Introduction

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
Maya Angelou
Civil Rights Activist & Poet

In a crowded and noisy business landscape, marketing, particularly digital marketing, can be a powerful growth driver for businesses. Today, many companies partner with digital marketing agencies to garner more qualified leads, engage with target audiences, nurture and strengthen customer relationships, and earn higher sales and profits.

But to help their clients achieve all these aims as quickly and cost-effectively as possible, digital marketing agencies themselves must first overcome numerous challenges. The most prevalent of these challenges are leaner budgets, increased competition, resource shortages, regulatory and pricing pressures, and the elephant in the room – changing technology trends. These challenges make it harder for agencies to effectively support and retain their clients, meet their needs, and maintain competitiveness, growth, and profitability during uncertain times.

Fortunately, agencies can overcome all these challenges and retain their profitability, competitiveness, client-centricity, and, most importantly, clients. The key: outsourcing. Outsourcing some of their digital marketing tasks to a competent, experienced partner allows agencies to overcome the above challenges. Equally importantly, outsourcing allows them the freedom and flexibility to expand their service offerings, attract more high-ticket clients, and achieve their growth and scalability goals.

Very few marketing agencies are aware of these – and other – benefits of outsourcing or “white labeling” digital marketing. This eBook attempts to fill in these knowledge gaps. It also does a deep-dive into many other important aspects of digital marketing outsourcing that are relevant to modern-day digital marketing agencies, including:

  • Which services are ideal for outsourcing
  • Which services should not be outsourced
  • The pros and cons of
    • Onshore outsourcing vs offshore outsourcing
    • Outsourcing to marketing agencies in different geographies
  • Best practices when looking for a marketing outsourcing partner
  • What an agency should do after selecting a new outsourcing partner

In addition, this information-rich resource will answer many of the questions typically raised by digital marketing agencies, including:

  • Why should I outsource?
  • Whom should I outsource to?
  • When should I select local outsourcing (onshoring) versus offshoring?
  • What should I offshore (and what I shouldn’t)?
  • Which mistakes should I avoid to ensure offshoring success?

If you represent, own, or manage a digital marketing agency and are looking to learn how outsourcing can be a valuable and profitable approach for your firm, then this resource is perfect for you. Happy reading!

The Benefits of Outsourcing for
Digital Marketing Agencies

As a digital marketing agency, you’re always on your toes to bring the best services and create the most compelling campaigns for your clients.

  • One of your clients is unhappy that you don’t provide a certain service and is contemplating going to your competitor
  • Another client’s incoming workload is inconsistent, making it difficult to generate predictable revenues
  • You’re struggling to find and retain skilled professionals to offer that service
  • You don’t want to increase your already sky-high costs by purchasing new marketing tools or hiring new resources with specialized/niche skills

The solution to all these challenges is simple: outsourcing!

Outsourcing benefits digital marketing agencies in many ways. One, it allows them to provide a wider range of services and thus satisfy more of their clients’ needs. Two, with “white label digital marketing”, they can rebrand these purchased services with their own logo and company name and resell them to clients at a premium, thus boosting their revenues and profits.

Next, outsourcing enables agencies to provide more services compared to their competitors. A more expansive service portfolio that effectively fills the gaps left by competitors gives agencies an edge over those competitors and also helps them attract more and more high-paying clients.

Finally, outsourcing allows them to accept clients’ additional and infrequent service requests without increasing their operational burden, without having to invest in new technologies, and without having to add more (expensive) in-house resources. Furthermore, they get the freedom to focus on their critical business areas and build on their core strengths, both of which can help them serve clients better in order to improve client satisfaction and build stronger and more meaningful client relationships.

Looking to up your profitability by offshoring your clients’ digital marketing projects?

Benefits of outsourcing for digital marketing agencies

Outsourcing to agencies in low-cost offshore countries is particularly beneficial, although local outsourcing or “onshoring” also has many advantages (see this section to learn more). That said, it’s important to understand that not all digital marketing tasks can or even should be outsourced.

So, which tasks are suitable for outsourcing?

And equally importantly, which ones are not?

Discover the answers in the next two sections.

Key takeaway:

Outsourcing puts digital marketing agencies on the fast track to faster growth, a broader client base, bigger revenues, and higher profitability.

  • Expand their offerings portfolio without significantly increasing the operational burden
  • Access, rebrand, and resell highly specialized services to create new revenue streams and increase profits and profitability
  • Access the latest marketing techniques and technologies without making hefty investments in-house
  • Effortlessly accommodate and manage additional and infrequent work to increase both revenues and client satisfaction
  • Focus on the core business and its revenue-generating potential
  • Tap into the specialized skills and capabilities of a talented workforce without increasing HR costs
  • Avoid the challenges associated with hiring, onboarding, training, and managing new employees
  • Freedom to choose an engagement model to match the agency’s budget and marketing requirements

Are you contemplating offshoring your client workload with the flexibility to scale?

Which Digital Marketing Services are Suitable for Outsourcing?

If you own, run, or manage a digital marketing agency and are considering outsourcing, there are many services you can outsource to great effect. These include web development, link building, search engine optimization (SEO), and PPC (also known as paid search). Services like email marketing, content marketing, social media marketing, marketing automation, landing pages, design production, marketing analytics, campaign management, and integrations and migrations are also suitable for outsourcing.

In fact, it’s advisable to outsource these services to a full-service digital marketing agency because it will enable you to garner all the benefits of outsourcing we explored earlier. Outsourcing these activities will also enable you to effectively deal with many challenges that commonly plague many marketing agencies:

  • Difficulties onboarding and serving clients with complex requirements
  • Expertise gap and talent crunch making it tough to meet clients’ demands
  • High hiring and training costs of in-house resources affecting overall profitability
  • Difficulties managing inconsistent workloads with existing resources
  • Too many missed opportunities for generating higher and more predictable revenues
  • Hard to design, execute, and measure outcome-centric campaigns aligned with clients’ marketing and business goals
Key takeaway:

In general, non-core tactical and execution-driven marketing activities, i.e., the activities focused on achieving some short-term goals and objectives, can be outsourced to third-party marketing agencies.

Which marketing services to outsource

  • Web development
  • Link building
  • SEO
  • PPC
  • Email marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Marketing automation
  • Landing pages
  • Design production
  • Marketing analytics
  • Integrations
  • Migrations
  • Campaign management

Looking to empower your digital marketing with the most reliable offshore white-label partner?

Which Marketing Services Should Not be Outsourced?

Now that we’ve seen the digital marketing services that can be outsourced, let’s take a look at the services that should never be outsourced. One, any activity that’s directly linked to your agency’s core competencies and is therefore largely responsible for your revenues, profitability, and even reputation. Two, services where close coordination with clients is required. Typically, these are the services where the agency needs a detailed understanding of the client’s:

  1. Business and revenue model
  2. Product/service offerings
  3. Market
  4. Customers and customer personas
  5. Customer sentiments
  6. Business strategy and goals
Key takeaway:

In general, core marketing services, high-value services, and high-risk services should be retained in-house within the agency and not outsourced to external agencies.

All of this information can be sensitive or business-critical information, and its loss could adversely affect the client. That’s why the services that depend on garnering this information should never be outsourced.

Three, you should not outsource any high-value digital marketing projects or services whose outcome – positive or negative – can have a significant impact on the client’s ability to operate, compete, and grow. Your client trusts you to execute these services in order to maximize their marketing ROI with minimal risks. But if you cannot achieve these aims with outsourcing, then don’t outsource.

Which marketing services should not be outsourced

  • Services linked to your core competencies and whose execution directly affects your reputation, revenues, or profitability
  • Services that require close coordination with the client and access to sensitive client information
  • High-value services whose outcomes can significantly impact the client’s operations, competitiveness, revenues, or growth

“All of this information is useful. But it’s also overwhelming! Is there an easier way to determine which services I can outsource versus which services I shouldn’t?”

Here’s some good news: yes, there is an easy way to identify which services you can outsource and which ones you should retain in-house. All you have to do is answer the simple yes/no type questions in the checklist below.

Should I Outsource Digital Marketing? A Simple 10-step Checklist

Question Possible answers Recommendation
Is the marketing service or activity tactical or execution-driven, e.g., SEO, web development, marketing automation, etc. Yes/No Yes: Outsource
No: Retain in-house
Is the service linked to your core competencies and, ultimately, your reputation, revenues, or profitability? Yes/No Yes: Outsource
No: Retain in-house
Does the service require close and direct coordination with the client? Yes/No Yes: Outsource
No: Retain in-house
Does execution of the service require access to sensitive client information whose loss could adversely affect the client and your agency? Yes/No Yes: Outsource
No: Retain in-house
Is it a high-value service that you are more confident of executing in-house? Yes/No Yes: Outsource
No: Retain in-house

If you answered No to questions ii-v, ask yourself these additional questions before picking the outsourcing route:

Question Possible answers Recommendation
Do you have the skills and competencies to drive strategy, understand the requirements, scope the project, manage client communications, own the results, and execute the service as per the client’s expectations? Yes/No Yes: Outsource
No: Retain in-house
Do you expect a competent and experienced agency to perform the service more accurately, efficiently, or faster than your in-house team? Yes/No Yes: Outsource
No: Retain in-house
Do you expect to/need to maintain a high level of control and oversight over the service? Yes/No Yes: Outsource
No: Retain in-house
Do you expect your revenues and profitability to increase if you outsource? Yes/No Yes: Outsource
No: Retain in-house
Does executing the service require a fair amount of planning, strategizing, creativity, and innovation? Yes/No Yes: Outsource
No: Retain in-house
Key takeaway:

While many marketing activities and services can be outsourced to great effect, it’s also important to know which services should not be outsourced. Knowledge of both can help your marketing agency and clients to make the most of outsourcing while minimizing its risks.

Next, we’ll take a look at another key aspect of marketing outsourcing: local outsourcing vs. offshore outsourcing.

Digital Marketing Outsourcing:
Local vs. Offshore

After you make the decision to outsource some of your marketing activities, you must decide whether to go with a local agency (also known as onshoring) or an offshore agency. You can also work with freelancers. All these choices Both choices come with pros and cons, and it’s important to be cognizant of these aspects before finalizing your outsourcing decision.

I want to outsource. But to whom?

If you have made the decision to outsource some of your digital marketing activities, you may be wondering whom you can outsource to.

Here are three great options!

Outsourcing Option When to select Why to select Drawbacks
Local freelancers

When you need to access a specific skill or want to outsource a specific service

When you require a low-cost outsourcing option that fills your skills gaps and helps you maintain high profitability

  • They are experts in their chosen niche
  • They understand the local context
  • They can work with your team closely
  • They tend to be very agile and flexible in terms of availability, scheduling, scope, etc.
  • Ideal if you require someone for a specific project, service, or digital channel
  • May not be suitable for broadly-scoped projects
  • May not bring multiple skills or capabilities (if you need them)
  • Freelancers with poor communication skills may be a liability during customer discussions
  • Sudden unavailability can have a tangible negative impact on your project schedule, output quality, or client relationships
Local outsourcing partner agencies

When you need to access multiple skills or outsource multiple services

When you want to outsource strategic parts of your business

When you want to create co-branded client pitches to win more projects, generate better results for clients, and boost your client base

  • They bring a broad skillset
  • They understand the local context
  • They can effectively augment your team’s capabilities
  • They can do a combined client pitch with you
  • Multiple resources available, minimizing the potential for disruptions due to unavailability of one resource
  • More expensive than single freelancers
Offshoring partner agencies

When you need to access multiple skills not available in your local geography

When you want to outsource technical parts of your business while retaining the strategic parts in-house

When you want the benefits of both freelancers (low cost) and local outsourcing: (higher reliability, strategic partnerships) along with higher margins and profitability

  • They bring a broad skillset
  • They can effectively augment your team’s capabilities
  • They can do a combined client pitch with you
  • Multiple resources available, minimizing the potential for disruptions due to unavailability of one resource
  • More cost-effective than local outsourcing
  • More expensive than single freelancers

If you prefer to outsource to an agency partner rather than a freelancer, make sure you’re aware of the pros and cons of outsourcing to local partners versus offshore partners.

Not sure if you have everything it takes to be offshore-ready? This quiz will help you find out.

Pros and Cons: Local Outsourcing vs. Offshoring

Local outsourcing Offshoring
Pros Cons Pros Cons
No issues related to time differences, especially around collaboration or coordination Potentially higher costs and lower cost savings, especially if both parties operate in a high-cost country like the US, UK, Australia, etc. Higher cost savings and higher potential to increase revenues, especially if the agency is in a high-cost country and their partner agency is in a lower-cost country (e.g. India) Time zone differences can negatively impact collaboration between geographically-dispersed teams (agency and agency partner).
No cultural or linguistic barriers plus the partner brings deep understanding of the cultural/linguistic/religious nuances in their/your country Access to a smaller talent pool, especially in countries with fewer marketing agencies Access to a larger talent pool in countries with an educated, experienced, and English-speaking marketing workforce Difficulties monitoring and overseeing offshore teams may affect collaboration and output quality
No confusion regarding different laws and regulations for privacy, data protection, taxation, etc. Limited global knowledge and exposure, creating potential difficulties during planning and executing services for audiences from other countries Access to clients in new markets and new revenue opportunities from those markets Potential communication barriers due to different English accents or use of country-specific phrases or terminology
Higher quality control due a higher level of possible oversight plus a shorter feedback loop Availability of offshore teams in different time zones allows agencies to offer 24/7 (or as near as) services to clients Possible issues related to data security, which can become a serious problem with sensitive client data
Key takeaway:

Both local and offshore outsourcing have their pros and cons, as does outsourcing to agencies in different geographies. It’s crucial to be aware of these details before selecting an outsourcing partner for digital marketing.

All About Digital Marketing Offshoring

Now you understand that you have two main options to outsource some of your digital marketing services: local outsourcing (onshoring) and offshore outsourcing.

If you select the offshoring route, you can potentially access a wider pool of skilled resources, which will bring you all these benefits:

  • Cost advantage by offshoring to a low-cost country
  • Generate more consistent, predictable revenues
  • Increase profitability
  • Capture more opportunities from clients in more countries
  • Broaden your geographic footprint and market presence
  • Boost company growth and competitiveness

When should you offshore to an overseas agency?

Well, if you have in-house knowhow and expertise, go for offshoring since it will allow you to capture the cost and profit benefits of outsourcing, and access the required skills, local context, and a local customer base.

However, if you have some skills gaps in your internal team, local onshoring (freelancer or local agency partner) may be a better option since you will be able to access the required skills, expand your service portfolio, and capture more local business. Be aware of the potentially high costs though!

Next, let’s take a look at where you can offshore and the pros and cons of offshoring by different geographies.

I want to outsource. But to whom?

When trying to decide between onshore and offshore outsourcing, it can also help to check the pros and cons of outsourcing from a geographical perspective. Suppose your marketing agency is in the US. Should you outsource to an agency in the US? Or select a vendor in India? Or, if you are in Germany, is outsourcing to the UK more likely to benefit you? Or is outsourcing to the Philippines the better option? The below table will help you decide!

Top locations Ideal for
Outsource to Latin America Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile Outsourcing-ready North American marketing agencies
Outsource to Eastern Europe Poland, Romania, Ukraine, Hungary Outsourcing-ready European marketing agencies
Outsource to Southeast Asia Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam Outsourcing-ready marketing agencies in Asia and Oceania
Outsource to Africa South Africa, Rwanda, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt Outsourcing-ready African marketing agencies
Outsource to India Mumbai, Bengaluru, Delhi, NCR, Pune, Ahmedabadt Outsourcing-ready Asian, North American, European, African, and Oceanic marketing agencies
Pros Cons
Outsource to Latin America Advantageous time zones for North American agencies. Possible cultural and linguistic barriers affecting collaboration and/or output quality.
Lower labor costs compared to agencies in high-cost countries Possible technical infrastructure issues (e.g. Internet access).
Access to skilled, English-speaking marketing professionals. Political or economic instability affecting staff availability and agency SLAs.
Access to clients in new markets and new revenue opportunities from those markets. Low economic growth reduces the region’s attractiveness for foreign businesses.
Strong laws and regulation around privacy and data protection.
Government support and incentives for foreign firms.
Outsource to Eastern Europe Advantageous time zones for European agencies Possible cultural barriers affecting collaboration and/or output quality
Lower labor costs compared to agencies in high-cost countries Low – moderate economic growth somewhat reduces the region’s attractiveness for foreign businesses
Access to skilled, English-speaking marketing professionals
Access to clients in new markets and new revenue opportunities from those markets
Strong laws and regulation around privacy and data protection
Government support and incentives for foreign firms
Outsource to Southeast Asia Advantageous time zones for agencies in Asia and Oceania Possible cultural and linguistic barriers affecting collaboration and/or output quality
Lower labor costs compared to agencies in high-cost countries Possible technical infrastructure issues (e.g. Internet access)
Access to clients in new markets and new revenue opportunities from those markets Access to a smaller pool of skilled, English-speaking marketing professionals
Access to clients in new markets and new revenue opportunities from those markets Low – moderate economic growth somewhat reduces the region’s attractiveness for foreign businesses
Government support and incentives for foreign firms
Strong laws and regulation around privacy and data protection
Outsource to Africa Advantageous time zones for African agencies Possible cultural and linguistic barriers affecting collaboration and/or output quality
Lower labor costs compared to agencies in high-cost countries Possible technical infrastructure issues (e.g. Internet access)
Access to skilled, English-speaking marketing professionals Low – moderate economic growth somewhat reduces the region’s attractiveness for foreign businesses
Access to clients in new markets and new revenue opportunities from those markets Weak or non-existing laws and regulation around privacy and data protection in some countries
Government support and incentives for foreign firms
Outsource to India Advantageous time zones for Asian, North American, European, African, and Oceanic marketing agencies Possible cultural and linguistic barriers affecting collaboration and/or output quality
Lower labor costs compared to agencies in high-cost countries Possible technical infrastructure issues (e.g. Internet access)
Access to highly skilled, English-speaking marketing professionals Political or economic instability affecting staff availability and agency SLAs
Access to clients in new markets and new revenue opportunities from those markets
Strong laws and regulation around privacy and data protection
Government support and incentives for foreign firms
High economic growth that’s expected to continue in future makes India a very attractive destination for foreign businesses
Key takeaway:

If you go for offshoring, make sure you understand what it entails. Also be cognizant of both its benefits and drawbacks to ensure that you select the right services to outsource as well as the right offshoring partner (or freelancer).

A reliable offshore partner might be the answer to all your agency woes. Let’s team up to ensure you enjoy profitability, scalability, and flexibility.

Best Practices to Find the Best Offshore Marketing Partner for Your Marketing Agency

The information from the previous sections will help you make an informed choice when selecting an outsourcing partner for some of your marketing services. The best practices listed below will further assist you in finding the right outsourcing partner that’s most likely to support your – and your clients’ – marketing and business goals.

Do your due diligence

When comparing different agencies, check each agency’s capabilities, history, and track record. Do a Google search for important marketing keywords and see where they figure in the results. Talk to their clients to get information about their output quality, timeliness, and ability to meet SLAs. Make sure to ask the right questions and dig beneath the surface of generic responses to find out what these clients really think about your potential partner.

Do research about their staff’s skills around marketing, communication, adaptability, and time management. Analyze client testimonials, impartial third-party reviews, and ratings on sites like Glassdoor and Trustpilot to better understand their culture, reputation, and business priorities. Also ask for customer references, case studies, capability decks, and proof of certifications to confirm that their expertise and skillset match your requirements.

Explore their focus areas

When reviewing digital marketing agencies for outsourcing, assess their focus areas and if those areas sync with your goals and objectives. Talk to their subject matter experts or solutions teams to understand what they can offer and where they claim to have expertise.

Also ask yourself if you need a generalist or a specialist. A specialist agency will have specific and more advanced skills that will help you execute high-quality projects in that area for your clients. However, such agencies will also be more expensive than generalist agencies.

Also, if you need support in multiple areas, you will need to hire multiple specialist agencies, which will further increase your costs and decrease your profits. You can avoid these costs by hiring a generalist agency that can deliver different services and easily adapt to different projects.

Check their working time zones

It can be advantageous to work with an offshore agency in a different time zone because it will enable you to provide more services to clients over a longer time window. However, different time zones can also create communication and collaboration issues. Ideally, you should select an offshore agency partner or white-label service provider that works in the same time zone as your in-house team. The next-best option is for the teams to work a few overlapping hours to ensure seamless handover, smooth daily updates, and better control over project/campaign progress.

See how they present themselves in the online space

A digital marketing agency with a weak online presence may not be the best outsourcing choice. Review their website and social media presence. Do they present their brand in a compelling and professional manner? What kind of content do they produce? The strength and visibility of their online presence will help you understand their capabilities and assess if those capabilities match your requirements (and reasons for outsourcing in the first place!).

Assess your initial engagement experience with them

Review Also, what kind of questions did they asked when discussing the potential for an outsourcing engagement with your agency.? How was your experience interacting with them? Did their sales team make an effort to understand your challenges and requirements and offer to design a custom-tailored solution? Or did they rush to close the deal with you, perhaps by offering generic, off-the-shelf solutions? The answers to all these questions will help you better assess their capabilities and determine if they can meet your needs.

Do you require a marketing partner or white-label marketing services?

If you require an agency you can introduce to your client as your partner, go for an onshore agency. Ideally, this agency would already be familiar with your market, service portfolio, and perhaps even your client. But if you only need someone to help expand your service portfolio and won’t be involving them in client communications, white labeling to an onshore or offshore agency may be a better choice.

Share your client workload with us without having to worry about revealing our identity. We will be your secret arsenal to scale up.

Do a trial run

Do a trial run with each of the agencies in your final outsourcing list. A trial, executed in “real” business conditions, will help you better assess their abilities and predict their compatibility with your agency. Ask them to execute a small project or campaign and then assess their output against the key performance indicators (KPIs) that matter most to your agency (and clients). If their results surpass your KPI baseline, they may be a good outsourcing partner.

Check if they are willing to accommodate your compliance and data protection requirements

An offshore agency in a different country may have implemented compliance and legal measures (e.g., for client confidentiality, consumer privacy, data protection, etc.) that are different from yours. However, if they are willing to accommodate your requirements and practices, there’s no reason why you cannot outsource some of your marketing work to them. Just keep in mind that it’s important to work with an agency that can accommodate you in these areas. Otherwise, you may find yourself facing numerous compliance and legal challenges, including regulatory fines, legal action, and higher customer churn.

When shopping for an outsourcing partner, keep an eye out for these attributes

The best marketing agencies bring all these attributes:

  • Strong communication skills
  • Strong online presence
  • Marketing expertise
  • Understanding of client requirements and challenges (from a marketing perspective)
  • Excellent problem-solving skills
  • Outstanding execution skills
  • Adaptable and flexible
  • Operational and billing transparency
  • Results-focused
  • Creative
  • Able to maintain client confidentiality and protect client data
  • Willingness to adapt to your company culture and working styles

Select an agency that ticks all (or at least most) of these attribute boxes and you will surely find a partner that will positively impact your marketing results, ROI, and client satisfaction rates.

When selecting an outsourcing agency, make sure to assess their:

01.

Capabilities

02.

Communications

03.

Culture
Key takeaway:

Following these best practices will help you identify the outsourcing agency that’s best-suited for your requirements and outsourcing goals.

When Offshoring Fails: Mistakes to Avoid for Successful Digital Marketing Offshoring

In the previous sections, we have deeply explored many different aspects of digital marketing outsourcing, including its benefits, types, and best practices. In this section, we will highlight some of the common mistakes that many agencies make along their outsourcing journeys. These mistakes can derail your outsourcing partnerships and adversely affect your revenues, profitability, reputation, and even client relationships. Let’s get started!

Mistake #1: Offshoring services that shouldn’t be offshored

Agencies often offshore services that should never be offshored. Instead, these services should be retained in-house. It’s absolutely fine to offshore your SEO, PPC, link-building, or marketing automation activities to an offshore freelancer or partner. But anything that requires local knowledge, an understanding of specific consumer groups, or a fair amount of strategizing should never be outsourced to an offshore agency.

What to offshore (and what not to)

If you select offshoring as your preferred outsourcing strategy, make sure to be cognizant of the services that you can outsource overseas as well as the services that you shouldn’t.

Suitable for offshoring: Digital marketing services that: Unsuitable for offshoring: Digital marketing services that:
Are technical or operational in nature Require an understanding and contextual knowledge of that local market
Require execution skills rather than planning or strategizing Depend on understanding local consumers, behaviors, trends
Can be templatized or automated Require highly creative, hyper-localized strategies, designs, or copy
Mistake #2: Offshoring to the wrong partner

The right offshore partner will understand your requirements, workflows, communication styles, and execution protocols. More importantly, they will be willing to align themselves with all these aspects that make your business unique. It’s important to do your due diligence to find a partner that checks all these boxes. Also assess each potential partner’s capabilities and ensure that they match your requirements. Know their limitations as well.

If you don’t have this knowledge beforehand, you may end up selecting the wrong partner that results in a failed offshoring partnership and too many outsourcing $ going down the drain.

Mistake #3: Not building a collaborative environment

When working with an overseas partner, speaking the right “language” is essential. And we don’t just mean English! You and your agency partner should be able to:

Collaborate
Share ideas
Ask questions
Give honest feedback to each other

All of the above require creating a positive collaborative environment for both parties. If you create such an environment with appropriate protocols, controls, expectations, and standard operating procedures, your in-house team and the partner’s team will be able to work well together to generate great results for your company and client.

Mistake #4: Ignoring internal resistance to change (to offshoring)

Your internal team will likely have to work closely with the offshore partner’s team when executing client projects. However, if they are resistant to the idea of offshoring, expect to see a lot of friction, project delays, and cost overruns. To avoid these problems, make sure to acknowledge their resistance and address the reasons for it.

Also get their complete buy-in before you embark on an offshore partnership. One great way to do this is by explaining how they will benefit from offshoring. Knowing that they will be able to do more meaningful work can also help to overcome their concerns and fears about offshoring.

Mistake #5: Ignoring communication breakdowns

Offshoring often involves different time zones and cultural backgrounds, which frequently result in miscommunications. These breakdowns can affect project execution and delivery. If you notice such issues, address them on priority. Investigate the causes and implement controls to ensure that communication flows seamlessly and clearly in both directions.

Also ensure that the proper documentation is in place for all important aspects of the partnership. Detailed briefs should be provided to the partner, status updates should be shared by all stakeholders, and all parties must have proactive conversations to discuss timelines, delays, scope, and other important information.

Three Cs of Offshoring Success (for Both Agencies)

Clarity
Communication
Collaboration
Key takeaway:

To ensure offshoring success, make sure to get clarity on what to outsource and the potential partner’s capabilities and limitations. Also set clear expectations and immediately address any problems related to communications, collaboration, or team buy-in.

You’ve Selected a Digital Marketing Outsourcing Partner. Next Step: Onboarding!

After selecting a partner to outsource some of your digital marketing activities, it’s important to onboard them. A thorough and systematic onboarding process will enable them to understand your expectations, SLAs, and terms of the NDA (if they signed one). Onboarding will also ensure that they:

  • can seamlessly collaborate with your in-house team from the get-go
  • are prepared to deal with inconsistent on unexpected workloads
  • have key insights into your clients and their marketing requirements
  • can help you mitigate your key marketing challenges

When onboarding the new partner, make sure you provide them with all the information they need to start the engagement on the right foot. Create clear briefs for every project or campaign. Also, conduct regular reviews during the initial engagement period to identify gaps and implement measures to plug those gaps. Finally, always provide clear and candid feedback so issues can be ironed out early and your partner can better match your expectations, SLAs, and KPIs.

Expect a few teething issues in the initial stages of the engagement. But with proper onboarding and training, they will be able to execute high-quality projects for you – projects that make your clients happy and positively impact your bottomline and profitability.

Wrap-up

In this comprehensive guide to digital marketing outsourcing, we discovered that outsourcing some of your digital marketing tasks can benefit your marketing agency in many ways. The key is to select an experienced, reliable, full-service agency that’s fully invested in your and your client’s success.

Mavlers offers a wide range of white-label digital marketing services that can help you expand your agency’s portfolio, build your client list, and create new revenue streams. Our 800+ marketing experts have empowered 600+ marketing agencies globally to successfully overcome their execution, cost, workload, and resource challenges. We offer flexible engagement and pricing models to accommodate any kind of project, campaign, or client on your behalf.

Contact us to discover how Mavlers can take your agency into the big leagues with white-label digital marketing.