Pssst. You Don’t Have to Be High-tech to Outsource

Sometimes looking at the headlines out there, you may start to think that only high-tech companies are using technology in innovative ways to drive improvements. The assumption is that if you don’t have a full-time mobile app development team, with AI and machine learning experts, you’re somehow destined to be left in the dust. So if you’re not Uber, Google, or Amazon, and you don’t have offices in Silicon Valley or Austin, what do you do?

The reality is non-technology companies are doing amazing things outside their scope with technology. How? Through outsourcing! Small and medium-sized business have long seen outsourcing as a strategy reserved for big business. But today, hiring outside specialists is a much accessible tool for companies of all sizes. Part of the reason is technology has made our world smaller. Meaning, extremely qualified professionals are available way beyond your zip code today. Cloud computing and integrated unified communication platforms with IM, video calls, audio, desktop sharing, and collaboration, are now the norm. These tools make it possible for contractors and extended teams to work together remotely and seamlessly. For some, businesses outsourcing means farming out back-office tasks like accounting, legal help, marketing, account maintenance, or 24/7 customer support like a help desk. For others, outsourcing extends beyond traditional ‘back office’ tasks to include high-tech big data projects or other technology initiatives. Both approaches have been proven to make a powerful impact on organizations’ growth, productivity, and bottom lines. Let’s look at some cool ways non-tech companies are leveraging specialized teams to change how they interact and engage with customers.

Understanding customers – with help
To gain a competitive edge today’s companies are looking for new ways to squeeze more value from their data. This includes leveraging the power of data science, machine learning, and AI-driven technologies. By analyzing sales and marketing data KPIs alongside in-depth customer data, companies are finding ways to improve customer interactions and to improve the value of sales and marketing efforts. Companies are increasing profitability and customer retention by finding partners with specialized skill sets to help them with machine learning and other high-tech projects. Projects might include using machine learning to identify potential customers, or finding ways to increase sales productivity, or sales forecast accuracy.

Getting out of your comfort zone
It’s hard to get more ‘non-techie’ than a professional sports team. But when you think about it, this is a perfect example of when it makes sense to outsource. That’s precisely why the Dallas Mavericks hired a data analysts firm. The team is working with a data-as-a-service company to create predictive models to help the team better target potential customers. The goal is to develop a 360-degree view of their customers and to figure out the best way to market to them. The team’s technology partner is using machine learning and data aggregation technologies to compile data from public sources, survey information, and demographic customer data to gain a deeper understanding of their fan base. With this project, the Dallas Mavericks are building an accurate picture of what the team calls their ‘unknown fan.’ They define their ‘unknown fan’ is someone who has attended a game or visited their website but hasn’t taken the next step. The team aims to better understand this group including where they spend their time, both online and offline, and to build more effective and targeted marketing campaigns. By putting their data to better use, they’re working to convert these fans and to increase ticket sales. (Source: Front Office Sports). How cool is that?!

Wrap up
When businesses decide to outsource, they’re trusting outside partners to have the specialty skills and economies of scale to deliver big-time results for less. When applying technology and tackling high-tech projects, the formula is the same. By teaming up with skilled partners who have market knowledge and technology expertise, companies can focus their core competencies and grow their business. Those that can effectively work with specialized partners will be best positioned to improve productivity, lower costs, and fatten profits.