Creative process outsourcing lets you scale your brand while keeping your digital marketing efforts top of mind. Learn to crack big ideas in this guide.
What is Creative Process Outsourcing?
Creative Process Outsourcing (CPO) is a business-to-business process in which enterprises outsource key talent to perform tasks to provide an innovative solution.
This interwoven body of creative expertise spans ideation, production, and creative management, allowing thought leaders, business pioneers, and innovators to focus on their internal operations or other business areas.
How does creative process outsourcing save the day?
Since the dawn of globalization, evolving technological improvements have updated how we collaborate—especially where marketing and creative processes are concerned. But while the potential for process improvement seems limitless, time and resources remain finite. Because of this, business owners face the dilemma of catching up on the latest marketing trends while developing their products and services.
With so much to juggle under a clock that ticks nonstop, marketing and brand management results may suffer when you manage these aspects yourself. This practically spells danger for the future of any business, whether it's a small start-up or a vast enterprise.
It would help if you had time and expertise to accomplish this—two things you can find from a dedicated and responsible team. But is hiring new employees essential to make this happen?
What are the benefits of creative process outsourcing?
By integrating Creative Process Outsourcing (CPO) into your company, you won't only have strength in numbers. You'll also gain access to the expertise you need to deliver grand ideas for boosting your brand.
CPO is considered indispensable for companies that only have small creative departments (or none at all). With a competent, creative process outsourcing team, entrusting technical aspects of your work or tasks such as graphic design, photo-editing, and creating content to trained experts will guarantee high-quality output.
As a result, working with a CPO company frees up your workload. It enables you to focus on your top priorities: whether it's about restructuring your teams or managing your overhead costs.
It also allows you to decide whether to augment your in-house team with an external one. And with creative process outsourcing, you can get the work done for a fraction of the cost.
How does teamwork happen in CPO?
Depending on the nature of your company and its specific needs, creative process outsourcing partnerships and collaboration can take place using innovative models:
For Creative Digital Agencies
The extension office model enables you to outsource tasks to a dedicated virtual team. Your CPO partner becomes an extension of your main office. This means you can manage your dedicated team to provide specific solutions for marketing activities.
This includes inbound marketing, search engine marketing, web development, content development, social media marketing, and support for graphic design projects.
For Small and Medium Enterprises
The cost-effective creative factory model can help your business improve its online presence. You get a team of creative and marketing professionals to guide you on targeting the right audience and reaching your marketing goals.
The services in this model include (but are not limited to) digital marketing, social media management, content development, web support, and graphic design.
Why choose a creative process provider in the Philippines?
Businesses seeking creative talent to outsource may find themselves finding subject matter experts (SMEs) in the Philippines. For many reasons, top companies such as Google, JP Morgan & Chase, and Thomson Reuters hire key talent in the archipelago.
One of the main challenges businesses face is ensuring creatives perform at par with strict KPIs and quality metrics, even within their firms. Creative process outsourcing gives you peace of mind that a highly skilled workforce can deliver on turnaround times and meet expectations for the quality of work.
Among the most sought after globally, Filipinos can work within cross-cultural teams and are highly adapted to western culture. With the rise of a rapidly changing global village, subject matter experts from this region are capable of adapting and catering to the demands of an expanding international online landscape.
What sets Filipino subject matter experts apart lies in the heart of internet consumerism amidst a highly saturated digital marketing workforce.
According to the Asian Digital Marketing Association (ADMA), the Philippines ranks second among Southeast Asian countries and places 6th among all countries in Asia in terms of internet users, with a 33 million population. This shows that the digital marketing economy in the Philippines is growing exponentially.
With international companies looking to invest in the digital marketing arena in the Philippines parallel to this, the demand for digital marketers is also on the rise.
Highly collaborative, Filipinos have access to a systematic web of creatives. This allows you to tap into a certified SME network that can work together to help your business achieve its digital marketing goals.
Filipino marketers also know how to utilize creative process outsourcing resources to provide solutions to creative and business challenges. Given the demand for quality deliverables in the digital marketing space, the Filipino labor force adapts to this demand, aided by technological advancements that improve marketing deliverables' quality and turnaround times.
This professional network fosters strategic partnerships, dynamic processes, and a melting pot of creative ideas. Effectively, your team of Filipino marketers comes from a background of different mindsets, all geared towards a common goal.
Cost-Efficient Labor Costs
What comes to mind when you think of cost-efficiency? International companies invest in Filipino labor due to the quality of work produced at fair prices.
Like any other investment, outsourcing overseas does not necessarily mean a drastic decrease in labor costs. Investing in digital services depends on the amount of work required to carry out your marketing plan. Since not every project is the same, pricing for different services may vary.
Hiring an external creative process outsourcing team helps you create a budget plan based on your necessities. Whether you outsource for actual creative support or are looking to augment the operational side of your business, an outsourced team can deliver end-to-end creative solutions.
With the rise of the digital marketing economy in the Philippines, opportunities to outsource creative talent and services are now endless. It gives you ample room to improve your business landscape, transcending the different facets of creating digital marketing campaigns and scaling a full-blown online presence.
Marketing projects are highly dependent on existing structures. Enterprises looking to grow their business may require creative management or support in building their branding from scratch, which entails more strategic planning and research. Conversely, more established companies may require elaborate marketing campaigns involving different digital marketing services.
Whether you're the latter or the former, a digital marketing outsourcing partner with a clear-cut plan can work with you based on the dimensions of your business.
Creative digital firms in other parts of the world opt to offer their services individually, which increases differential costs. However, leading digital marketing firms in the Philippines choose to provide innovative end-to-end services as a plan, which helps you save on resources.
Small to medium enterprises can opt to hire a dedicated manager in charge of curating a specific marketing budget based on client needs. And to get the best out of your return on investment, a cost-efficient budget is necessary regardless of how big or small a marketing plan you require.
Most Filipino digital marketing firms offer flexibility within the scope of end-to-end digital marketing services, specific to the marketing strategy a client needs. This aligns with a globally competitive digital marketing plan that provides companies salience in the digital space.
English is considered the second language of most Filipinos. Because of this, Filipino SMEs can naturally express themselves in writing and speech comparable to native speakers.
The Philippines has a "high rating" with a proficiency score of 592 out of 700 based on an international education company, Education First's English test results in 2021. It ranks 18th among 112 countries and lands the second spot overall vis-a-vis 24 countries in Asia, surpassing that of China and India.
Outsourcing creative talent in the Philippines allows you to eliminate language barriers effectively. This trickles down to your marketing, branding, and end-to-end business process communications.
Keeping an open line of exchange spurs the trajectory of business operations. It eliminates backlog, bottlenecks, and misunderstandings between internal and external teams.
Since establishing clear communication is essential in building marketing campaigns and business management, outsourcing Filipino talent elevates the quality of your digital marketing campaigns. As competent English speakers, they can write campaigns that resonate and disseminate your message to your target end-users.
In addition, your Filipino SMEs can quickly understand your creative direction and achieve your goals on the business development side. Working with high-rated English professionals establishes your branding and professional relevance in the digital space.
Flexibility and Adaptability
One key characteristic of Filipinos: they deliver tasks under pressure.
Filipinos are known for functioning and adapting to changes in the environment, whether random or gradual. They can work on complex tasks and apply problem-solving skills as they learn on the job. Their ability to think outside the box creates a transparent and evolving creative process. They go above and beyond what is required and expected.
Even working within changing timelines and work schedules, Filipinos continue to adapt. This flexibility is made possible through working within shifting schedules based on client timezones.
Because the digital marketing creative process framework is quickly progressing, marketers must adapt to changes rapidly, whether working on large-scale projects or executing individual tasks.
Critical thinking and systematic planning allow Filipinos to anticipate the creative process's roadblocks. This allows them to break down the potential problems and develop possible ways to address technical or creative issues. This predisposition for flexibility is rooted in need to transcend and address issues that will help set up your business for success.
CPO in Perspective: What does the end-to-end business process mean?
The end-to-end service delivery model is the systematic process of delivering a service from beginning to completion, providing an overall holistic solution.
According to Investopedia, this often refers to vendors that can see a project through from the initial phases to the end, supplying a workable solution that a customer needs to achieve the end goal.
It encompasses different variables, producing varied products whether in:
- IT solutions
- Creative ideation
- Copywriting collaterals
- Crafting procedural guidelines.
To summarize, CPO firms work together with a creative in-house team to deliver an end-to-end business process creative solution.
In this framework, creative agencies have the discretion to manage the flow of operations. Creative process outsourcing firms facilitate and execute the iteration process, to ideation and deployment and then software or end-product testing.
Some businesses employ creative services and only outsource specialized tasks in the creative production suite. The larger creative agencies are, the more likely their capability to outsource creative work processes to supplement the staffing of internal marketing bodies.
Since the creative process framework is changing to adapt to rapidly evolving online landscape demands, business industries are also refining their sales funnels accordingly.
Business Review Definition in Creative Process Outsourcing
Business review is synonymous with the term's general meaning: referring to business industry standards that companies utilize as a benchmark for efficient and effective processes. In CPO, it refers to specific criteria being measured.
In the creative process outsourcing model, agencies are reviewed for their standards in process management. This means that creative output and labor standards are the main variables considered.
It is similar to other business models but different in that analysis and results rely heavily on the quality of work and ethical standards rather than capital, profit and ROI.
Although the latter are also weighed, a different set of guidelines apply. Internal bodies oversee the measurement of performance metrics. Some creative agencies also hire providers to conduct service appraisal ratings externally.
What are some industries that benefit from CPO?
Consultancy in the financial and information technology sector provides important advice that business firms need to grow and capitalize on their services.
The market trend for CPOs in consultancy is flourishing due to information dissemination. This trend requires using search engine optimization and content writing assets to advertise their services. They also often use social media to promote their services or establish brand recognition.
Digital Marketing Firms
Even creatives commission freelancers to supplement services or to work on short-term projects. Smaller and more specialized creative firms focus on a particular service or may even employ individual freelancers to cater to demands in other areas of creative expertise.
Such is the case in copywriting firms operating web development and full-stack developers to work on their software development or develop integrations in content management platforms.
Brands choose to turn to e-commerce to scale their revenue. Partnering with creative outsourcing agencies allows them to establish branding campaigns and run automation on identified platforms.
Video, graphic and written content make for effective creative campaigns for e-commerce, allowing brands to focus on specific products and unique features. This is especially effective in promoting deals, discounts or other short-term offerings.
CPO agencies also run business intelligence for e-commerce firms, measuring essential insights for business leaders to make the most educated and planned business decisions.
The energy sector benefits from CPO as the information needed might be complex for general audiences.
To present ideas, they must be broken down into parts— whether it be in copywriting, graphic, or video formats.
Engineering introduces a broad spectrum of services and products that CPO presents (both in ideation and automation) and can deliver to a diverse demographic. White papers and research produce quality content for engineering firms to forward their central messages on critical technologies.
With the recent boom in the gaming industry, more and more companies are looking to invest. Such companies invest their resources to enlist CPO firms to develop alternate and virtual reality assets, so they have more time to focus on operations and business implementation.
Publishing Houses and Printing Press
Most publishing houses commission CPO as they transition into online platforms that utilize content management systems to publicize their messages. Because the online sphere has a worldwide audience, publishers can now build their reach on a larger scale.
Due to more significant workforce demand, publishing turns to CPOs to perform the ideation process and fill the need. Since these companies are concerned with pushing information out, there is no better way to do this than to outsource their assets to creative agencies.
The use of CPO in the industry is due to the public demand of clients and end-users alike to narrow down a competitive market. Real estate benefits from the end-to-end creative process in the industry because there is a spectrum of different tasks involved in the business.
Whether for logistics, automation, customer support, or ad placement, real estate agents are looking to employ services to lighten the workload, increase profit margins, and increase their online engagement.
Marketing goods, as opposed to services, requires a different approach than most marketers think. The sales funnel may be the same, depending on how companies market their products, but the ideation process varies per industry.
In retail goods, production and creative support are most effective when all means of the creative output are outsourced to one body to create thought-inspired branding. This requires that sales and marketing teams are aligned in the circulation and distribution of campaigns. Because retail goods campaigns are precise, outsourcing to one body eliminates gaps between channels.
To use the context of manufacturing and the assembly line, each individual is assigned a specific task that contributes to a piece of the final product.
Commodities are packaged and marketed similarly.
The ideation process should be synchronized through traditional media or the virtual space. And while there is space to change branding or add features, products in retail fundamentally stay the same, requiring a need for cohesiveness in its attempt to promote its products.
The Best Creative Process Outsourcing Firms in the Philippines
Our list comprises the best outsourcing firms in the Philippines that provide both ideation and creative management end-to-end.
Some on the list include business process outsourcing companies, while others are those that commission talent in the Philippines.
Accenture is considered one of the biggest BPOs in the Philippine archipelago, specializing in IT solutions and human resource augmentation. They are also among the world's largest outsourcing companies, with top services concentrating on IT, consultancy, business operations and financial services.
With offices in India, BackOffice Pro is a market leader providing research and digital marketing services. They produce the most searchable content for assets in digital marketing, search engine optimization, pay-per-click services, and social media management.
A leading provider in business process outsourcing, their services are tailored for back-office services rather than creative applications.
According to a survey conducted by Clutch, ExaWeb Corporation is one of the top names among Philippine SEO companies, besting other verified SEO competitors on the list.
This digital marketing outsourcing firm provides creative process outsourcing services such as social media, marketing, custom web design and PPC.
Standing at the forefront of news wire services globally, Thompson Reuters aims to provide accuracy and uphold transparency as a purveyor of information.
Companies utilize their services to validate information and conduct background checks. Additionally, their rich resource of media contacts allows them to keep their customers up-to-speed with worldwide events.
StraightArrow Corporation is a pioneer in creative process outsourcing with a pool of highly skilled talent. They spearhead cutting-edge marketing campaign solutions, end-to-end CPO processes, back-end automation and operational support.
Among other competitors on the list, StraightArrow possesses two operational marketing models that allow for streamlined and workable end-to-end creative solutions. Tailored and specific to the demands and rise of the prolific information age, these models are designed for a modern-day sales funnel and customer journey.
Offering end-to-end marketing support, StraightArrow is in the business of ideation, creative measurement and analytics, from strategic planning to business support on both the operational and creative scale.
StraightArrow’s Creative Process Outsourcing Rating: Intertek WCA Program
In 2018, Intertek conducted the Workplace Conditions Assessment (WCA) for StraightArrow, an international business review solution that measures workplace health, safety and ethical standards to help companies uphold the highest workplace conditions, sustainability and supply chain due diligence.
Based on their findings, StraightArrow received a 98% rating in the results.
According to the leading health and ethical workplace review provider’s initial results, StraightArrow’s scores were based on five criteria:
- labor (100%)
- wages and hours (100%)
- health and safety (97%)
- management systems (96%)
- environment (100%)
- business activity (100%)
This workplace performance index also provided comparative results regarding the industry average (competitors in the Philippine market).
StraightArrow fared with an 86% country score, which reflects how it stands apart from other businesses in the same classification.
In the performance rating, Intertek also measured business practices and performance. They found that the facility scores 100% compared to the global average of 71%. Standards on payroll and wages were also measured and, according to results, complied with government-mandated specifications.
Alongside these metrics, business practices were also subject to evaluation and broken down into three criteria: integrity, protection and competition.
Results show a 100% rating for all categories.
Intertek is an international supply chain due-diligence service that provides appraisal to 100 countries with over 1,000 laboratories worldwide. Globally recognized as a total quality assurance provider, Intertek is known for its assurance, testing, inspection and certification services.
Intertek has also received worldwide accreditation from bodies such as the UN Charta for Human Rights, The International Labor Organization (ILO), World Health Organization (WHO), and caters to a diverse industry base consisting of different categories:
- Construction and Engineering
- Food and Healthcare
- Government and Trade
- Hospitality and Tourism
- Products and Retail
Numbered among the top-rated creative process outsourcing agencies in the Philippines, StraightArrow is recognized as the top quality assurance facility in the world. It is a leading choice for business leaders and innovators for digital marketing services, marketing ideation, support and management.
A CPO partner that keeps your brand top of mind in a highly dynamic and rapidly changing digital space is your best bet.
If you want to spend your time wisely and maximize the potential of your resources, creative process outsourcing might be right for you.
With very little risk, now is the best time to start hiring a CPO partner that can ignite the big idea to boost your brand.
Originally posted by Lorraine Soldevilla on June 19, 2015. Updated by SJ Reyes on January 12, 2022.