While most businesses now rely on external vendors for their marketing requirements, significant changes are expected in 2019 and beyond. While some of the trends are fueled by changing technologies, most of the changes are likely to be fueled by socio-cultural expectations and demographic shifts. We have listed 7 trends that are likely to influence how marketing outsourcing is done.
1. Demand for soft skills to increase
You may have already started to use social media and email marketing, but you still run the risk of losing your marketing message amidst that of your competitors. The perceived frequency of campaigns also results in marketing fatigue among customers, according to Adobe. The only way to differentiate is to find a vendor that focuses on soft skills and excellent communication and team-work. Thankfully, training marketing professionals with soft skills is usually successful, according to an MIT study.
So far, businesses focused on hiring customer service teams with excellent soft skills. Going forward, soft skills will be an important criteria for both inbound and outbound multichannel processes.
2. Marketing overhead costs expected to shoot up
The cost of creating a marketing team in-house is likely to increase in the next few months due to the skills shortage, infrastructural issues and other overhead costs. Most businesses will not be able to set aside a decent budget for marketing overheads. According to a CMO survey, there was a 7.1% increase in marketing spend during 2018, and the 2019 estimate is expected to remain consistent with previous forecasts.
To avert exorbitant marketing overheads, businesses will begin to choose well-equipped offshore agencies. In addition, clients will continue to choose captive centers in affordable offshore destinations to reduce overhead costs.
3. Need for captive centers with better infrastructure
While marketing agencies mushroomed over the last few years, they often failed at their ability to scale up when demands increased. They also could not solve the specific marketing needs of certain businesses, such as niche e-commerce processes. These newly mushroomed marketing agencies often find it difficult to maintain extensive cloud computing and IT infrastructure required for seamless marketing delivery.
There is a growing need for captive centers with adequate infrastructure and manpower to fill the gap. Only agencies that can scale up quickly will be able to meet the marketing needs of a growing business.
4. Proactive CSR to become a part of marketing message
Customers are more amenable to marketing messages with a strong corporate social responsibility message. Research shows people are hyper-sensitive towards marketing messages and routinely “cancel” brands that do not adhere to anti-discriminatory norms of today. Thus, it is important to choose an offshore marketing team that strongly believes in equality, respect for people’s choices and that which has cultivated a strong voice against different kinds of discrimination.
CSR and anti-discriminatory attitude need to be reflected in social media marketing in particular, as customers can easily detect and lambast social accounts of businesses that are not managed by sensitive and “woke” professionals.
5. A growing necessity to update buyer personas
Buyer personas that were developed a few years ago are n longer relevant and may even seem discriminatory towards certain social and demographic groups. For instance, it was believed that millennials are frivolous and marketing messages were unconsciously developed with such a persona in mind. If you are creating buyer personas yourself, make sure to go through this checklist on Hubspot.
Businesses will need to choose marketing agencies that continuously update their buyer personas so that inadvertent offense is not caused during email or social media marketing.
6. Multi-channel marketing to mirror customer journeys
2018 saw a lot of businesses try their game at multi-channel marketing. While some of them did it right, others overdid it by hyper-personalizing marketing messages and almost becoming creepy in terms of knowing who their customers are.
2019 will see a growth in multi-channel marketing adoption, but marketers will be careful to mirror only customer journeys and not personalize communication to the point that it becomes off-putting for the customer. Data needs to be used, but not overused or exploited.
7. Marketing and IT to intertwine further
Marketing professionals and agencies began to implement various automation tools in their campaigns last year. This year, marketing will further integrate with IT, and businesses will find themselves dabbling with artificial intelligence, data analytics and sensor-based technologies to enhance campaigns.
However, with a renewed focus on IT, businesses will begin to release the need for hiring agencies that focus on soft skills, as that can easily be overlooked.
- Technologically, not much is going to change in terms of marketing outsourcing
- Businesses will continue to seek the support of agencies to automate their campaigns, derive data insights and connect with customers better
- There will be an increased focus on soft skills of offshore marketing teams which will help address marketing fatigue that exists among customers today
- Businesses will hire marketing agencies that are socially aware and have a strong CSR mentality.
- We will see less hyper-personalization and more mirroring of actual customer journeys