Why Outsourcing Isn’t Always “Cheaper”
You want a cheap website? Try Romania, Hong Kong or India…they offer cheap labor, quick turnaround time and service around the clock…but they can also end up costing you A LOT more money in the long-term.
The trick is knowing when to use these companies. Many businesses start without really defining their marketing direction or overall vision. In the beginning, budgets are tight…and the need for a solid marketing message is often overlooked.
Working with a design “production” company in another country or even in the U. S. requires that you have a clear vision of your marketing direction and are able to communicate that. If you do not know EXACTLY what you want, you will most-likely get something that is not effective or you will spend hours and hours of wasted time going back and forth to refine your concept.
An effective website – one that sells customers – has a clear marketing message, graphics that support your brand and a logical way to capture a potential customer’s contact information or encourage them to contact you. Then, you must have a great follow-up program.
Foreign design companies have no idea how to come up with appropriate marketing content. They can create great graphics, sites that load quickly and work well, and they are very professional. But, you must tell them exactly what you want or you will get a worthless website. You see this over and over – websites that look amazing and work great, but have no logical message or clear statement about the company they represent.
Necessary steps to working with a Foreign Web Design Company:
- Define your brand: It is well worth the money to hire a brand strategy specialist to help you define your brand message, category and promise. This is the foundation of all of your marketing material and will save countless hours and wasted money.
- Create a message your audience can relate to: Who is your target customer? What inspires them to buy or learn more about your company? A clear, written message on your website can be almost four times as effective as graphics.
- Have a clear plan: When you approach a foreign design company to create your website, you must give them the specific parameters of what you need. They will need the sitemap, some idea of your brand and the overall look you want, and all of the text you plan to “plug” into the site. You will also want to provide them with special instructions for marketing your site – for example, do you want a pop-up screen with a special offer? Or maybe a newsletter opt-in?
- Make yourself available: You can’t just hand them your plan and expect your project to turn out well. Providing constant feedback is essential.
In short, if you are willing to take the steps to work with a foreign design company, your results can be great and you can save a lot of money. But if it is too much of a headache or you do not have the expertise, it’s best to go with a marketing company that can guide you through the process of developing a solid marketing direction and a website that supports your marketing efforts. You’ll save more money in the long run and make more sells.
In 2002, Laura founded VirtualMG.com , a branding and creative agency specializing in website design, advertising, corporate identity, direct mail and marketing strategy. Some past and current clients include Lucas Arts, The Sharper Image, TRW, Xerox, American Airlines and First Interstate bank.