Digital marketing often requires investments in various marketing technology, whether it be a website, an app, a marketing automation system, a banner production tool, or a content management solution. Nothing new there. It has its placeholder in most companies’ marketing budgets.
In order to lower the production costs and save valuable time for internal resources, many companies outsource these marketing tech development projects to offshore developers.
We wanted to find out more about outsourced marketing tech development, so we contacted India native Krunal Vyas, Business Developer at IQlance, an IT consultancy specializing in website development and app development in Winnipeg, Canada.
Hi, Krunal! Thank you for enlightening us on the ins and outs of outsourced marketing tech projects!
“Hi, Digital Mic Drop! My pleasure! You know, the first thing that comes to people’s mind when I talk about outsourced IT and tech developments is that it is all websites and databases.
A company can get help with so much more than that and often times, you can get help with everything from very small tasks and time-consuming repetitive database entry to digital marketing, ongoing SEO maintenance work and large scale marketing tech projects.”
“We’ll be able to turn their ideas into reality way under budget and with better functionality.”
“Often times, clients come to us with a rough idea of what they want to achieve, but with a limited understanding of the amount of work required, what’s technically possible, and with a preconceived idea that tech developments come with a hefty price tag that’ll burn a hole in their wallet.
My job is to help clients turn their ideas into reality by scoping out their project, providing recommendations on what solutions would work best and also set realistic expectations regarding things like delivery time and investments.
One of the things I enjoy the most with my job is to see the reaction on my clients’ faces when they realize that we’ll be able to turn their ideas into reality way under budget and with better functionality than they had envisioned.”
What can some of the challenges be with outsourced marketing tech?
“That’s a good question and definitely something that every project manager should consider before scoping out a project.
In my experience, the biggest difference between executing a project in-house and contracting a developer overseas would be that you are not sitting right next to your team that is working on your project.
Oftentimes, the developer sits thousands of miles away and there is a time difference and hence a communication lag time. But then again, this is often also the case when you are working in bigger multi-national companies.
This can sometimes create challenges with communication, but this is also something that can be bridged by employing a very clear communication and approval process as well as creating a very clear project scope document.
Sounds complicated, but it’s really not and as a business developer, this is probably the most important part of my job.”
Communication challenges bridged
“Speaking of communication challenges. Another preconceived idea about developers overseas is that it will be challenging to communicate and get your point across. I’d say that it is true and false at the same time.
True, because, let’s face it, they are located in India or maybe Asia and often speak English as a second language.
False, because any respectable outsourcing company would always have a dedicated project manager who speaks near-flawless English and handles most or all of the communication with the client.”
Ok, that doesn’t sound too bad. What are some of the upsides?
“The upsides are many, and they definitely outweigh the physical distance. The thing that matters the most for many companies is the cost.
On average, getting a website or app developed will be about a third of the cost of what it would cost to develop according to the exact same specification in North America or Europe. A developer that costs $80 USD per hour in the United States costs about $25 USD per hour in India.”
“A project that would normally take twelve weeks can be delivered in less than four weeks.”
“Our clients are often strapped for resources and time in their own organization, which makes it hard to get tech developments prioritized and on the roadmap.
My team of 30 developers in India, are able to take on a project that would normally take twelve weeks from start to finish for a firm in Europe or North America and deliver it to our client as a fully functional and tested beta in less than four weeks.”
“Last but by no means least: Technical know-how and bandwidth. Outsourced IT consultancies like my company have access to large, agile team with a combined knowledge of most (or all) of the available programming languages and techniques out there.”
“At IQlance, we are also able to offer a one-stop-shop toolbox of skills ranging from graphic design and marketing to UX experts, web designers, web developers and SEO experts.
This is something that most companies wouldn’t normally have in-house and something that most western consultancy companies wouldn’t be able to offer without subcontracting parts of the project.”
Thank you, Krunal!
Krunal’s top tips for succeeding with your marketing tech development project:
- Start by gathering requirements from all stakeholders within your company. Prioritize features under ‘must have’ and ‘nice to have’
- Create a scope document and go back to your stakeholders to discuss and collect feedback
- Set a realistic timeline that works for you, your stakeholders and your outsourced partner
- Set a realistic budget and communicate this budget to relevant stakeholders
- Set expectations with your stakeholders and communicate these to your outsourced partner
- Get involved in the development process and make yourself available for questions and to give ongoing feedback to the developers
- Make yourself available for testing and involve at least one of your stakeholders in the testing process
- Be transparent and clear in your communication
- Be open to ideas and receptive to best practices
- Last but not least: Sounds cheesy, but let your creativity flow and have fun with your outsourced partner – the end-result will be so much better if you buddy up with your partner and make the process fun