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For Smart Agencies, Outsourcing Is A No-Brainer

Shrinking and scrambling are two words we normally don't see when it comes to marketing agencies. But in today's economy, we are watching marketing budgets shrink and agencies scramble as they drive to stay relevant.

In steps smart outsourcing.

Let's take a look at some well-known brand agencies that have successfully tapped into technology partners to better outsource campaigns.

Razorfish, one of the largest interactive marketing companies in the world, has always taken a progressive, smart outsourcing approach. "We do see a value in email as an acquisition and engagement tool and rely on partners to support us in targeting, reaching and building engagement workflows as an extension of our media and search strategies" said David Baker, Vice President of Razorfish.

Outsourcing is not new. What's changing is its perception. Traditional advertising agencies are looking toward new media companies to complement the services they offer clients. For example, while Seattle-based advertising agency HL2 has a long history of partnering with traditional companies like public relations agencies and reporting companies, now Don Low, senior partner at HL2, is constantly thinking about how to add more value for clients from a technology marketing partner.



"Because of our company's size, we've often look toward partnering," said Low. "Harnessing expertise by seeking smart, savvy partners for augmented services is key to an agencies' ability to stay current and ahead of the curve." He attributes this general shift in perception to the convergence of CMOs calling for tangible analytics and the unparalleled explosion of communication that's replaced traditional media.

Agencies like HL2 are rethinking the benefits of partnering with vender companies like us Marketfish for list-based marketing, as well as Google for search-engine marketing, RapLeaf for studying social footprints and BlueKai for data exchange. Today, while there are so many ways to reach customers, there's no simple way to reach customers, and you can't just buy one form of media and expect to achieve the penetrating results most clients want.

One clear example that Don brings up is the notion of Client Relationship Management (CRM). Not too long ago, CRM was perceived by agencies as more science, less art. Optimizing campaigns based on desired outcomes can seem dry versus coming up with the million-dollar idea. But helping agencies realize the science behind the art and showing their clients how to be more results-driven within specific market segments adds up to clients' dollars well spent.

With an open mind and a solid approach, agencies can package adjunct services to create a dynamic platform from which to launch a client's integrated marketing strategy with executable outcomes and precise analytics. This allows them to focus on what they do best -- developing creative strategy and account management -- while vendor partners do the heavy-lifting of implementing new marketing tactics.

Through these partnerships, agencies not only differentiate themselves, but also provide clients with increased results and the analytics to prove their success. The key is to be open and nimble -- to do what you do best, and leverage exceptional expertise with like-minded organizations. In the end, the best idea and its robust offerings wins by producing creative and measurable results.

4 comments about "For Smart Agencies, Outsourcing Is A No-Brainer ".
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  1. David Kang from Affinity Express, August 18, 2010 at 11:55 a.m.

    Certainly value in creating an alliance of strategic partners. I work at Affinity Express, and we have experienced considerable growth as an overseas outsourcing option - we provide a wide array of digital production at 30-50% savings from average US cost structures, and we ensure quality via technology and an array of workflow options. As technologies proliferate to even more complicated heights, there is no way for any Agency to have centers of excellence across multiple areas of client need. Outsourcing definitely will be a wave of the future.

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, August 18, 2010 at 12:24 p.m.

    Sounds great. Pay them $11,000 a year without benefits overseas. Farming out assignments or contingency services to enhance performance to other small businesses down the road - so to speak - can be a saving grace and a benefit to all. But pay them a living Amercian wage.

  3. Ronnie Perchik from PromoAid, LLC, August 18, 2010 at 12:36 p.m.

    Our company has seen this trend and built a business on it. We provide a service to help marketers and agencies search, research and select marketing tactics and programs utilizing our data platform to execute their strategic plans. Although our company was originally more focused on selling directly to marketers, agencies quickly figured out that we could fill an important need by replacing/augmenting their internal groups that deal directly with vendors and suppliers. Since our service is based on an annual subscription and is technology based, our fees are pennies vs. dollars so the cost worked for them in this new economy. And since we focus on maintaining the largest and most current data source of marketing tactics and programs, they quickly recognized that our service was better than what they were doing internally. The result is we have helped our agency clients gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.


  4. Mark Burrell from Tongal, August 18, 2010 at 1:08 p.m.

    We have a global community jumping at the chance to work with an agency or company to compliment their existing campaign or help them create content.

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