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March 2014 | Outsourcing Blog | BPO Industry Updates and Articles

How to Incorporate Photography into Your Social PR Strategy

by: Finella Kristle Panlilio

Monday, March 31, 2014 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

Recent news has us updated on Instagram’s announcement that they now have 200 million users, with a total of 20 billion photos shared, and 60 million photos shared daily. It’s 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 it’s 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.

Ways to incorporate pictures into your social PR strategy


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 profile’s 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 company’s 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!


Source:
http://app.prsoftware.vocus.com/


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.

How payroll outsourcing can help improve your business' day-to-day operations


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 they’re 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 it’s 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

Multi-Sourced IT Providers

Nowadays, it’s 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 client’s 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.

 


Growing Healthcare Outsourcing Industry in the Philippines

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


CIOs to Make Changes in IT Outsourcing Relationships

Results from the latest global survey done by Gartner and recently discussed at SiliconRepublic.com showed that 70 percent of CIOs are looking to modify their sourcing and technology relationships in the next few years.

According to Eric Rocco, Managing Vice-president at Gartner, CIOs are considering switching service providers to keep up with the changes. In addition to that, service providers that are able to assist clients to be more agile with the changes will be taking center stage. Providers should be able to adapt to the demand from the market and consider this as an opportunity.

Rocco added that one of the key drivers of this change is technology, and it’s the type of change that is expected to disrupt the conventional business models and its foundations.

Gartner believes that a provider’s ability to help clients move through the changes that going digital has brought about will expand the majority of IT services opportunities.

The article also pointed out that cost is no longer the main pivotal point in contracts. In fact, with the two rising segments gaining traction in the tech space (cloud-based infrastructure as a service (IaaS) at 44.9 percent and business process as a service (BPaaS) at 12.4 percent), agility will become the main driver for buyers to adopt cloud computing and not cost.   

Clients are expected to shift from traditional data center to infrastructure outsourcing where infrastructure utility services (IUS), will be managed through IaaS technology. As the trends are changing in the cloud computing world, hybrid IT environments will be at the forefront in terms of IT architecture in the coming years. It will be a fusion of traditional IT environments and the as-a-service operating models.

Rocco pointed out that for providers to successfully win clients, they need to understand what drives their business and design their propositions accordingly. He added that some of the angles that service providers can build their recommendations on are to show clients the value of the service to the business, as well as KPI attainment while maintaining innovation.


CIOs to Make Changes in IT Outsourcing Relationships

Results from the latest global survey done by Gartner and recently discussed at SiliconRepublic.com showed that 70 percent of CIOs are looking to modify their sourcing and technology relationships in the next few years.

According to Eric Rocco, Managing Vice-president at Gartner, CIOs are considering switching service providers to keep up with the changes. In addition to that, service providers that are able to assist clients to be more agile with the changes will be taking center stage. Providers should be able to adapt to the demand from the market and consider this as an opportunity.

Rocco added that one of the key drivers of this change is technology, and it’s the type of change that is expected to disrupt the conventional business models and its foundations.

Gartner believes that a provider’s ability to help clients move through the changes that going digital has brought about will expand the majority of IT services opportunities.

The article also pointed out that cost is no longer the main pivotal point in contracts. In fact, with the two rising segments gaining traction in the tech space (cloud-based infrastructure as a service (IaaS) at 44.9 percent and business process as a service (BPaaS) at 12.4 percent), agility will become the main driver for buyers to adopt cloud computing and not cost.   

Clients are expected to shift from traditional data center to infrastructure outsourcing where infrastructure utility services (IUS), will be managed through IaaS technology. As the trends are changing in the cloud computing world, hybrid IT environments will be at the forefront in terms of IT architecture in the coming years. It will be a fusion of traditional IT environments and the as-a-service operating models.

Rocco pointed out that for providers to successfully win clients, they need to understand what drives their business and design their propositions accordingly. He added that some of the angles that service providers can build their recommendations on are to show clients the value of the service to the business, as well as KPI attainment while maintaining innovation.


What to Avoid when Creating Calls-to-Action

by: Finella Kristle Panlilio

Thursday, March 20, 2014 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

Perfecting Calls-to-Action for Marketing Campaigns

Calls-to-action (or CTAs) matter because they pull in visitors, leads, and customers. An effective CTA is clear and eye-catching, and it is something that makes people want to click. Marketers use CTAs as a means of driving up leads and revenue, or to simply disseminate information.
 
It’s surprising how many global enterprises still get it wrong when it comes to using CTAs. According to a study by the Content Marketing Institute, these are the findings on how businesses are failing to make the best of CTAs:
  • 96% don’t feature any industry how-to guides or white papers on their homepages.
  • 70% don’t reference any notable CTAs on their homepages other than the usual "Contact Us" option.
  • 82% don’t reference their social media profiles (text or images).
  • 70% of websites with a phone number don’t display it in a prominent place.
  • 68% don’t include an email address on their homepages, and 38% of websites with an email address, bury it on their homepage (often in the footer).
 
Conversions depend on calls-to-action. Here’s a list of what you need to avoid when creating CTAs:
  • Fluffy language. People should know exactly what they will achieve by clicking your CTA. If you want your customer to "Download the eBook" then say so. Use clear, concise language that tells them what they are getting in exchange for their click.
  • Ambiguity. Avoid using ambiguous or open-ended invitations. It is not enough to say "Click here" or "Submit". You need concise, jargon-free phrases that will make people want to act. "Start My Free Trial", "View Case Studies", or "Get Started (it's free)" are great examples of CTAs that catch people's attention.
  • Lack of visual impact. Whether presented as a button, an ad, anchor text or image, your CTA needs to stand out from the rest of the page in terms of color, design, and position.
  • Poor placement. The placement of a CTA depends on a number of factors including the goal of your page and the complexity of its information. Generally speaking, lead generation or e-commerce CTAs should be displayed prominently near the top of the page, while more complex pages might call for a CTA below the fold.
  • Failing to optimize your media. For a mobile audience, don't bury your CTA at the bottom of the page where users will be required to scroll endlessly to reach it, or create tiny buttons that will make users fail to notice its existence or that will make it difficult to click. Optimization is key.
  • Lack of personalization. A case study from the MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2013 showed an overwhelming 90% increase in sign-ups by altering one word in a CTA, from "Start your free 30-day trial" to "Start my free 30-day trial". This isn't to say that similar results were acquired from studies in other languages, but the lesson is clear: understand the level of personalization that resonates best with your audience.
  • Lack of testing or analysis. According to Adobe's 2013 Digital Marketing Optimization Survey, 49% of respondents said testing wasn't yet a priority for their company. Don't fall into the same trap. Testing allows you to maximize the impact of your CTA, understand the preferences of your audience, and eliminate language and visuals that fail to deliver results.
  • Not matching reality with expectation. Make sure that your CTA does what it says and leads the visitors straight to the page they want to be on and not to a series of complex sign-up procedures.
  • Failing to SEO your CTAs. Alt tag it with strong keywords if your CTA is embedded as an image. This will guarantee your content is correctly indexed with search engines and will help to increase traffic.
  • Too much choice. Don’t confuse your visitors with too many CTAs or buttons per page. Where more than one CTA is necessary, a visual hierarchy will help emphasize priority (eg. more prominent buttons for greater importance).
 
Source:
http://www.b2bmarketing.net/
 

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