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local vendors vs offshore vendors

Offshore Agency vs Local Digital Marketing Vendors: Pros and Cons

Are you stuck in a loop trying to figure out the perfect outsourcing model for your agency? We are here to help you with just that: stay hooked!...

Time is money. Though this might seem quite cliched, the saying holds its weight worth in gold. As a marketer, you are privy to the amount of time spent on non-core processes; therefore, you are now willing to outsource to third parties.

The question is whether to seal the deal with local agencies or offshore vendors. You will have a role in making this crucial decision at some point. Your concerns may range from cutting costs to benefitting from better support and niche expertise in IT processes like web and app development.

We are a digital marketing company located offshore with twelve-plus years of experience in helping agencies like yours to make the right outsourcing decision. We are committed to give you the information you need to select the right outsourcing model for your needs. 

We have helped many businesses find the right outsourcing model for their specific needs. We want to do the same for you. Here’s what you stand to gain insight on;

  • Benefits of outsourcing to local vendors
  • When should you consider outsourcing to offshore digital marketing agencies?
  • Pointers to choose the right outsourcing model for your business

By the end of this blog, you will know which model is best for you and understand how it will impact your business goals. Stay tuned, amazing people!

When to outsource your services to local vendors

In simple terms, outsourcing refers to transferring the responsibility for non-core processes to third parties. You might want to outsource such tasks to local vendors in certain situations. Let’s look into some of the clear benefits of outsourcing your digital marketing needs to local vendors.

1. If you want to avoid cultural misalignment

Some projects focus on specific cultures or society groups. These projects need someone who understands the culture from the inside. While collaborating with offshore agencies, you might find certain cultural challenges or barriers. Some of these challenges include language barriers, diverse holidays, support issues across time zones, and variations in accent and tone. To understand these cultural differences better, let’s take a closer look at why and when local agencies might be a better choice.

  • When you hire a digital marketing agency in your country, they will understand the language and slang that your target audience uses. They will also be familiar with current events, idioms, history, society, and humor that your target audience can relate to. The agency will use this knowledge to improve your PPC ad campaigns or search campaigns. People from different cultures may not understand these aspects. It’s important to consider if your brand’s tone matches your unique culture. In that case, you would want someone who understands and lives in the same environment. 
  • If you don’t have a marketing person who can teach an offshore worker about your cultural preferences, it’s better to choose a local vendor. A local vendor understands how your customers behave and what they prefer. 

However, some digital marketing agencies from other countries also deal with these concerns. You should check with the offshore people you are considering working with to make sure they can do that.

2. Ensuring legal compliance and maintaining confidentiality of Government projects

A strong factor influencing a firm’s decision to choose an onshore or local vendor to meet its digital marketing needs is ensuring compliance with the statutory laws, bylines, and regulations of the land where the firm is located. 

For instance, the USA has a whole list of legal requirements that must be met before outsourcing to offshore vendors, such as,

  • Data Privacy: Ensuring compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).
  • Cybersecurity: Enforce cybersecurity regulations such as the NIST Cybersecurity Framework and other industry-specific standards.
  • Ensure sound legal and regulatory compliance of contractual obligations and agreements on deliverables, liabilities, responsibilities, and dispute resolution mechanisms.

Before choosing a vendor, it is important to consider the items listed above. It is recommended to select an onshore vendor who is familiar with the local laws. However, offshore agencies can also comply with legal requirements. Ultimately, the decision is yours to make.

Also, some Government projects are confidential and cannot be shipped to offshore agencies. In such cases, it makes sense to tie up with local/onshore vendors.

3. Your outsourcing needs are rare and of a short duration

If you only need to outsource occasionally or for short tasks, an onshore vendor may be the best choice. This is because working with an offshore vendor in these situations can take up a lot of time. 

4. For in-person meetings where niche expertise is required

Technology has grown quickly, and communication is faster and more efficient. But meeting in person is still the best, even in today’s digital world. Some parts of your requirements need a deep understanding of your business. For those projects, it’s smart to focus on local agencies you can meet and work with in real time. This also helps clients who want to know the people working on their campaigns.

5. The costing works out similarly to that in offshoring

Business owners often partner with offshore agencies because they have lower labor costs. But if you find a local digital marketing agency that offers expert services at similar prices, you may want to outsource your needs to them. This allows you to focus on more important core competencies that require your full attention. We did the research for you. You can compare the prices of digital marketing services from local vendors and offshore locations. This can help you make an informed decision.

Digital Marketing Pricing by Location

Source

When to outsource to offshore digital marketing agencies

Let’s now delve into situations and factors for which outsourcing to offshore agencies could be a better choice.

1. Profitability is your major goal

Companies prioritize cost when outsourcing their IT needs. You can access highly skilled talent at lower costs by partnering with agencies in countries like India, China, and the Philippines. These countries have lower costs of living. Consequently, remuneration is on the lower end. 

If you’re looking for a mix of skilled talent and affordability, it’s wise to invest in offshore agencies based in India, Vietnam, the Philippines, and similar countries.

2. When local agencies do not have niche talent

Sometimes, the local area might not have experts or resources for the services you need. Even if they are available, they might be expensive. This is why offshore outsourcing is a profitable option. 

Consider these statistics: 

Countries like India, China, Ukraine, and Vietnam have a large pool of skilled and tech-savvy professionals and agencies. The majority (56%) of resourceful young professionals (20-29 years) are in Vietnam. Also, according to Ernst & Young, “India’s services export stood at US$157b in the fiscal year 2021-22 comprising US$106b of IT services.”

3. Make use of extended work hours

If you’d like your business processes to run smoothly even when the sun sets in your locality, offshoring might be a good option for you. Because when the sun sets in your location, it rises in another where a fresh workday begins. Also known as “follow the Sun” paradigm, it’s like being productive, so to say, around the clock. 

If you finish your work at 5 PM in your time zone, an offshore agency that you work with might be just starting their work day. 

So when you hit your desk the next day, the deliverables or updates will be ready for you to peruse and implement.

4. Access to resources with global expansion experience

Offshore agencies can provide a broader perspective in their work. They may have skilled resources from diverse locations and backgrounds. These resources can offer fresh insights to your business goals and processes.

5. Exposure to international markets

If your clients have needs that go beyond what your local digital marketing vendors can handle, it is a good idea to partner with offshore outsourcing agencies. These agencies have a better understanding of international markets because they have worked with clients across industries from different countries and continents.

What’s next? Steps to choose the right one:

Here’s a tabular checklist of when to go with a local vendor/freelancer and when to partner with an offshore digital marketing agency.

Choosing between a local vendor and an offshore digital marketing agency

Let’s explain this with an example.

Suppose you run a search marketing agency and need to outsource a client’s web development project needs. There can be two scenarios: 

Case 1: You don’t have the in-house expertise to manage the client expectations, scope the work well, and own the results. In such cases, we strongly recommend taking the services of a local third-party agency or freelancer who can accompany you on client pitches and ultimately help you deliver the expected results. 

Case  2: However, if you have the requisite in-house capabilities to manage everything, from the scope of work to handling client expectations and delivering results, you just need someone to get the web development job done. In this scenario, you can partner with an offshore digital marketing agency and achieve better profitability!

To sum up, it is important to have clarity on the following points to make a good outsourcing decision:

  1. Understand your priorities: Figure out what matters most to you, whether it’s the cost, the skills, or a combination of both. Know where you can make compromises and where you absolutely can’t. 
  2. Research potential vendors/agencies: It’s crucial to read reviews and testimonials on reliable websites like Clutch. This will help you learn the truth about different agencies and avoid any potential mismatches in expectations. If you’re considering offshore options, you may want to read ‘Factors to consider when choosing an offshore DM agency.’ 
  3. Evaluate areas of expertise: Remember, you know best what you need. Before making a final decision, send test assignments to the agencies you’re considering. This will help you see how well they can deliver what you’re looking for.

On that note, we rest our virtual pens. However, if you’d like further information or assistance in choosing an outsourcing partner or model that’s best for you, we are here to help

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Naina Sandhir

A content writer at Mavlers, Naina pens quirky, inimitable, and damn relatable content after an in-depth and critical dissection of the topic in question. When not hiking across the Himalayas, she can be found buried in a book with spectacles dangling off her nose!

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