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The advantages of near-sourcing: Effective international marketing operations

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Patrick Ide

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The workload of asset management marketing teams has never been higher and yet resources and budgets are at best stagnating as cost-income ratios tighten: Increased regulatory requirements, demands from sales teams across multiple locations in different languages, maintenance of sales materials and presentations, publishing newsletters, maintaining web pages… Use near-sourcing to help manage the execution of ‘business as usual’ activities and balance the workload of your teams.

Marketing teams across asset management, including the big ones, are caught in a double trap between resource tightening and the rapid expansion of digital tools. On top of that, marketing assets are requiring higher levels of aftercare and constant renewal to remain relevant.

Catering to international demands with less resources

Add to this the daily business of newsletter production, updating your shelf of standardised sales presentations, beautifying presentations, laying out invitations and emails, strategy updates, producing infographics, updating web pages… the list of work never gets shorter while team resources are often struggling to expand at the same pace or may even be reduced. Combine that with the extra dimension of catering to the fragmented demands of international sales teams in a variety of locations and the pressures become all but manageable.

In simple terms, the right solution is to establish a service centre in a low-cost location. Having built such a centre of excellence in Poland, I can vouch for the benefits and efficiencies that this can bring. In real terms however, except for large organizations that already have an offshoring strategy, such projects are time draining, complex and lack critical mass in order to be a realistic solution for most marketing teams.

Tap into a near-sourcing talent pool!

Marketing near-sourcing, however, is a more viable option for many marketing teams and provides a means to tap into a talent pool that, until now, has been difficult for marketing leaders to access. Near-sourcing is a new form of marketing services that combines traditional services such as desk-top publishing, layouting, design, presentation services, web publishing and design, social media management and so on, all provided from a low-cost location that offer the skills, professionalism and quality equal to those available on the ‘home’ market at considerable cost savings. After-all, why pay €65-85 an hour or more for a freelancer or internal staff member to do desk top publishing when you can get the same service for €45?

Balancing act: skills versus task complexity

Near-shoring helps to balance the equation between skills and complexity of task and the cost of labour: focus high cost and high skilled team members on high value-added tasks, while lower skilled tasks can be managed by adequately skilled team members in a low-cost location. Or, transfer work from external service providers based in high-cost locations to a near-shore provider with the same skills but significantly lower costs.

Put simply, it’s all about allocating the right work to the right skills-set in the right location at the right price, all while increasing the motivation of your team by focusing them on work that really has a high value impact on the business.

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