Posts Tagged ‘Marketing’

Catalina Marketing IT jobs being outsourced

June 29th, 2015

In thousands of stores across the country, you’ll find Catalina Marketing’s coupons, apps and rewards programs.Outsourcing22

Inside the company’s St. Petersburg headquarters, the company’s IT infrastructure employees help keep all that technology running.

That’s about to change.

About 50 Catalina IT workers will be replaced by employees from Mindtree, one of the largest outsourcing firms used by companies in the U.S. , according to sources familiar with the matter. Employees affected by the layoffs told FOX 13 they’re being asked to train their foreign replacements.

Catalina Marketing wouldn’t answer any questions. The company sent a statement from a California-based PR firm saying the decision to transition some operations to Mindtree was part of their “ongoing focus on enhancing Catalina’s unique business competencies, building new capabilities, and focusing on core business strategies.”

Some of the company’s employees told FOX 13 they’re simply being replaced by less expensive workers.

“Employees are expected to personally train their Indian replacements, reverse roles and watch their replacement work,” said one IT worker who spoke on the condition of anonymity, fearing retaliation by the company. “Once management is satisfied with the transition, the American worker is laid off.”

Former Disney employee Keith Barrett says the IT outsourcing sounds similar to what happened to him and about 250 other workers in Orlando six months ago.

“I was only seven years away from retirement when I was laid off,” said Barrett, who is still looking for a full-time IT job.

News of the Disney layoffs earlier this month sparked more public debate about the H1-B Visa program, which was designed to allow companies to hire highly specialized foreign workers to fill in crucial gaps in the American workforce.

Some say IT jobs don’t fall into that category.

“Those skills are actually incredibly common in this country,” Barrett said. “If you ever open up a job for applicants, you will get hundreds of people applying for it that are adequately or overly skilled for that.”

Catalina wouldn’t say how many of the outsourced jobs would rely on H1-B Visas for foreign workers. Mindtree did not respond to requests for comment.

A New York Times report on Disney’s layoffs earlier this month prompted Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) to ask the Department of Homeland Security to investigate how the Visa program is being used.

“I plan on delving further into this issue in the Senate and request that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security also investigate potential misuses of the H1-B visa program,” Nelson wrote in a June 4 letter to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson. “I want to know if there are abuses going on in the system.”

A week later, the Labor Department launched a similar H1-B Visa program investigation into Southern California Edison and two Indian technology firms over allegations the companies may have used the Visa program to replace American employees with less expensive workers.

Barrett says employees face being replaced with foreign workers have more to contend with than an impending loss of income.

“You’ve still got to do your job while you’re there…and job hunt and then add training those that are actually coming in to take over your responsibilities: that’s a lot of stress,” he said.


Online marketing to create 1.5 lakh jobs in India

August 14th, 2014

About 1.5 lakh jobs are expected to be created in the digital marketing space within a couple of years as more companies tap the Internet and the social media platform to bolster business, say HR experts. India is emerging as a digital outsourcing hub for diverse services including online advertising, social media and website design, they said.

“With both businesses and consumers increasingly shifting their focus to the digital medium, there will be 1.5 lakh jobs available by 2016,” Manipal Global Education Services Executive President V Sivaramakrishnan said.

Going by estimates, around 25,000 new job opportunities are likely this year itself in digital marketing space. The rising demand is also spurred by increased use of the Internet and mobile phones besides fast growing e-commerce businesses. However, the availability of talent is less than demand.

“Almost every single brand has put in place a digital marketing strategy and are struggling to hire people to execute the same,” Trivone Digital Services Founder & CEO L Subramanyam said. Reflecting similar sentiments, CareerBuilder India MD Premlesh Machama said there is a dearth of skilled and experienced professionals for digital marketing.

HR firm Randstad India CEO Moorthy Uppaluri said there has been a huge proliferation of technology that has changed the way companies engage with their clients and employees. “Hence, the focus of companies to enter new digital channels of engagement is driving up the demand for digital (marketing) professionals,” Uppaluri said.

According to MeraJob India CEO Pallav Sinha said, India is also becoming a potential outsourcing hub for digital marketing services, with many entities taking up projects from clients in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Unison International MD Udit Mittal said the requirement for more skilled and efficient digital marketing professionals is rising at an exponential level. Among the business areas, e-commerce is turning to be a major recruiter of digital marketing professionals.

Lighthouse Partners Managing Partner Rajiv Burman said the digital space offers opportunities to professionals working in marketing departments of corporate as well as fresh graduates. Echoing similar views, Advaiya Solutions’ Founder and CEO Manish Godha said growth of digital marketing segment is very promising and would create many job opportunities.

“Other areas for digital marketing growth include social marketing, content creation and management, search marketing, email marketing, analytics and video production,” he added. As per Randstad India estimates, the starting salary for digital marketing professionals is in the range of Rs 4.5-5.5 lakh.


Why Are Your Competitors Outsourcing Their Marketing?

May 7th, 2014

The Trend to Specialization in Marketingoutsourcing21

Have you noticed that your competitors are outsourcing marketing functions-everything from channel development to social media? Why is that?

It’s because marketing is changing more rapidly than ever before. This turbulence within the marketing discipline is driving the trend toward specialization. And outsourcing enables companies to work with marketing partners that have a depth of knowledge in the best practices for specific areas of marketing.

If, for example, you want to optimize your website for the search engines, you need to have the assistance of someone who is constantly following Google’s algorithms and how they affect best practices. Hiring a full-time guru of search engine optimization may not make financial sense, but you still want access to the skill set—and outsourcing provides it.

So in order to focus on core competencies and control costs, many companies outsource specific marketing-related business processes. The key to outsourcing successfully is to understand where specific marketing needs can best be met by marketing partners.


How marketing and IT are working together

April 7th, 2014

Businesses are becoming increasingly customer centric, which is moving the focus of marketing efforts firmly onto improving the customer experience.
To help with meeting that core objective, marketers are looking every which way for technology that can help them deliver a better customer experience. They want to do it all, and they want to do it now!

IT teams, on the other hand, have been in the game of buying and implementing technology a little longer. They know there are considerations that have to be made before diving in headfirst, and they’ve dealt with the repercussions of security and integration issues.

With the lines blurring between technology ownership, I’ve been looking into how the relationship between the two teams is – or isn’t – working.

Are marketing people treading on their IT department’s toes when they purchase technology? Are IT managers becoming frustrated when marketing colleagues bring in new tech without involving them in the decision-making process?

Is there agreement on the need to work together and how? Is anyone actually getting the IT and marketing collaboration right, or is there trouble in paradise?

We surveyed 100 marketing and 110 IT professionals to find out. These are a few of the things we learnt:

IT people think they work well with marketing, but…
There’s good news and bad news. The good news is that 78% of IT people think they work collaboratively with marketing. The bad news is that only 58% of marketers agree that’s the case.

This suggests that in 20% of businesses, there are IT people blissfully unaware that the marketing department they think they’re getting along with are either unsatisfied with their working relationship or simply not embracing collaboration.

It’s an interesting disconnect, indicating that it is generally marketing is the less satisfied party here, or perhaps that some marketing people don’t even see a need for collaboration with IT.

Either way, it does suggest that there is an element of misunderstanding of each other’s priorities, and difficulty in putting in place a mutual roadmap.

Customer experience is almost all that marketing cares about
We split web strategy into 10 different areas, and asked marketing and IT people which of those areas they felt they should be working together on.

Once again, IT came off as the more eager group, indicating a greater desire for collaboration for seven out of the 10 categories in comparison to their marketing counterparts.

There were marginally more marketing people interested in collaborating with IT on social media analytics, and the two groups seem to be aligned on their influence on marketing automation platforms.

But in every other category, including ecommerce platforms, web hosting solutions, content management, analytics and business intelligence and mobile strategies, IT is much more keen on a collaborative approach than marketing is.

The only area that the majority of marketing people (70%) agree they need to collaborate with IT is the customer experience. So it makes sense that this is all marketing should be concerned with, and fundamentally all 10 different areas of web and data strategy ultimately filter into customer experience.

This suggests that marketing needs to focus on the bigger picture and bring IT in on that rather than outsourcing certain elements in silo, expecting IT purely to deliver without the overarching strategy.

It’s all about real time access to the right data
Data is at the heart of the new approach to customer experience management, so we asked both groups about what their priorities and challenges are in this area.

For IT, the biggest issues they hit are security (both that of company data and with customer data), cost and the complexity of integration.

They are struggling with implementing data-led technology in a way that works with all their other systems, fits with regulations around security and all within a reasonable cost. Perhaps then it’s no surprise they want to sanity check some of the technology decision making being made by marketing.

It seems these difficulties are impacting on marketing professionals too, who told us that having access to the right data in real time is their highest priority.

However, more than a third of marketers told us they did not actually had access to any customer data, while only 29% have access to any kind of data in real time.

Despite the growing importance of data and its usage in customer experience, it seems that both marketing and IT people are struggling to make an effective strategy a reality. There is a disconnect which seems to be resulting in a lack of important abilities for the business, such as the access to real time data.

Given that customer experience is such a huge priority for marketing, and by extension the whole business, it is clear that this is the area that they need to start working more closely with IT.

In order for this to be achieved both groups need to be able to have a mutual roadmap and influence on the strategy, as well as an understanding what kind of data they really need in order to make informed decisions and implement that strategy.

This might take some development on marketing’s part in order to understand how processes work and what really impacts their business, which demands that IT be given equal partner status in this relationship and not be viewed simply as being responsible for delivery.


Leading brokers wary of outsourcing

January 13th, 2014

Many brokers are dubious about outsourcing their business activity – except when it comes to marketing – one leading broker claimed recently.

Speaking with The Adviser, managing director and financial and lending adviser at Afirm Financial, Leon Spadavecchia, said while it is important that brokers maintain control over all facets of their business, marketing could be successfully outsourced.

“All enquiries, loan processing and post-settlement service is handled in-house,” he said.

“We have doubled our admin team to accommodate a heavy workload, allowing us to maintain control, producing efficiencies in our operation.”

Mr Spadavecchia said marketing ‘isn’t his forte’ and he would rather have professionals look after it.

“Delivering superior customer service is paramount and we achieve this by knowing our customers intimately as opposed to outsourcing,” he said.

Neil Christie from Aussie employs the services of a processor to help collate supporting documents for applications.

“By doing this it makes my business more efficient and also complements my skills, which is writing loans. Without my processor I wouldn’t be able to see the number of clients that I do within a week as my time would be bogged down in phone calls and emails to our panel of 19 lenders.”

However, director of xSource, Dalibor Ivkovic told The Adviser that brokers were a ‘mixed bag’ when it came to outsourcing.

“We definitely see a clear divide within brokers,” he said. “There are ones who are really reluctant to give away control of any of the files that they are managing, even if it’s a lodgement or a follow-up list. They’re happy to keep it all in-house and perhaps employ a full-time person or do it themselves.

“But then there’s the other type of broker who knows that if they outsource some of the more tedious work they have more time to spend in front of their clients, as well as saving themselves the cost of an in-house employee.”

When seeking to outsource, Mr Ivkovic claimed that brokers are wary of which company they approach, but gave some pointers to help find a reputable business.

“If you’re unsure about outsourcing, I suggest brokers ask to see privacy policies, data security standards and ask about business practices.

“For example, we are 100 per cent paperless and use encrypted electronic data storage; along with other processes we have in place we can safely say that data is more secure with us than with a home or in an office set-up.”

Mr Ivkovic also claimed that aggregator and franchise groups were embracing the capabilities provided by outsourcing companies, and that broker enquiry was on the rise.


The School of Internet Marketing Instructor Discusses Outsourcing Secrets

July 30th, 2013

Outsourcing has become a hot topic throughout the world and many businesses use it to save money on projects. Professor at The School of Internet Marketing and President of Halyard Consulting, Jonathan Goodman, talked about some of the secrets of outsourcing today on his recent podcast from July 1st, 2013.Outsourcing4

Goodman stated that outsourcing has become a way of life for many companies because it is cost-effective. Companies can find many sites on which to post their project to find freelancers to do the work. Goodman mentioned Elance and Fiverr as two he has used. It is important to know which sites to use for different types of work and what projects can be delegated internationally and what ones must use workers in the same country..

“I hire Americans, and I hire Canadians. But at the same time, I hire Kenyans, I hire Greeks. I hire Egyptians for a lot of the work that I need done.” – Jonathan Goodman

A secret that Goodman provided for businesses seeking to post projects for freelancers had to do with pricing. He recommended not putting a price on a project to leave it more open for freelancers from all over the world. The difference in a price bid is not an indication of the level of quality but rather a representation of the average salary in that country. Discounting low bids could mean someone was missing out on a top freelancer. Goodman also stressed the importance of keeping a good freelancer once a business finds someone to work with.


Pro’s & Con’s of Outsource Marketing

July 23rd, 2013

With so many companies and professionals offering a wide range of marketing services these days, it is very easy to outsource the marketing needs of your company.

Although outsourcing can provide many benefits, it may not be a suitable option for every company.

If you are wondering whether or not you should outsource your company’s marketing tasks, it is recommended that you spend some time considering the following pros and cons.

Pros of Outsourcing Your Marketing Functions

Outsourcing Reduces Costs

It may not be cost-effective to hire too many full-time employees, because you have to pay them the same salaries even when there is not much work to do.

Outsourcing your marketing tasks enables you to reduce the need to hire full-time employees and pay for only the specific services you need.

For instance, you can save a substantial amount of money by hiring a freelance blogger instead of a full-time writer. Most freelance bloggers charge their clients on a per-post basis, meaning they are paid according to the amount of work they deliver.

Provides Access to Specialized Marketing Expertise

There are many marketing channels that you can use to promote your products or services.

If you are planning to use several marketing channels, it may be a good idea to leave your marketing tasks in the hands of companies or individuals who have specialized knowledge on those channels.

Specialized marketing experts are able to determine which marketing strategies are most suitable for your company and choose the right combination of strategies to produce the best results possible.

Gives You a Fresh Marketing Perspective

Specializing in a certain niche can cause you to lose sight of the big picture.

After some time, you may find that your marketing strategies are no longer as effective as before.

Outsourcing your marketing functions can help you gain a fresh perspective on your brand identity and marketing plan. Companies and professionals who are not constantly doing work related to your niche can look at your marketing needs from a different perspective and come up with new approaches to inspire your target audience.

Cons of Outsourcing Your Marketing Functions

Risk of Hiring Unreliable or Incompetent Professionals

It is easy to find companies or professionals to handle your company’s marketing tasks, but there is no guarantee that you will get the results you want.

Some professionals may not be as competent or reliable as they claim to be, and they may produce low quality work, miss deadlines or even fail to deliver their assignments. If you wish to outsource your marketing needs, it is very important that you have a proper process for selecting the right professionals.

Jeopardize Relationship with Your Customers

Certain marketing tasks may require the companies or professionals you hire to communicate directly with your customers.

If they are not committed or well-trained enough to meet the expectations of your customers, they can cause your customers to feel alienated and damage the reputation of your company.

If you want to make outsourcing work for your company, you need to know how to strike the right balance between outsourcing and in-house marketing.


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