Digital marketing has become a key area of both corporate investment and performance expectation. For help in doing what’s necessary today without inflating cost, businesses are increasingly turning to expert outsourced service providers.
According to marketers surveyed for the Gartner Group’s “CMO Spend Survey 2015-2016,” marketing budgets across the economy increased from 10% to 11% of total revenue in 2015, and two-thirds of those surveyed expected similar growth in 2016. Key areas of focus were social marketing, analytics, customer experience, and digital commerce.1 “What’s happening,” said Asad Khan, CEO of ePlanet Communications, a global business process outsourcing provider, “is a recognition that these four digital activities have become essential to business growth, if not business survival.”
Khan noted that social media—which was given the highest investment priority by respondents to the Gartner survey—has become the chief method of global mass communications. He pointed out that “analytics is the ability to process big data, without which a business is flying blind. The customer experience is now regarded as perhaps the key competitive differentiator. And eCommerce is a rapidly growing revenue component in virtually every sector. As the Gartner report shows, the digital realm represents a way for marketers to leverage their core skills in areas which show demonstrable impact on revenue. Digital is the route to growth.”
To achieve their growth goals without incurring a heavy additional cost burden, many companies are turning to outsourced service suppliers to provide digital resources and expertise. According to the 2015 “Designhill Design & Branding Perception Survey,” outsourcing was one of the biggest growth-stimulating strategies of 2015, especially for small businesses and startups. It has been a proven strategy for many companies in accelerating growth while maintaining a profitable bottom line. The report says, “Soon, [outsourcing] will become a norm rather than an exception.”
Citing a variety of sources, the Designhill report offered statistics which illustrate the current trend towards outsourcing:
- 53% of marketing executives plan to outsource their marketing (Hubspot);
- 78% of small businesses believe that hiring freelancers gives them an advantage over their competitors (Elance Survey);
- Per survey, 90% of businesses cited outsourcing as being crucial to their growth (The Economist).
The Designhill report noted that small businesses have traditionally outsourced for cost savings, access to talent not locally available, and faster hiring time. A report by The Economist, however, showed that outsourcing is no longer just about cost saving; it’s a strategic tool that may power the 21st-century global economy. According to The Economist, 36% of companies that outsource do so to avail themselves of the services of innovators, and 37% outsource to seek overall growth in their endeavors.2
“To any business owner or manager considering an outsourced business process provider for help in digital marketing,” Khan said, “I would recommend looking into this thoroughly, because it’s really a great idea. First of all, the cost savings are real, and they’re immediate—there are fixed overhead expenses you simply never have to shoulder. Outsourcing can also increase your productivity. As an owner or manager, you have only so much time and attention; by outsourcing, you can shed the parts of your workload on which you don’t need to be focused, and concentrate on your core competence. And it gives you access to expertise you wouldn’t otherwise have. We think of outsourcing as a strategy for smaller businesses, and it is—many of our clients are startup entrepreneurs. However, many of the largest corporations are also outsourcing, and there’s a good reason for that—no matter how big you are, you just can’t employ a staff which is expert in every single thing. That’s where a company such as ePlanet comes in; by working with many clients, we can offer the services of a wide variety of subject matter experts.”
Finally, Khan suggested that digital marketers seeking outsourced assistance follow the golden rule of outsourcing: know your partner. “Ask questions. Ask for metrics. Ask your partner to specify results. At ePlanet, we know that our clients trust us with a vital aspect of their businesses. We specify—and regularly document—exactly how we continue to earn that trust. I wouldn’t be in this business, nor would my staff, if we didn’t know for sure that we’re making a net positive contribution to our clients, the industries in which they work, and the economies served by those industries.”
About ePlanet Communications:
ePlanet Communications is a global business process outsourcing provider with extensive experience in call center operations, digital media solutions, and direct response solutions. By using its integrated channel management capabilities and highly-trained staff, ePlanet develops and deploys inbound and outbound customer support fully integrated with its clients’ marketing campaigns. Digital media solutions include website design, digital franchising, fully functioning eCommerce operations, and the creation of interactive, immersive and responsive social media campaigns across different platforms. ePlanet is also highly experienced in the area of direct response trial, consistently delivering improved customer satisfaction, increased customer retention, and better order value. To learn more about ePlanet and its capabilities, please visit http://www.eplanetcom.com.
- Pemberton, Chris, “Digital Marketing Comes of Age in Gartner’s CMO Spend Survey 2015-2016,” Gartner Group, November 6, 2015. http://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/digital-marketing-comes-of-age-in-gartners-cmo-spend-survey-2015-2016/.
- Kel, Henny, “Why Outsourcing is the Biggest Growth Hack for 2016,” LinkedIn, January 4, 2016. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-outsourcing-biggest-growth-hack-2016-henny-kel.