adapted from original article draft written by Megan Shaw
With today’s global society, outsourcing internationally has become an easy fix for reducing overhead. The savings are very significant, so many companies try to outsource as many tasks as possible. While the cost savings cannot be denied, we must be careful not to overlook the more subtle implications of doing so. Media and marketing design is an especially sensitive area, so we will outline some drawbacks and weigh them against savings.
Marketing IS the use of language and symbols to communicate with your target audience. It’s effectiveness, therefore, is tied to cultural and linguistic cues. Even a few words “lost in translation” can easily misdirect a design concept. Important value propositions might not find their target, reducing the effectiveness of the final product. Managers already deal with this in-house; employees from different corporate cultures, age demographics etc. Imagine now the potential hurdles once outsourced to another corner of the globe.
Take care to consider the time zone of your potential supplier. Having to increase the flexibility of your staff’s working hours is not always feasible. Response time to crisis events can be affected. If your business day ends when theirs begins, consider the implications and plan accordingly. Larger companies may have enough staff to cover late evenings or early mornings, but many small businesses won’t be able to spare staff members for alternate time zone dealings.
Privacy and Security
Web design often involves handling sensitive internal or customer information. Privacy laws vary around the world, and often prosecuting offenders is impossible. The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (Canada) states that “an organization is responsible for personal information in its possession or custody, including information that has been transferred to a third party for processing.” This puts the liability solely on your company’s shoulders in the case of misuse or theft.
With the cash savings of such a low cost solution, a habit of overlooking the finer details of quality control can manifest. This habit can linger and spread to other areas of your business, as the decrease in costs will initially be seen in a positive light. For overseas outsourcing, a long-term strategy to monitor the quality and effectiveness of the media produced is imperative.
A Slightly Biased Conclusion
Outsourcing locally is often the best compromise. Savings will still be had, with fewer possible hurdles. In unexpected ways, it pays for the difference in cost. From day one, having a design team that can identify with your target audience creates media that is more palatable, and therefore more effective. The building of stronger spheres of trust and influence develops from such things as face to face meetings and shared cultural experience. The fact is, local interactions are much more likely to inspire long-term collaboration, and develop networking opportunities.
We here at Discotoast Inc. believe that we can be your vendor for digital creative projects, as well as traditional print design for the paper paraphernalia we still cling to. Outsource to your neighbors, call on us when it is convenient for you, and meet face-to-face as our relationship develops.