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5 Social Media Best Practices to Drive ROI

by: Fin Panlilio

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

Social media is a powerful tool to engage and converse with your audience. It also helps track and identify the content and messaging strategies that work for your business.

Tools with such capabilities can drive big results, but they can also cause big issues if you donít understand the way they work. Here are five best practices to ensure the biggest bang for your social media buck:

Track the Tangible.
Connect your social media efforts to numbers that represent actual money: products sold, e-books downloaded, donations made. Analytics on the number of fans or followers of your brand are not tangible proof of ROI.

Mobile is Master.
That mobile commerce, or m-Commerce, accounted for almost 25% of all e-Commerce sales last year means your site needs to be mobile-friendly. Mobile design can no longer be an afterthought when there is too much money at stake.

Listen, Respond, Engage.
Being present in social media is not enough. You also have to apply social listening. With the help of marketing automation tools, there is an opportunity to actively listen, respond, and engage with the people who are talking about your brand, or topics related to your brand.

Seeing is Believing.
Did you know that people absorb visual information 500% faster than text? Thatís why the recently released Twitter Cards exist. Visual components (e.g. image, infographic, video) in every post increase engagement.

Hashtags for Visibility.
Hashtags make it easy for people to find information about a specific topic or product. Use them on your social media posts to increase visibility.

Treat social media like the powerful marketing tool it is. Be consistent in creating compelling content and engaging with your customers and youíll be rewarded with higher conversion rates, increased revenue, and ROI.

Europe Stays Strong in Global Outsourcing Market

by: Sarah Joson

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends, Outsourcing News

According to research data from sourcing advisory firm Information Service Group (ISG), the outsourcing market of EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) continues to withstand the various changes and forces that have come along its way.   

During the first quarter of 2014, nearly 165 contracts were closed/renewed from the EMEA outsourcing market. This is 21 percent higher than last yearís first quarter, but only a percent more from the previous quarter. However, the market was estimated to be worth Ä2.4bn for this yearís first quarter, a 10 percent increase from the previous quarter, and 29 percent higher than the first quarter of 2013.
Meanwhile, growth in the global outsourcing market remains constant with Ä1.5bn in contracts being awarded in America. This shows that growth slowed down by 16 percent compared to 2013ís first quarter, but posted an increase of 32 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013.

ISG also pointed out that 76 percent of the total contract value posted for the first quarter is accounted for by new contracts. This is a 48 percent increase year-on-year, and is the highest value posted in four years.

In line with that, UK posted a total contract value (for the first quarter of 2014) of Ä1bn, which is 33 percent higher quarter-on-quarter and 66 percent higher year-on-year. The UK also posted 59 closed deals, the highest volume so far in the last three quarters.

David Howie, a partner at ISG, pointed out that UK is the frontrunner of Europeís bullish outsourcing industry. He said Q12014 is a good period for the UK because it has outdone the average performance of the last eight quarters wherein the average total contract value per quarter is $800m.

Howie believes that UK and the US will continue to outdo outsourcing growth in Germany and the rest of Europe. He stated that there are similarities on how economies are run in the two countries.


Top Recruitment Process Outsourcing Trends

by: Sarah Joson

Monday, April 14, 2014 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

Recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) has become one of the more active business tools being widely adopted. It was found that the key drivers of this model are: the strategy to expand operations, a growing number of decision makers are now accepting the model more, its flexibility, and to streamline operations.

A post at info.ISG-One.com shares the popular trends as stated by over a dozen RPO providers:

1) RPO providers are working hard to attract more talent.
Several strategies are now being implemented by RPOs that joined ISGís forum. Some of them said they are now focusing on solutions on employment branding and employee value proposition. Others make use of their companyís popularity in terms of brand and culture in hopes of attracting talents that will fit a client-driven environment.   

2. Globalization strategies are applied to enable growth.
RPO providers are also considering expanding operations by means of tapping new locations. This will enable them to reinforce geographic reach, presence, as well as capability. Others were seen applying globalization through the use of the internet. With that, globalization will be a strong focal point for 2014 and is a strategy that RPOs will strongly invest time and money on.

3. More recruitment outsourcing providers will be focusing on niche markets.
RPO providers are expected to be more industry-centric coming from a multi-industry model. This is to address the challenges of recruiting professional-level positions that are commonly hard to fill. Itís always a way for providers to showcase their success and potential in specific segments.

4. Process innovation.
Technology will also play a huge role amongst RPOs this year. Process automation and sourcing platforms such as social media, text campaigns, mobile applications, online processing, and interviews will be utilized to improve talent acquisition. Data collection will also be transformed by various technologies, making it easier for providers to collect and process information and align business results with goals.

5. Adoption of a multi-provider recruitment outsourcing setup.

Partnerships will be forged as blended RPO gains more traction. This is expected to help organizations to reinforce their talent pool and maximize the cost reduction capabilities of outsourcing. It also diversifies the strength of an enterprise while helping them maintain order in the process.

Accenture Veers Away from the Term ďOutsourcingĒ

by: Sarah Joson

Friday, April 11, 2014 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing News, Outsourcing Research / Trends

A post at EnterpriseIrregulars.com sheds light into the game-changing move of global IT and consultancy leader Accenture. It was recently reported that the company has shun away from the term "outsourcing", and is now using a new strategy line "Strategy, Digital, Technology, Operations", instead of their decade-old line "Consulting, Technology, Outsourcing".

The decision to drop the term "outsourcing" is in line with the firm wanting to put emphasis on their services that go beyond business process outsourcing (BPO).

Through the eyes of the public, outsourcing is still an ambiguous subject that has created an unstable environment for consultants, providers, and global clients. Since outsourcing is still somehow associated to negative practices, teaching and instilling facts such as the many ways it can help improve and extend operational capability and productivity have become an endless battle.

Accenture, a key player in the outsourcing industry, is the last of the pioneers that worked with and used the term outsourcing. Now that it is starting to veer away from the brand/term, what is going to happen to the rest of the sector?

Renowned providers were seen replacing the term "outsourcing" with: "operations" for Accenture, "business process services" for Cognizant, while Dell, Capgemini, Infosys, Sutherland Global, and Wipro call it "BPO". Genpact uses "business process management", ADP uses "human resources BPO", EXL uses "business process solutions", while WNS refers to it as "business process management".

 All in all, what matters is how potential clients understand the delivery model and the benefits it brings to an enterprise. Accentureís move of changing outsourcing maybe significant for rebranding and realigning strategy, but it will still depend on how it will be perceived by consumers.

Social Listening: The Top Marketing Technique in 2014

by: Fin Panlilio

Thursday, April 10, 2014 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

Things have definitely changed for social media - from being ignored by top marketers to now being the main channel for communicating with customers.

As customers now expect to connect and converse with brands whenever they want, it is the latterís responsibility to listen and respond in real time.

Here are three tips to help marketers take full advantage of their social media channels for listening.

1. Keep your ear to the ground.
Social listening helps marketers engage with customers by watching various social media networks for mentions of their brand. With social media, there is a unique opportunity for brands to connect with customers one-on-one. Utilize social listening by joining conversations relating to your brand and your industry.

2. Engage and respond in real time.
Real-time analytics makes it easy for brands to listen to their customers and respond to them in real time. According to a recent survey, 49% of Twitter users were likely to recommend a brand via social media if that brand engaged with them in a timely manner.

3. Automate listening to identify influencers.
Marketing automation helps organize social media management so that you can be a more effective listener. Use an automation tool to identify your brandís major influencers - from journalists and bloggers to celebrities - and then engage those influencers. Building a mutually beneficial relationship with your influencers strengthens the brand.

The top marketing technique this year revolves around being a better listener. In an age of personalization and real-time marketing, itís time to grab the opportunity to connect with your customers in a truly personal way. That is golden marketing you just canít buy.

Using Social Media to Get Heard by Your Future Customers

by: Fin Panlilio

Tuesday, April 08, 2014 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

Getting your small business to take off can be difficult as it is to get heard in the massive noise that is the overcrowded internet. Millions of businesses and websites are out there competing for a slice of the cake, so how can a start-up get heard by the people who matter?

No matter how small or new your business might be, having an online presence is necessary in this day and age. Social media has made it easier for small businesses to compete with the big guys. If there is one thing the entire advertising budget in the world canít repress, itís genuine customer feedback. Thanks to the ubiquity of smartphones and social media, every consumer-facing business is just a couple of clicks away from receiving a rave review or an ill-tempered rant on a social sharing site.

Donít look so glum. Your customers can actually do the work for you and spread good news about your brand or business! How? By offering them incentives. Small rewards, such as a free drink with a meal or a discount voucher every time they "check-in" to your business online or tweet using your chosen hashtag, always do the trick.

Something as simple as an email, a Facebook post, or a tweet prompting your customers to write a review for future customers could be all that is needed. It all sounds so easy, but of course, you need to make sure your product or service is of good and decent quality to ensure positive feedback - the one golden rule of business that hasn't changed and wonít be changing anytime soon. Remember that a business relationship is no different from any other relationship; you canít afford to take your customers for granted.

Social media can be beneficial to your business, but you have to be aware that it also carries risk. Having an online presence means that customers can engage with your business like never before, and that entails both good and bad feedback.
Feedback you receive from a social media outlet is there for all to see, so itís important to be quick and sympathetic with your responses. Let your customers know you are listening to their concerns by acknowledging them and addressing the problem in a meaningful way. It could be in some form of compensation or a simple apology and explanation.

Social media is a wonderful tool to building a successful business. It just needs to be carefully monitored to make sure your business can turn even the worst feedback to your advantage.

How to Incorporate Photography into Your Social PR Strategy

by: Fin Panlilio

Monday, March 31, 2014 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

Recent news has us updated on Instagramís announcement that they now have 200 million users, with a total of 20 billion photos shared, and 60 million photos shared daily. Itís easy to understand why Instagram has quickly gone from a trendy app to a household name: pictures are easily shareable and surpass language and cultural barriers.

As a marketer, you have to monitor all social media channels, know the trends, and find out how you can get the most out of them. People connect with pictures on an emotional level, so itís essential that your company incorporates photos into your social PR strategies. It will help your company resonate with your audience as well as optimize engagement.

Here are three ways in which you can integrate pictures into your social PR strategy:

1. Lay your cards on the table.
Save your customers the hassle of having to click another link just so they can enjoy the content you post. Show it to them within your profileís wall or stream. Twitter Cards are also available for enhancement of Twitter posts with embedded photos or other media.

2. Let your personality shine.
People like to be in the know. Offer day-to-day realities of how your company does business. Instagram would be a great outlet to show behind-the-scenes activities in your company.

3. Enhance the story.
Increase production of new content such as blog posts, eBooks, and press releases with related photography posted on your companyís social media accounts. For linking photos back to the main content on your site, Pinterest would be a good choice as it is the number one social media source of website referral traffic and revenue, according to a report by The Container Store.

The popularity of social media sites such as Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr shows that photography is a great way to catch the attention of your target audience. So pull out that camera phone, start snapping, and profit from it!

How Payroll Outsourcing can Help Your Business

by: Sarah Joson

Friday, March 28, 2014 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

Outsourcing has remarkably gone beyond the premise of reducing costs. It is now highly commoditized, a large contributor to the global economy, and a tool that helps address talent shortage in some countries.

There are a lot of processes that are now being procured from service providers (even the ones located overseas) - from manufacturing and information technology services and software to back office processes. Payroll processing is one of the back office functions that is gaining traction in the outsourcing industry.

BusinessNewsDaily.com shares ways outsourcing payroll process can help improve the day-to-day operations of an organization:

It frees up valuable time.
Outsourcing payroll processes enables business owners to focus on the core functions. By hiring a third party payroll service provider, they save time in keeping their finances in check, especially the wages and taxes of their employees.

It enables them to access the skills that they need.
Payroll service providers have access to talent that is not readily available domestically - at much lower costs. They can also be easily contacted if an employee needs to discuss something about their account, or changes are needed to be made in their information and status.
Payroll service providers are compliant with standards.
Payroll tax issues are hard to dissect, especially if theyíre not in the line of work of the operations manager or business owner. Through outsourcing, reporting and filing to the state and IRS as well as other tasks are done by experts in the field. Some say itís worth spending on the process for it to be done to a T.
It results to reduced manual errors.   
Errors in payroll often result to hefty fines. Apart from having to dedicate time in writing checks, managers need to oversee the payroll taxes, withholdings, insurance, profit-sharing, and 401(k). Outsourcing to service providers ensures minimal manual errors as they use automated tools to perform the tasks.
Significant cost savings

One of the known benefits of outsourcing is cost reduction, and it still holds true. It offers automated processes and allows clients to acquire services in increments.    

Mobile (accessible) monitoring

Executives are known to always be on the go and being able to access payroll processes through mobile devices is a huge plus for them.    

Compliant with tax withholding protocols
Outsourced payroll processes can work in such a way that the provider will be the one to adjust to the various protocols when it comes to withholding tax, particularly for companies operating globally.

Ways to Deal with Multiple IT Providers

by: Sarah Joson

Wednesday, March 26, 2014 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

Nowadays, itís common to see organizations procuring certain IT services from different vendors at a time. It has become an effective strategy that ensures businesses have the top niche providers for a specific IT task. However, along with the improvements this sourcing model has brought about came the challenges. For instance, when something goes wrong and the productivity of the entire organization is affected, it will take time and resources to rule out which provider triggered the problem.  

A post at CIO.com lists down steps that can help operations managers in multi-sourced set-ups to better oversee service providers.

1. Assign roles and responsibilities outright.
There comes a time when liabilities and responsibilities amongst service providers get a bit unclear, particularly in cases where one provider depends on another to finish certain tasks. To avoid this, clients need to make the ground rules and roles clear so that it will be easier for them to identify the problem, and come up with a solid resolution.  

2. Enforce Operating Level Agreements (OLAs).

It will be easier for vendors involved in a multi-sourced operation to maneuver their ship amongst the other ships in the sea if they have an OLA to follow. It covers ground rules that include how they should interact with each other to achieve the clientís goal.

3. An Outsourcing Cooperation Agreement might come in handy as well.
For end-to-end service levels, it is advised that buyers come up with an outsourcing cooperation agreement which introduces those standards to newcomers. It also encourages the group of providers to discuss financial responsibility and liability. All in all, it is a foundation for the entire multi-sourced ecosystem.
4. Create a command center for operations.
Having a command center helps organize a multi-sourced operation. This business hub will act as a mediator for management tools, contracts, governance processes, and service integration. They will also be responsible for integrating the processes so that operations are not disrupted. Also, instead of meeting the providers one by one, clients will only have to meet with the moderator.
5. Set measurable goals.

In the end, providers should be working towards goals that can be quantified. Some of which can be return on investments, value contributed to the entire business, and increase output.

6. Decide your level of involvement in the process.
You will need to clarify beforehand if you will be mediating the entire process. If you forgo being involved in the process, it will be easier to achieve the preferred operational result since providers will have to work things amongst themselves. If you decide to stay, it can result to vendors pointing their fingers towards you.

7. Listen to comments and suggestions of key providers.
Sometimes, providers like to share their insights about the processes and how they can help your business, as well as theirs. This is a chance for you to learn new things, especially about the ones that are totally outside of your specialization/industry.

8. Create a working environment that exemplifies teamwork. 
Multi-sourced environments can be designed in a way where IT providers can collaborate with one another. This will reinforce teamwork and get work done faster and more efficiently.


An Infographic on the Rising Healthcare Industry in the Philippines

by: Fin Panlilio

Monday, March 24, 2014 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

The largest group of healthcare providers in the Philippines consists of nurses. Strict overseas employment policies in other countries have led Philippine nursing graduates to seek alternative jobs in the healthcare industry as they await job openings in medical facilities.

This infographic illustrates the reasons

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