Offshore Captive Centers Are Again A Thriving Outsourcing Model – CIO | In The News

“Captive centers — in-house IT and business process delivery arms — accounted for one quarter of the $150 billion global services market last year, according outsourcing consultancy and research firm Everest Group. While there was significant talk of the demise of the offshore captive center in the previous decade the approach is alive and well in 2015, says H Karthik, partner and leader of Everest Group’s global sourcing research practice.” Read More.


Services Sales through the Looking-Glass | Sherpas in Blue Shirts


Lewis Carroll is famous for his novel, “Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There.” In this whimsical world, everything starts out as familiar things but, on examination, turn out to be nonsense. It puts me in mind of many service providers’ sales pitches.

Perhaps my favorite part of the Looking-Glass novel is Jabberwocky, a poem in which Carroll strung together nonsense words. When put together, they sound impressive and one wants to believe they tell a story. But as you can see in the verse below, the words are just nonsense.

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:

All mimsy were the borogoves,

And the mome raths outgrabe.

It’s like service providers’ sales teams that talk to potential clients about a transformation agenda and driving business value from IT. They throw in words such as “agility,” “flexibility” and “cloud.” Or phrases such as “consumerization of IT” and “as a service.” They even sprinkle in entire sentences such as “outsourcing will allow you to variabilize costs.”

These pitches sound wonderful and sound like there is deep thought associated with what the speaker says. But on examination, one finds the claims are largely nonsense. For instance, there is no variabilization of costs; it’s virtual, and there is little time to business value. And the supposedly agile environment is anything but agile.

It’s very easy to grasp for platitudes and read blogs and take the ideas without really understanding them.

So just like Alice, we find ourselves asking, “Which way should I go?” Well, like the Cheshire Cat says to Alice, “It all depends on where you want to get to.” Providers’ impressive-sounding presentations, on examination, are often just gobbledygook and attempts to intrigue the audience and get them to buy services. But they fall apart on close examination.

Successful sales depend upon a clear understanding about what the customer and provider will try to accomplish, how they will do it and the steps necessary to accomplish the goals. The best presentations use common, plain language to identify the issues and how to meet the goals.

Photo credit: Flickr


Is Myntra Foregoing Growth for Profit? – Business Standard | In The News

Business Standard

“The hiring that these companies have been doing has changed in the recent past. They are hiring a lot from consulting firms, etc, which could be aimed at giving more structure to their businesses. They perhaps are looking to run their companies more as serious businesses and less as just start-ups,” says Yugal Joshi, practice director at Everest Group. Read more.


Join our webinar Pharma In Social: How To Succeed

Join this webinar to learn how pharma companies can drive business value from engaging in social media.

The fast-moving pace of social media, and the powerful amplifying effect that it can have on perceptions about a brand, means that even for the bravest of businesses it can be a daunting space. And for pharma companies the added regulatory boundaries and compliance constraints do not always go hand-in-hand with the norms of social media. But that is no reason to stay away from the game.

While there is evidence of ‘social anxiety’ across the global pharma industry, many organisations are getting involved in the online conversation. Ogilvy CommonHealth has conducted an analysis of these brands to understand the landscape and identify the trends and best practices that are driving pharma companies’ success in social media.

In this webinar, we will review the study on pharma in social and discuss:

  • What is the landscape and how has it changed?
  • Who are the top performers and why?
  • What are the best practices?

Join the discussion at these times:

Even if you can’t make it to the session, sign up anyway for a copy of the deck.

To receive invitations for all of our webinars, please subscribe here.

See you on the webinar!

Getting Social @ Ogilvy with Thierry Soubestre, Page Karma

Data has always been important for brands to better understand consumers and target messages. With the amount of data collected through social networking sites – what they do, things they like, causes they defend, what they buy, and the list goes on - understanding how to cut and analyze the data to derive consumer insights can be daunting task.

Our partner agency Page Karma is a leader in this space, offering solutions to help brands better understand consumers and optimize communications strategies. We spoke with Thierry Soubestre, General Director at Page Karma, to learn more about his company and what impact data will have for the future of the industry.

S@O: In 140 characters or less, tell us what everyone should know about Page Karma.  

TS: Page Karma accompanies you throughout your social media presence in order to help you understand it, measure your performance and improve!

S@O: What do you think Page Karma will be doing this time next year?

TS: We will work on ways to improve the knowledge and understanding of our “real-life” customers based on their Social Networks activity.

S@O: Name one prediction for the future of the advertising, PR, and communications industry.

TS: The Advertising and the Social Media industries will be more tightly integrated and more than ever will be influenced by Data.

S@O: What was your last update to a social media platform?

TS: A few hours ago about our brand new Profiling & Market Research service named Profiler.

 S@O: If you could be Facebook friends with anyone in the world, who would it be?

TS: I can’t just pick one.

Excitement and Controversy Over Facebook Instant Articles

With Facebook’s announcement of Instant Articles this week comes excitement and controversy. While the update boasts an improved user experience with faster, richer content, for some there is worry that publishers will lose control of their content creation and distribution.

Only time will tell the legitimacy of these claims and concerns, but one thing for certain is that Instant Articles will change the way content is consumed on the platform. And while Instant Articles is currently limited to nine partner publishers, it’s important for brands to understand how the update changes the platform’s dynamics, what opportunities it presents, and consider how it might play into the broader content strategy when access to the tool is opened up to a wider audience.

In the slides below, we give a review of Instant Articles and discuss the implications both for brands and the industry as a whole.

Mobilegeddon and Adapting to a Mobile-Centric Consumer Base

A few weeks ago, Mobilegeddon was the cause of much panic. Google’s update to its mobile search algorithm had many worried that the change would affect their website searchability, bringing about lasting effects on their businesses.

Now that the change has taken place and the initial excitement has passed, we took a look at the opportunities the updates present for brands in the longer term.

What impact, if any, has Mobilegeddon had on your website? Tell us in the comments below.

How to Test Social Data Accuracy: Self-Reported Data vs. Third-Party Data

In an increasingly more sophisticated paid social environment, where targeting criteria grow with every day though still coming from self-reported data, the need to focus on measuring performance based on audience quality and not purely based on quantitative metrics becomes imperative.

As a result the question of using self-reported social data vs. third-party data becomes key to delivering quality AND quantity. The second question that comes out of this need for looking at performance outside the social vanity metrics of new followers or people who saw a social post, is the accuracy of self-reported data across social platforms.

So how do you test social data accuracy and how do you decide if third party data might be a better choice to reach your audience across a social platform?

To answer those questions, we’ve done a little test of our own at Social@Neo recently to analyse the accuracy of employment data specifically – as offered by LinkedIn vs. Facebook, against a known data set.

How we tested:

We worked with Ogilvy Group’s HR departments in the US and the UK to collect data about Ogilvy Staffers across all companies of the group. The data set we received was split by company, age range and sex.

Both Facebook’s and LinkedIn’s advertising audience data allows us to segment users based on the following criteria – company they work for, location and sex.

So we created a target audience segment following the criteria we had available for both the known data set and the advertising platforms for the two networks – employed by one of the Ogilvy companies and based in the UK or the USA.

Each of the platforms gave us a number that reflected the number of users that matched those criteria. Here are the results against the known data set:

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 10.51.27 AM

As the data provided by Ogilvy Group’s HR department only included permanent employees, we expected to see a variation of +/- 5% variation.

However, the variation was as high as +/- 17%.

17% more LinkedIn users declared they work for one of the Ogilvy group companies in the USA or the UK. While the variation is quite high, given the assumptions above, the number is likely to be closer to reality, as it is higher.

17% less Facebook users declared they work for one of the Ogilvy group companies in the USA or the UK. Even with the assumptions made at the beginning of the test, the number is very low and shows a significant inconsistency between the real data and the self-reported data on the platform.

Furthermore, the percentage of women who declared they work for one of the Ogilvy group companies on Facebook is much higher than the percentage provided to us by the HR department.


What does this mean? Three things:

  1. If you have access to a known data set, it is always worth testing it against the data offered by the social platform and assess accuracy and the need to use third party data.
  2. As always, and across all platforms, the more niche and accurate your targeting is, the more likely it is you will end up paying more. As expected, LinkedIn data has a higher level of accuracy than Facebook when it comes to targeting based on work information. This also explains why the CPC for LinkedIn is higher as well. You pay for the higher quality of the engagements and not just for the number of clicks.
  3. While not a very detailed test, these results also give us a number as a reference point of the deviation from the truth – neither network is accurate, but because Ogilvy data includes only FTEs, and not freelancers/part-timers, you’re right in assuming that LinkedIn data looks more accurate.

This Week in Content Marketing: Like It or Not, Advertising Is Booming

advertising-booming-podcast-coverPNR: This Old Marketing with Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose can be found on both iTunes and Stitcher.

In this week’s episode, Robert and I discuss one author’s slightly skewed definition of content marketing and debate what it really is. We also share a video where two agency executives urge marketers to stay calm in the wake of Google’s mobile-friendly search update, and we share our thoughts on what marketers should do to prepare. We also ponder if all social media is really just advertising and how publishers can benefit from revenue stacks. Rants and raves include Mad Men  and the wildly exaggerated (again) death of publishing. We wrap up the show with a #ThisOldMarketing  example from Robert Half.

This week’s show

(Recorded live April 6, 2015; Length: 1:00:10)

Download this week’s PNR This Old Marketing podcast.

If you enjoy our PNR podcasts, we would love if you would rate it, or post a review, on iTunes

1. Content marketing in the news

  • Marketing is not about content (4:03): Bryan Del Monte, founder of Clickafy Media Group, offers his definition of content marketing in this AdWeek opinion column. I take issue with his idea that it only helps to solve the challenge of customer acquisition. Further, Del Monte claims content marketing is not about creating and distributing valuable, relevant content. If that was the case, musicians and artists would be content marketers, he says. Exactly, says Robert. He points out that the most successful artists realize that exceptional content helps them market their products and services.
  • Don’t change your mobile plans for Google (12:51): Google’s planned rollout of a new mobile-friendly search engine update has website owners in a panic. In a helpful video, two executives from Distilled caution that it’s not that big of a deal. Robert and I agree, and we explain why. This video also highlights two valuable Google Developer resources that can help you optimize your website: The mobile-friendly test and the PageSpeed Insights tool.
  • There is no more social media, just advertising (19:33): Mike Proulx, in a recent AdAge opinion column, says the ideal world of two-way brand-consumer communication envisioned by The Cluetrain Manifesto  never materialized. In its place is advertising. In order to get any reach on social channels, you must pay to amplify your messages, he says. A companion article from Forbes says online ads look a lot like TV commercials lately. Advertising is booming today, but Robert and I think that’s just fine. We predict significant growth in the use of paid media to promote content that’s part of brand experiences and in video content, and we explain what will drive these trends.

2. Sponsor (40:19)

  • This Old Marketing  is sponsored by Widen Enterprises, a digital technology company that specializes in digital asset management. Widen is offering Great Visual Storytelling Takes a Village, a new white paper authored by CMI’s Robert Rose. Today, rich media experiences are paving the future of content marketing. This timely report explains how the four C’s – Collaborate, Customize, Communicate, and Connect – can help your business streamline the management of its digital assets so you can scale your content marketing initiatives. You can download this report at

widen-visual-storytelling-white-paper3. Rants and raves (44:26)

  • Robert’s rave: Robert loves this New York Times article that describes how the Mad Men  cable TV series has done a remarkable job of chronicling the history of the advertising industry. All of the concepts that influence how we think about advertising and marketing today are baked into its content, he explains. Mad Men  features real clients and real campaigns and does a great job of telling the stories behind a number of successful brands. Robert says it’s an awesome show for anyone who is a student of history and a marketer.
  • Joe’s rant: My rant this week is focused on an iMedia Connection article entitled How Advertising Killed Publishing, written by the enigmatic Sean X. This ridiculous column chronicles the steady downward slide away from editorial purity and toward the pit of shameless paid promotion. He even claims that advertising is “the cause of modern society’s collapse.” Mr. X’s solution? Micro-payments. Seriously? I recommend a mindset that enables us to look more broadly at all opportunities in advertising and publishing.

4. This Old Marketing example of the week (54:04)

  • Robert Half: Founded in 1948, Robert Half is the first business to provide specialized staffing services for accounting and finance professionals. It is now the world’s largest professional placement firm, with more than 400 locations worldwide and over $4 billion in sales. Robert Half has had a core focus on content for decades. Its highly regarded Salary Guide  is so authoritative that the U.S. Department of Labor uses it as a source for its own research on hiring trends. The company has also published books on getting hired and managing people. Robert Half is an outstanding example of thought leadership through the consistent production of content.

Robert-Half-Salary-GuideImage source

For a full list of PNR archives, go to the main This Old Marketing page.

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The post This Week in Content Marketing: Like It or Not, Advertising Is Booming appeared first on Content Marketing Institute.

10 Golden Rules for Good Benchmarking | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

Originally posted on the National Outsourcing Association (NOA) blog

Insights from the NOA “Benchmarking” Special Interests Group with Everest Group

Benchmarking is a worthwhile endeavour. When conducted properly, the practice will give you a baseline indicator of where your business is currently, where it is headed on its current trajectory, where you need to be to maximise gains and how you can get there.

Benchmarking can also act as the catalyst for a more fruitful long-term outsourcing relationship, by highlight areas that must be focused on moving forward. On the other hand, it is not the solution to every problem that relationship might have. The term is frequently misunderstood and the practice is even more frequently misused.

At the NOA’s Special Interests Group on Benchmarking in association with Everest Group, benchmarking experts led a roundtable discussion on when benchmarking is necessary, how it is best carried out and what the practice does to help business relationships between clients and their providers.

Read more on the NOA blog