7 Things to Do If You Outsource Ad Production

Checklist for Outsourcing Ad ProductionLast week, I wrote about how you can discover whether your company is a candidate for outsourcing advertising production.  Now, let’s look into what you should do if you have decided to outsource, to help make sure that your outsourcing initiative is successful. I have put together a handy checklist for you.

When reviewing outsourcing vendors, ask about:

  1. What is the implementation process, and how long is each step going to take? If a step seems to have more time allocated than necessary, ask why. The answers might tell you quite a bit about how your vendor works. In general, ask as many questions about the process as you can—you need to ensure that your vendor has thought it through, has planned for eventualities that might arise, and has enough experience that this will be a smooth transition for you.
  2. What training are they going to provide? Your team needs to know how to use the vendor’s systems (if you are going to be using them), and how your processes map to theirs. They need to tell you how you can get work done quickly and effectively. For example, when we work with newspapers or other advertising production clients, we usually have a team working in their offices to ensure the transition is smooth. We get the clients and our Affinity Express teams working together seamlessly, as one team.
  3. What is the support plan? Especially at the beginning of an outsourcing engagement, clients need a lot of support. Our teams usually have daily calls with the client team, and are available by phone and on Skype to answer any client questions that arise. Frequent and instant communication overcomes the challenges of being in different offices (and in our case, different countries), and makes it easier for everyone to work together.
  4. Don’t forget to look internally and make sure the transition is smooth.

  5. Keep all stakeholders involved. Every employee who touches ad production is likely to be apprehensive about the transition, and lack of communication breeds rumors and resentment. Get the IT team on your side and have them help integrate systems with the vendor as needed. Prepare your sales staff. You might be changing your process of submitting orders and the sales staff need to know what to do and how to work with the new team to get the best results. Managers, assistants and others also need to know how to work with the vendor.
  6. Have a liaison between the vendor and client teams. Having someone in your office who coordinates between the sales and vendor teams is essential to ensuring that the process runs smoothly.  This person should be incented to make the relationship a success and have the authority to make important decisions.
  7. Document everything. Provide your sales staff with cheat sheets (with details of colors, fonts, borders, layouts, etc.) that will help them place orders more effectively. Document detailed specifications and expectations for your vendor.
  8. Manage communication well. There is no need to announce to your clients that you have begun to outsource ad production. If you have a good vendor and you both manage the process well, there will be no disruptive change.  You customers will never know—unless they are pleasantly surprised by a sudden improvement!  Nevertheless, you should train your sales reps on how to reassure any advertisers who are aware of and apprehensive about the transition. If quality and deadline expectations are consistently met, their concerns will be short-lived and satisfaction will only increase.

If you have outsourced advertising and marketing production, what additional advice can you offer?

About Kelly Glass
Kelly has been vice president of Marketing at Affinity Express for nine years now. She drives company strategy and all marketing activities.

2 Responses to 7 Things to Do If You Outsource Ad Production

  1. Pingback: New Client Implementation Success Story « Affinity Express Blog

  2. Pingback: 100th Blog Post « Affinity Express Blog

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