Admittedly, we are going to be a wee bit biased in this article. Incredo is an Armenian company, founded and headquartered in our nation’s gorgeous capital, Yerevan. Every single man and woman of the Incredo team is Armenian. Whether born and raised here in Hayastan (that’s how we say it in our mother tongue), or having moved here from the United States, Russia or Syria, Incredo is a 100% Armenian company.
If you need to, please take a minute and get all of the Kardashian jokes out of the way before we start. It will make it so, so much easier for you to concentrate on this post, after you have rid all of the Kim giggles from your system. And, no, none of our 30 person team are related to her, though some wish they were.
Some of us are in fact rabid fans of System Of A Down (your author excluded), but do you know what we love even more than our rich culture and history? Being one of the fastest-growing companies in our country, and one of the most globally trusted SaaS content marketing companies anywhere in the world (in the top 10!). How did we beat out hundreds of competitors this year from the US, Australia, Europe, Canada, etc.? Was it something in the brandy?
All kidding aside, Armenia over the past 15+ years has been transformed into the IT hub of the Caucasus region. The Millennial generation of our country take IT and innovation almost as seriously as we value chess.
Armenia takes IT development and marketing very, very seriously. While we do not have the numbers in terms population like India (Armenia is only 3 million people), our IT innovations and products are globally valued. As of this year, 79% of our exported IT products head over to the US and Canada, not the other way around. It is almost as if Armenia has too many highly-skilled and educated IT professionals, with more on the way every day. But, we know that is impossible, as one can never have too many motivated nerds.
If you are reading this article you have either been considering outsourcing your marketing to save costs, or are looking to change with whom you are currently sending your global SaaS marketing tasks to. Today we are going to tell you why Armenia is one of the smartest countries to choose if a SaaS company is looking to outsource their marketing.
Why outsource your SaaS marketing in the first place?
It is not all simply about saving money, paying an agency in dram or rupees instead of dollars or euros. Though, that being said, it is the primary reason why CEOs even consider outsourcing at all, as outsourcing is a compromise - in an ideal situation, you would run your company with each team member from maintenance to board members all under the same roof. Yet, especially for SMEs, the less your in-house team has on its plate, the better everyone can focus on the developing the heart of the company, rather than running around doing the legwork.
With the proliferation of web access in even the most remote regions of the world, why not keep your office in Cupertino while saving costs by outsourcing tasks to Mumbai?
With 62% of companies outsourcing their content marketing alone, there is more than enough reason why going overseas for marketing purposes is now the status quo.
The bulk of SaaS companies headquartered in Silicon Valley (41% are located there alone), New York City, and other enormously costly cities for real estate and salaries. It only makes sense to outsource whenever possible, as seen in the image below.
Especially if your company is a newer addition to the SaaS landscape, capitol is likely tight. You are perhaps located in an IT hub like Silicon Valley and recruiting talent to turn your concept into a reality. When it comes to certain aspects of SaaS development, having your initial team on-site is tantamount to success - it would be fooling to outsource everything and start a company having never met any member of your team.
If you did outsource everything, in the worst case scenario, you could run into subterfuge or collusion in a cut-throat industry like SaaS, if you never have the opportunity to meet your founding team in person. In this sense, an office setting, be it a garage, living room, or small office in an IT park, is necessary to truly communicate your vision, and gauge the personalities and talents of your founding team. It’s difficult to know what a person’s deal really is if you don’t meet them face to face.
That being said, once your company is getting ready, or recently launched, there are some tasks that outsourcing is perfect for. Outsourcing with a trusted, industry-respected agency is usually not only a stress reliever, but is also a worry-free relationship.
Outsourcing makes SaaS sense
Why not save costs by outsourcing your marketing team overseas? In fact, SaaS is practically designed to have many of its tasks outsourced. For example, take a look at this image for app development, which is important for two reasons:
1. It shows how fees vary enormously from region to region
2. It shows why nobody outsources development to the US or the UK
While outsourcing development may be something to think about down the line, there are several good reasons why outsourcing your marketing legwork should be a top priority for SaaS companies.
First of all, let’s go over a couple cons of outsourcing your marketing to a professional firm, and see how they weigh against the pros. Afterall, your marketing is your introduction to your customer base, and first impressions matter.
- No face-to-face intimacy
- Possible time zone conflicts
- Partner must take time to become familiar with the entire company vision
- A fraction of in-house marketing team costs
- A la carte: no hiring of full-time staff
- Access to experienced marketing professionals, around the clock
The list of pros and cons can go on forever, but here were a handful of the more common benefits and challenges to outsourcing. If you ask us, SaaS companies have enough on their plate with regards to development and vision. Especially that effective digital inbound marketing requires more effort than traditional marketing, we don’t see any detriment to finding an outsourced partner, investing a little time in onboarding them to your company’s vision, educating them on your target audience, and saving a mountain of costs along the way.
Outsourcing makes particularly good sense for the SaaS industry because the majority of SaaS customers never meet their vendors in person. This is important for a couple of reasons, but primarily what this means is that SaaS companies need to put a nearly overwhelming emphasis on customer service and support. After a customer subscribes to your product, they cannot pop out their door and walk down to your shop. If a customer even has a simple question about their software, if you take a week or more to get back to them then you have likely lost them for good.
After communicating your goals, vision, and target market to an outsourced marketing agency, not only are you saving money to invest it elsewhere in your company, but you are also freeing up your in-house team to focus more on the customer, website redesign, developing new product features, etc. The simple, but time intensive marketing legwork (SEO, social media, blog posts, etc.) will be handled at the hands of your outsourced partner. Sure, you will still have a marketing team in-house, the staff responsible for determining new campaign strategies and the like, but the hands-on tasks can be handled by your partner marketing agency.
So, why Armenia in particular?
As we said before, Armenia’s IT sector is booming at a breakneck pace. Over the past several years, the IT sector has grown by 22% annually, making it the fastest growing sector in the country. Young SaaS marketing agencies like Incredo live and breathe IT.
Add into the mix Armenians’ multi-fluency in global languages - in addition to our mother tongue many of us are also fluent in English, Russian, Arabic, German, Farsi, Spanish, and French (we’ll get to Mandarin one day) - and you get the full picture.
However, the most important reason to outsource your SaaS marketing to Armenia is that you do not need to sacrifice quality of work for cost savings. The cost of living in Yerevan is extremely low and of high quality, and when compared to outsourcing in India, Incredo’s hourly rate for clients is actually lower.
As per the private and independent 2015 ICT State of the Industry Report, Armenia’s ICT sector boasts the following attributes over that of our regional neighbors:
- World-class R&D capabilities in engineering, computer science, physics, and mathematics
- Well-educated and talented workforce with technical skills and English language proficiency
- Strong university programs with specializations in IT and related sciences
- Highly competitive labor costs and low operating costs
- Solid government support for the sector and commitment to improving the investment climate
- Sustainable and continuous growth in the IT sector
- Extensive experience with large multinational companies
- IP protection laws and regulations meeting international standards
To give you a real-world example of how affordable Armenia is compared to the West, a newer, nicely renovated two-bedroom apartment in the center of the capital can be rented for $350-500. Compare that to $4000-8000 in Silicon Valley, or $3000-6000 in Manhattan!
To wrap up, while India might be a great choice for call-center outsourcing, if you want your SaaS company in the most affordable, but more importantly trustworthy and reliable marketing hands, you may not need look any further than Armenia. Feel free to drop us a line to hear more on how an Armenian SaaS marketing agency may be the right choice for you.