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Employee strength and experience
Check out how many people the company employs and ask about their overall work capacity. This will help you decide whether this company can handle future volumes of work you may have.
Direct clients vs. agencies
Ask the company what percent of their clients are direct vs. agencies. The bigger the agency percentage, the better for you.
Exit clause
Make sure the agreement has an exit clause if things do not work out as well as you expected.
In my experience, when two companies begin to work together, the first month or two are always challenging. This is because both companies are in the process of learning and understanding the work culture and functioning of each other. Once this phase is over, things should move smoothly.
Most often, agencies prefer to work with a single company. This makes sense because it’s easier to manage. However, sometimes working with a single company might not be sufficient, and you will need to look at having a second alternative.
Agencies, in particular, can pursue another alternative, following in the footsteps of Google, which opened a research and development centre in Bangalore (May 2004) and another office in Hyderabad (November 2004). The Hyderabad office handles global support for Google AdWords advertisers and AdSense publishers. I know of at least one small US agency which tried to set up a local team out of Ind, but failed because of very high attrition rates in the Ind.ian IT industry.
To conclude, outsourcing search marketing to a low-cost labor destination should help you save money and in many cases provide superior service. However, you need to do your due diligence before selecting a vendor to ensure the fit is right.
Outsourcing should not be seen as a threat for US-based agencies; instead, they should use it to their advantage by outsourcing labor-intensive tasks and use their regular employees as the crucial link between their clients and outsourced vendors.
Agencies, in particular, can pursue another alternative, following in the footsteps of Google, which opened a research and development centre in Bangalore (May 2004) and another office in Hyderabad (November 2004). The Hyderabad office handles global support for Google AdWords advertisers and AdSense publishers. I know of at least one small US agency which tried to set up a local team out of Ind, but failed because of very high attrition rates in the Ind.ian IT industry.
To conclude, outsourcing search marketing to a low-cost labor destination should help you save money and in many cases provide superior service. However, you need to do your due diligence before selecting a vendor to ensure the fit is right. Outsourcing should not be seen as a threat for US-based agencies; instead, they should use it to their advantage by outsourcing labor-intensive tasks and use their regular employees as the crucial link between their clients and outsourced vendors.
Milind Mody is founder & CEO of eBrandz Inc and can be reached at eBrandz has been working as an outsourcing partner with agencies and clients since 2003.
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