digital marketing partner
- Collaboration breakdown arising from a lack of buy-in within your organization
- Breakdown in communication!
- What can I do to make my offshoring venture successful?
Yes, dear fellow agency owner/marketer, that will be you chilling at home by the end of the week instead of being regretful about those near misses! Stay tuned! 😉
Epic Fail 1 ~ Offshore outsourcing stuff that should be kept in-house or outsourced to local agencies/freelancers.
The first reason for an epic fail or a recipe for disaster that our CEO, Jaymin Bhuptani, quickly emphasizes is outsourcing segments of your digital marketing requirements that require a distinct local flavor and a deeper understanding of the cultural nuances that come with it.
He is kind enough to illustrate the situation with a plausible example.
“Suppose you run a haute couture ensemble boutique in the heart of Paris and seek to offshore outsource your social media or design requirements to an agency in India or the Philippines. You will now expect their designers to create design files or social media images replicating what you probably have in mind. Now, that might not always be the case because the nature of the task demands familiarity with the nuances of the Parisian fashion industry and understanding the differences between pret a porter and haute couture.
In multiple cases, we have seen such projects falling apart like a house of cards even when both the parties might have the best intentions at heart.”
Solution ~ It is extremely important to seek clarity on the tactical digital marketing tasks best handled in-house or outsourced to local agencies/freelancers and those that can be catered to by offshore agencies. You can read more about this in our blog titled, “What to outsource to an offshore agency and what not to?”
Epic Fail 2 ~ Not choosing the right offshore digital marketing partner
Well, this one very well has the potential to make you and your marketing team go,” Ouch!!!”
Doesn’t sound like fun?! It surely isn’t!
Solution ~ When you are mystery shopping for the perfect offshore digital marketing partner, check for certain giveaways;
- See how responsive their sales team members are
- Are they salesy in their approach and eager to make you sign across the dotted line?
- Or are they genuinely interested in understanding your pain point and offering solutions within their prerogative?
- Do they have the capability and the tech stack to meet your requirements?
- Do they let you speak with their Subject Matter Experts?
- Are references speaking highly of them?
- What are the reviews on GlassDoor saying about them?
- Does their company culture align with yours?
- Are they willing to work in your time zones?
While this list is indicative and definitely not exhaustive, you can read more about making the right choice when choosing an offshore digital marketing partner.
Epic Fail 3 ~ Collaboration breakdown arising from a lack of buy-in within your organization
While your senior-level management might be super excited about going the offshore outsourcing way, your team members might not be on the same page. This lack of internal buy-in and the not-so-perfect partner agency can be the ingredients of a Christmas cake that’s not perfectly done!
Solution ~ While the innermost and sincerest wish of every C-level executive is to make the offshoring venture work because of obvious profitability advantages for their business, there must be adequate buy-in from all team members and not just the ones at the top!
Much like any relationship, as any agency owner, you need to understand that you are not just hiring another faceless vendor but an agency that runs on people’s power just like yours. Mutual efforts involving consistent communication and clarity on the scope of work can be a major make or mar factor.
It is important to help your team understand the benefits of offshore outsourcing tactical tasks. This will, in turn, empower them to make more strategic decisions instead of being tied down with tactical tasks that have now been fruitfully outsourced! That is how you can slowly but surely get your team members’ buy-in!
Epic Fail 4 ~ Breakdown in communication!
Yep! This one hurts and really bad, if we may dare to say!
Effective communication IS the real make-or-break factor that can either have you laughing your way to the bank or crying in the corner over wasted efforts and dough!
Solution: ~ Jaymin Bhuptani suggests, “As an agency owner, you need to understand that your offshoring partner probably comes from a different country culture, might follow a different way of working, and lives in a different time zone. Therefore, ensuring effective communication is critical to the success of your offshoring venture.”
The involved parties must make consistent, sincere, ongoing efforts to ensure seamless communication and regular feedback. You also need to convey to your current or prospective offshore partner your communication non-negotiables, such as highlighting your preferred mode and channels of communication, for instance, email, Slack, Skype, etc.
You can either find an offshore partner comfortable with accommodating your communication fundamental needs and expectations or train your existing partner to live up to those!
How do I make my offshoring venture successful?!
The answer lies in the power of the three C’s, namely Clarity, Collaboration, and Communication!
Ensure utmost clarity on what to outsource and what not to. Also, familiarizing yourself with the capabilities and limitations of your offshore partner, this seemingly simple step, can help you avoid a lot of disappointment and monetary loss at the end of the project.
Get the requisite buy-in of your team members and treat your vendor resources with equal respect, compassion, and professionalism. This will require a lot of effort from both parties, quite similar to those involved in onboarding a new employee!
Effective and proactive communication remains the backbone of every successful offshoring venture. Invest in the right communication channels and ensure that your partner is on the same page as you regarding the communication modes, documentation, timings, and feedback schedule.
Any delays should be proactively brought up to avoid any inconvenience.
Here’s a ready reference table to help you run a tight ship the next time you outsource your digital marketing requirements offshore.
So cool! What now?
Now that you are equipped with the potential potholes and pitfalls associated with offshore outsourcing, you might want to read our guide on insourcing versus outsourcing to make the right decision for your firm!