The Secret Weapon Marketing Managers Have at Their Disposal

10 Nov 2016

In this digital age, where agility is king, ensuring your brand appeals to your target market can mean regular change. This can be especially true for offshoring marketing.

Refining, redeveloping and relaunching a brand can be a time consuming and incredibly costly exercise for marketers.

Everything – from the big ticket items (rethinking the brand’s messaging and meaning), to the smaller details (new stationery!), not to mention redesigning and relaunching creative, website and social media – comes under the microscope.

My most recent marketing role has taught me that a full rebrand and relaunch doesn’t have to destroy your entire budget.

How I got here

My story as head of marketing for national offshore solutions specialist Diversify OSS is an example of how major rebrands can be achieved on a slim budget in the digital age. It’s a strategy where you can still leverage the vast talent in your local community, empower your local team and let them focus on the bigger picture.

When I recently took up the head of marketing role at Diversify, I had a mandate to make significant changes to re-position the business as the best offshore solutions provider for medium to large companies.

To do this, we needed to reinvigorate the brand through new messaging, a new look and a digital presence that set us apart from competitors.
With a relatively limited budget, the rebrand had the potential to devour our entire marketing budget within a few months.

We needed to deliver a quality digital presence and brand within budget, and not sacrificing quality.

We did so by adopting a strategy we recommend to our own clients, using local and offshore talent.

With a marketing background for professional services and financial services businesses, and having never worked in an offshoring business before, I was sceptical about managing a market team with employees on the ground and offshore.

This scepticism was quickly extinguished as I saw the great quality work that could be delivered, and here’s how we did it.
Number one, we didn’t offshore the whole process as the Australian creative market is second to none.

It was crucial to find the right Australian creative agency who could design something unique and ground-breaking but also work with our offshore team on implementation.

A comprehensive tendering process resulted in chosen agency, 40/40 Creative. This young Gold Coast firm hadn’t worked with Filipino developers before but were very receptive to the idea and understood the cost benefits that our business could achieve.

We chose the agency first, so 40/40 Creative could have a say in recruitment of an offshore developer from our staff in the Philippines, a highly educated and developed offshoring community.

We engaged 40/40 on a retainer basis to conduct regular quality assurance exercise as our offshore (and now full-time) developer went to work, ensuring the coding being undertaken was clean and effective.

Our mixed-model approach allowed us to enjoy the benefits of having our full-time developer working on the site and have an experienced creative developer, ensuring a high product standard.

Assembling the Team

Of course, building the website is just one element. Scaling up the team, we also recruited highly experienced offshore staff for the content writer and digital marketer/graphic designer roles. This allowed me to focus on executing the overall strategy while my team focused on all of the operational elements of the marketing function.

While I was a sceptic at first, for marketing managers to successfully manage offshore teams I’ve found it’s all about efficient and prescriptive leadership. Using Skype, Trello and Basecamp, I could communicate quickly with my team, manage their workloads, push them when needed and oversee major projects easily. My offshore team were as easily accessed as the person right next to me in our Brisbane office.

I’ve become very close with my offshore team. We have regular catch-ups, one-on-one discussions and team meetings. They’ve become incredibly high performing, in many cases delivering work that is comparable to, if not better than, Australian workers (especially in the search engine optimisation space). Their technical abilities are excellent, and I’ve learned a fair bit from them.

All of my initial offshore marketing team members are now full-timers, and all had a huge role to play in our now-launched website.

The value an offshore approach can deliver shouldn’t be underestimated by Australian marketers.

Local employees mostly want to be working on the big picture items, growth activities and strategies, and they can do this by overseeing offshore teams who can execute and implement.

My offshore team members allowed me to hire experienced local resources I wouldn’t otherwise have had the budget to bring on board.

Better yet, I was able to hire locally based and highly skilled contractors to work on the big picture pieces such as our new creative and approach.

This is where you want to spend your time and effort (and budget), not in the operational elements.

Mark Evans is the head of digital strategy, marketing and business development at Diversify, a national offshore solutions specialist that works with large and small listed and private companies to help grow their businesses by establishing tailored offshore teams. With offices in Australia and the Philippines, Diversify helps businesses identify and solve their unique problems, by nurturing and fostering high quality, high-performance teams. Learn more about what Diversify can do for your business through offshoring.