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Ongoing economic uncertainty, with rising prices, reduced consumer spending, greater volatility and inflation figures not seen for decades, has had a profound effect on the content marketing landscape. Brands and agencies are looking to new models of content production as they increasingly seek offshoring solutions that will deliver cost savings without compromising quality.

The 2023 Benchmark Report for Offshore Creative Production by TKM Consultants, sponsored by We Are Amnet, looks at the ongoing rise in contemporary models of offshore production, including Smartshoring®, in detail. The report provides a comprehensive overview of the challenges content producers are facing, and looks at how they’re forging successful partnerships, where they see barriers to success, and how they’re producing results in difficult economic circumstances.

“55% of companies that don’t currently offshore will definitely offshore creative production within the next 12 months, with a further 28% considering an offshore model.”

Offshore creative production sees a big rise in investment

The report shows that 2023 will see considerable growth in the offshore production model, with 61% of respondents saying it’s where the greatest investment will be made. And that investment is likely to continue to rise since almost half the respondents report they’re already placing at least 20% of their production offshore.

While the work is judged by the same standards as in-house content, with quality being the number one benchmark of a successful offshore partnership, 81% said that access to lower-cost skills and resources was an important driver of the decision. Saving money is far from the only imperative, however; 45% are looking for scalable resources and 27% are looking for 24/7 resource availability.

An established model

Offshore content production is no longer an emerging model; 49% of surveyed participants reported having an offshore partner for at least four years, with greater numbers of studios spread across a wider range of geographies, more services available and a larger talent pool.

Even so, when an organization successfully onboards and works with an offshore partner, they tend to stick with them for the long term; by far the greatest number of reported offshore partners is just one or two. The number of organizations with five or more partners has risen, though, likely in response to the increased availability of specialized services and the need for omnichannel content.

“74% of companies currently offshoring creative production will do the same or more offshore in the next 12 months. No companies are planning to offshore less than in 2022.”

India remains the number one location for offshore creative production, and that’s going to be the case for some time given the country’s huge investment in education in the creative and technical disciplines, widespread understanding of English and competitive pricing. India, also in a perfect time zone for UK and US clients, was named the number one offshoring location by 47% of responders. Latin American countries’ offshoring capabilities are growing fast, however.

Numbers that speak for themselves

Given the figures quoted by survey participants on the economic advantages of offshoring, the model’s still-rising popularity is no surprise. With expected savings of 40% across the board, and significant numbers of responses stating up to 80% savings on services such as digital banners and video post-production, these figures cannot be ignored in the current economic climate.

Furthermore, while certain services like web banners and image retouching are considered particularly suitable for offshore production, there’s now very little in the whole gamut of content production services that isn’t being placed with offshore partners. Everything from CGI and 3D modeling to infographics, presentations and accessibility services are trusted to offshore resources.

“By offshoring, 41% of participants would expect a typical saving of 40–60% across all service lines.”

Current challenges

The challenges facing producers of content at scale have made successful offshore production a strategic imperative for brands and agencies. As an effective solution to that need, Smartshoring® provides an agile and flexible approach that 73% of respondents agree with.

To read what industry leaders had to say about where they see their biggest challenges in producing content at scale in 2023 and beyond, and their advice on how to build successful relationships with offshore partners, download the full report. It provides some certainty on the state of an evolving content production landscape in what are uncertain times.


Saskia Johnson

Author Saskia Johnson

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