SOURCE: digitalArbor


January 24, 2011 09:00 ET

Outsourcing Goes Mainstream for Marketers and Agencies in 2011

digitalArbor Survey Reveals Key Drivers and Growth in Outsourced Digital Production; Identifies Key Partner Expectations and Top Concerns

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - January 24, 2011) - Many marketers and agencies are struggling to successfully engage consumers in digital channels due to the increased complexity in required tools, technologies and processes. Today, digitalArbor (, a digital production services partner, revealed the findings of its survey of more than 125 marketers and agency professionals across the United States, indicating a strong shift to outsourcing in the digital production arena.

In fact, 79 percent of survey respondents said that they had outsourced digital production projects in 2010, and already the majority (75 percent) plan to continue to do so in 2011, with a five percent increase in outsourcing by external agencies. The vast majority (77 percent) plan to outsource domestically and 23 percent said they plan to use resources outside of the United States in 2011.

"As consumers shift to digital devices, many marketers and agencies face heightened demand for digital innovation coupled with the growing technical complexity to build, maintain and measure digital initiatives in an resource-constrained environment," said Robert Willms, CEO of digitalArbor. "Many in-house and external agencies have already turned to digital production outsourcing partnerships to stay efficient, profitable and, most importantly, relevant in today's digital era. Based on this survey, we expect that the volume of outsourced Web, display ad, e-mail and other digital content and communications production will grow substantially in 2011."

What is Being Outsourced?
According to the survey results, website development was the most commonly outsourced digital project (77 percent), followed by display ad and rich media development (63 percent) and e-mail marketing (44 percent). In contrast, mobile marketing (23 percent), application and tool integration (20 percent) and video (three percent) were the least likely projects to be outsourced.

Key Outsourcing Drivers and What to Look For In a Partner
An overwhelming majority of respondents (89 percent) indicated that lack of in-house resources (skills, time, etc.) was the primary reason for outsourcing digital production projects. Surprisingly, very few respondents indicated that shifting budgets to strategic resources (six percent) or improving agency margins (five percent) were primary drivers.

When looking for a production partner, respondents indicated they were looking for high quality results (93 percent) from a highly skilled team (90 percent). Although the majority (57 percent) of respondents indicated that timing (time-consuming processes and missed deadlines) was their biggest historical outsourcing challenge, fast-turnaround was not viewed as a top requirement for evaluating third-party digital production providers (63 percent).

2011 Digital Production Outsourcing Outlook
To augment available in-house resources, shift budget to strategic resources and improve agency margins, three-fourths of respondents (75 percent) plan to outsource digital production projects in 2011. Respondents indicated that agency management (48 percent) is the key driver behind digital production outsourcing initiatives followed by the production department (40 percent) and clients (27 percent).

For more survey results or to share your thoughts, check out our blog ( or send us a message via twitter @SBT_dA.

This survey was conducted online by digitalArbor with 130 qualified U.S. respondents from in-house agencies (65 percent), external agencies (27 percent) and various companies in the advertising/marketing/media and internet/Web 2.0 space (eight percent). More than 16 industries were represented; however the largest markets served include financial services (36 percent), followed by retail (25 percent), healthcare (24 percent) and consumer technology/devices (22 percent).

About digitalArbor
digitalArbor is a digital production services partner dedicated to supporting creative agencies and corporations across digital marketing, advertising, social media and a full array of digital content and communications initiatives. The combined benefits of scale, technology, process discipline and low-cost global labor resources allow digitalArbor to offer unprecedented cost efficiency without compromising speed and quality. Founded in 2008, digitalArbor is comprised of a U.S. team of digital marketing and agency powerhouses, along with a highly-skilled production and technology group in Costa Rica. For more information please visit or call (781) 923-1818.

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