Why you shouldn’t outsource to outsourcers

When deciding on the provider for your digital strategy solutions, including social media management, website development, advertising, and more, be wary of firms who outsource your project.

The digital and online marketing field has seen so much growth and change in the last decade that it’s daunting just trying to think about it. Firms claiming to be “professional web designers” seem to be sprouting up every week because of the well-known fact that starting a digital agency can be cheap. But like any other business or personal purchase the latin saying Caveat Emptor rings true. I’m not just talking about price; while it’s expected that a higher cost would constitute a better product, we know that in some cases this may not be true. It isn’t uncommon for large, expensive firms to drop the ball once in a while. However, you can guarantee that these errors and omissions get fixed!

Getting to the point now. Web design, web development, graphic design, copy writing, and other creative services are becoming more and more available to the general public using services such as Freelancer, Odesk, 99 Designs, etc. While these services are fantastic for the general public, the idea of a large corporation, or even a small brand-dependent company, employing the use of these services seems oddly inefficient.

Care vs. Cost

The #1 uncontested reason for choosing one of the services I listed above is price. It’s the cheapest and fastest way to find people to help you achieve your creative goals. It’s important to ask yourself: when do the cost savings take a back seat to the care and attention that your website or brand strategy deserves? These days the consumer is intelligent. He or she is bombarded with advertisements offering discounts, superior service, etc. etc. More importantly, when interacting with a website, the consumer’s patience is very low while their expectations are high. You can thank Google and Facebook for continuously raising the bar.

Outsourcing to outsourcers

A very common trend among website design companies is to outsource project work to subcontractors on an “as-needed” basis. While this model, in theory, is perfect for reducing costs in our globalized economy, it’s asking for more trouble. Web design and web development is a lot like team sports. You practice together, improve together and each member contributes towards the win. Now imagine a team made up of players with no formal positions, no scheduled practice times and no team building exercises. Do you see where I’m going with this? Firms that outsource their work on an “as-needed” basis cannot provide that care and value that a fully staffed firm can provide. When it comes to support and changes to the website, or a brand revision, the subcontractor who has the intimate knowledge of the project might not be accessible, and they really have no formal obligation to complete any work beyond the initial contract. “Caveat Emptor”.

The decision to implement a digital and/or brand strategy should never be taken lightly and never done on a whim. Web design and web development are practices in art rather than science. It’s a continuous learning process to grow and mature as a firm, that requires a strong team atmosphere. Researching your provider thoroughly will ensure that the service you receive is exactly what you require. All too often we see projects failing to meet deadlines, scope, goals and budgets due to outsourcing gone wrong. Understanding the risks involved are rarely disclosed by these firms so it’s that much more important for proper research to be done. Consider asking these questions to potential providers:

  1. Do you outsource to domestic or overseas subcontractors?
  2. What percentage of this project will be outsourced?
  3. Do you have a contingency plan if a subcontractor fails?
  4. Do your subcontractors sign Non-Disclosure Agreements?

This is of course just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. While I admit that my views above are biased because Cavera Inc.’s business model revolves around nurturing that team synergy to develop brilliant strategy and design, the morals presented above still hold true. If all I’ve done today is caused prospecting businesses to ask more questions then I’ve done my job!

If you have more questions regarding web design and development we provide free consultations to clients prospecting for digital strategy providers. Contact us today by calling (705) 998-1241, or by email here.

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