Offshore and Outsourcing: Building a Global Operating Model

Suresh Subbiah
Marketing Researchers
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For today’s global research needs, it’s de rigueur to offer global reach for clients, and this concept goes far beyond panel needs.  After all, if a client has operations in four different regions of the world, each needs to be serviced consistently and that requires a global presence -- doesn’t it?  Of course it does, but there’s a world of difference between having a global presence and having a global operating model.

Although globalization has resulted in a number of market research organizations expanding to serve their multinational clients in different markets of the world, not all expansions are created equally.  To meet client needs in separate locales, it’s crucial to discern between what can be accomplished from home base and what needs to be done locally.  Should the work be outsourced to a third party overseas, perhaps for the implied cost savings or for its regional expertise?  Or should a market research organization build its own offshore operation?  The fact is, outsourcing and offshoring are both excellent tactics for going global -- but tactics should flow from strategy, and that’s where a client-centric engagement model comes in to play.

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Suresh Subbiah
<span style="font-family:arial;font-size:11pt">Suresh Subbiah is Chief Operating Officer of uSamp (<a href="http://www.usamp.com/">www.usamp.com</a>) in Los Angeles.</span>
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