Is Your “Marketing/SEO Guru” Subcontracting Offshore?

Something that always comes up when I talk to small business owners is that when they buy marketing services, they eventually find out that the services they purchased are getting subcontracted to people that are not in North America. These people often have limited reading, writing, and comprehension skills in the English language. Today, I’d like to talk about why that may not be a good thing.
Your marketing services need to be culturally aligned
Firstly, if your marketer is not culturally aligned with your target market, that puts them at a disadvantage. To be an effective marketer, you must know the cultural nuances of the people who you’re selling a product or service. On a place like Vancouver Island, we have an identifiable culture even compared to the rest of British Columbia. Even Denman Island has a distinct culture from the rest of the Vancouver Island area. You especially couldn’t compare Victoria with Campbell River. Is someone from Bangalore, India going to have an awareness of these nuances?
You need people who can comprehend the nuance of the English language
Another thing to consider is a subcontractors’ ability to read and write English. Let’s say you’re the owner of Salish Sea Foods in Comox, and your SEO specialist is subcontracting to someone to fine-tune your search engine optimization. Presumably, one of the target keywords you would want to hit hard is “Seafood Comox Valley.” Is the subcontractor going to know that “seafood” needs to be a single word? Are they going to spell it the wrong way, like “see food” or “seefood?”
Everyone wins when you keep it local
Lastly, if your marketing work is getting subcontracted elsewhere, that means less money in our local economy. There’s a lot of people who will articulate this point a lot better than I ever will. I will say, though, we have a fantastic community of business owners, local artisans and crafts[wo]men, farmers, ranchers, and more to create a sustainable local economy. The more we keep our business local, the more we all benefit.
The next time you hire anyone for digital services, I would highly recommend you ask where their employees and subcontractors are located. You ought to be getting every bit of value from the money you spend, and when your services are being sent off-Island, we all lose.