Insourcing versus Outsourcing Ad operations cost comparison and analysis

AdOps is to marketing what plumbing is to homeownership: a task that’s essential to get right, and thus best left to the people who have experience delivering error-free work.

In terms of ad ops, outsourcing to a firm whose sole purpose is managing any or all aspects of campaign management can deliver error-free work save publishers, ad tech platforms, agencies, and brands between 50% – 70% in ad operating department costs.

Let’s break this down.

The Real Cost of In-Housed Ad Trafficker

According to, the average AdOps associate salary in the U.S. is $63,775. That sum is likely to rise given the very real Great Resignation. All over the country brands struggle to fill open positions, and many are resorting to sizable signing bonuses to lure staff to their ranks. And, marketing salaries are on the rise, some have grown by as much as 50%.

Besides, an annual salary is just the starting point, there are a lot of other costs involved with keeping full-time employees on staff. According to the Small Business Administration, “There’s a rule of thumb that the cost is typically 1.25 to 1.4 times the salary, depending on certain variables.”


Where do those extra costs come from? They start with payroll taxes, which are mandatory. A brand’s share of FICA, aka Social Security. That rate is 7.65% of the AdOp team member’s compensation up to the annual wage base, which is $132,900 in 2019.

Next, you’ll need to pay an unemployment tax to the State in which that employee works.

Now let’s talk about bennies, one of the most valuable recruitment tools available to companies when seeking talent. Unless you manage your 401(k) internally, the annual administrative costs per employee range from $750 to $3,000. And, of course, there are your matching fees, meaning your company contributes an amount that matches what the employee puts in until a cap is reached.

Then there’s healthcare. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average 2019 cost of insurance per employee for family coverage was $20,576 with workers on average paying $6,013 towards the cost of their coverage. They may be higher, depending on what you cover (dental and eye care cost more).

Now let’s talk about life insurance, which typically costs $.16 per $1,000 covered.  If like most companies, you offer a coverage amount that equals the employee’s annual salary, you will pay a $3,188 life insurance premium for your internal campaign trafficker.

Once they’re on staff you’ll need to supply them with the tools of the trade: a space to work, a computer, software licenses, communications fees, and other perks you may offer, like Pizza Friday, coffee, and snacks.

Those costs can vary, but for argument’s sake, let’s say you’ll pay for basic office software, which averages about $500 per year. Additionally, you’ll need to spend a week or two training that employee on your internal systems, and it could be a month or two before that employee is operating at full capacity.

There’s another hidden cost that is quite substantial: turnover. Over 30 million people left their jobs from January to August 2021; that’s one out of every four workers. As it is, AdOps is viewed by many employees as an entry-level position, a stepping stone to bigger and better things. And in this day and age, poaching is incessant, so you can expect your newly hired AdOps trafficker to receive competitive offers from headhunters once his or her training is complete and has gained some experience.

So what will it cost to replace a new hire? According to the Society for Human Resource Management, in 2017 the replacement costs for digital media advertising can reach as high as 50% – 60% of the employee’s annual salary. But again, if the Great Resignation continues unabated, you may need to factor in a signing bonus.

Efficiency Gains from Outsourcing

There are also efficiency gains to be had with an outsourcing partner. Take Paragon as an example. Our teams currently support 50 brands, publishers, agencies, and platforms with some or all of their ad operations.  And we have expertise with over 150 technology platforms, tools, and solutions.

Thanks to this deep technical platform expertise and broad client list, we can generate a 20% – 30% efficiency gain when we take over AdOps work from a client.

Intangible Benefits of Outsourcing

Finally, there are numerous intangible benefits to outsourcing, beginning with less distraction that stems from high turnover rates. When an ad trafficker quits, other employees need to step in to do that work until a replacement can be found. That’s a heavy burden.

Equally important, when you free up your employees from the mundane, but highly demanding, campaign trafficking work, you can reassign them to more strategic, and personally satisfying roles that promote client satisfaction, grow revenue and strengthen your partner ecosystem.

Refocusing your employees to the more satisfying work is a virtuous cycle of benefits. Turnover is lower, you can keep that earned knowledge in-house instead of losing it to a competitor, and all the costs of recruiting can be put towards acquiring new customers. Get in touch if you like to know more.

Author:David Tyler

Date:3rd May 2022


Why Paragon is a great place to work

In 2018, LinkedIn made headlines when it announced the stunning results of its research into the impact of employee training on employee happiness. According to LinkedIn, “employees who spend time learning at work are:

  • 47% less likely to be stressed
  • 39% more likely to feel productive and successful
  • 23% more ready to take on additional responsibilities
  • 21% more likely to feel confident and happy

As it turns out, the more you learn, the happier you become.

2018 also happened to be the year that we founded the Paragon’s Digital Academy, although we knew the impact of training on employee outlook well before LinkedIn released its research. We understood that the digital marketing and advertising industries were undergoing rapid change, and that in order for our teams to thrive, they needed to feel confident in their skills level, and that the agency had their backs. We do.

So we invested in them. We launched the Academy in order to provide learning and development opportunities to all of our employees. Our goal is to inspire and upskill our teams in critical areas, such as client communications, language, email and telephone etiquette and all aspects of MS Office. We also provide extensive training social media marketing to campaign management, programmatic advertising, display and all the other tech capabilities needed to excel in this field such as data and insights, reporting and business intelligence.

We’re proud that to date, 1,311 employees have graduated from the Paragon Digital Academy. We look forward to many more graduations in the years ahead.

Why employees stay at companies (and at Paragon!)

According to LinkedIn’s Workforce Learning Report, 94% of employees say that they would stay at a company longer if it invested in helping them learn. This makes a lot of sense to us. No one wants to feel overwhelmed at their jobs. We all need to feel valued, and to know how to work well with fellow employees and clients. An employee who feels like a fish out of water is an employee at risk for quitting.

Not surprisingly, our employees are happy to work at Paragon, and while some amount of turnover in every company is inevitable, our employees are reluctant to leave. They know that we give them opportunities to grow and learn, and to acquire skills that will advance their careers over their lifetime.

Apply here if growth is important to you

We’re always looking for smart, curious and compassionate people. Don’t worry if you have a skills gap; we launched the Paragon Digital Academy so that we can recruit people like you who have the ambition to succeed and – importantly – want to look forward to coming to work every day.

Get in touch to learn more about career opportunities with us.

Author:Ajanta Anand

Date:2nd March 2022


The growing importance of CTV

Much has been said about the way COVID-19 drove 10 years of ecommerce growth into just 10 months. But COVID-19 had a significant impact on many aspects of the economy, marketing and advertising included.

Take television advertising. Digital TV viewing shot up, and advertisers strove to meet them there. But rather than make big bets on the annual Upfronts, where marketers purchase huge and costly inventory buys, advertisers turn to programmatic buys of connected TV. The TV landscape will never be the same again.

The pandemic & TV viewing and advertising

Like all trends in digital advertising, the great shift in TV viewing is 100% driven by consumers. They decide when to watch their favorite shows, and on which device to watch them. Gone are the days when people gathered in the family room to watch appointment TV.

That trend went into hyperdrive during the pandemic. With out-of-home options constrained, the 2020 lockdowns prompted consumers to watch a lot more TV. Binge-watching entire seasons of shows became the new national pastime: digital TV viewing minutes shot up by 25% from Q1 to Q2 2020, just as lockdown orders hit..

And, in a very short period of time, the consumers were introduced to a slate of new streaming services: discovery+, Peacock, HBO Max, Paramount+, Apple TV+ and Disney+. Restless consumers added those services to their Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video subscriptions.

Within the ad-tech industry, we differentiate between linear TV, CTV, streaming and advanced TV. To the consumer, however, it’s all just TV.

Consumers weren’t the only ones who embraced CTV during the pandemic. Advertisers, unsure of where to find their viewers, migrated from linear TV to digital. CTV allowed them to test publishers, often smaller and experimental ones, measure the results, and optimize their media plan on a weekly, or even daily basis. That’s game changing.

Digital = performance campaigns

For a long time, TV was seen exclusively as a brand-awareness channel, one that can reach tens of millions of consumers in a very quick time. The challenge is that one was never quite sure if those ads were seen by the right consumers, or if those consumers took actions as a result of seeing an ad. Put another way, two cornerstones of digital advertising — measurement and attribution — were largely unavailable to TV advertisers.

But CTV obliterates those constraints. In addition to removing the pressure of placing big bets at the Upfronts, all the benefits of digital advertising — testing channels, measuring results and optimizing as spend in real time — now apply to the TV channel. And that, says TVSquared CEO Jo Kinsella, makes CTV a performance channel. There’s data to backup Kinsella’s claim: According to research Hulu and Telaria, 82% of DTC shoppers will take action after seeing an ad streamed across CTV

What’s interesting is the way in which CTV democratizes TV advertising. Smaller companies, like growing DTC brands can now get into the game. Rather than invest millions in a campaign as was once required with Broadcast TV, marketers can test the waters with a much smaller budget.

And they can use their tried and true strategies for that testing. For example, eMarketer reports that about 60% of CTV impressions are purchased via programmatic channels. That’s about $2.37 billion.

Challenges of CTV

Connected TV still faces some challenges, however. To begin, it’s a highly fragmented market. Let’s say I’m a shoe brand and I want to target women aged 25 to 45. In the pre-digital world, I’d turn to Nielsen’s who would tell me which shows or properties will allow me to reach my target audience. Today, my target audience may watch those same shows on a computer via a streaming service like Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube, via cable and a Smart TV, or from any one of the affiliates that distribute that show. How do I reach them at scale?

Another challenge is measurement. Sure, digital impressions are countable, but every media buyer uses a third-party measurement company to ensure the number of ads they paid for were actually delivered as promised.

Measurement is more difficult, as TV studios rely on service-side ad insertion (SSAI) for ad delivery. SSAI knits ad spots into the content of the show itself in order to thwart ad-blocking software, which works by blocking ad calls to an ad server. If the ad is integrated into the content, there is no ad call. But it also makes it difficult for advertisers to know if their ads were actually displayed, leading to a new kind of walled gardens.

That challenge is being addressed, however. In fact, over the past few years we’ve seen the rise of multiple TV consortiums that bring together all the major players in the ecosystem to tackle the challenges of CTV. After all, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, which is why they’re working together to develop a set of standards for buying inventory, measuring campaigns and calculating attribution.

Paragon’s CTV services

We provide a full range of CTV services to clients to ensure ads are displayed correctly and meet your expectations:

  • Precise QA testing of ad creatives to ensure all campaigns meet technical specs, and perform as they should on devices
  • Campaign setup, including troubleshooting campaign delivery issues and providing recommended edits/changes for peak performance
  • Pacing and performance reporting
  • Quality check AVOD channels to ensure the content quality and ad delivery aligns with your legal guidelines and brand standards
  • Partner integration support
  • Exceptional account management

Get in touch

Connected TV is an exciting new channel for advertisers of all sizes. It combines all the benefits of medium – site, sound and motion – with all of the advances of digital. If you haven’t considered adding TV into your media mix before, now is a good time to start. CTV has lowered the barriers of TV advertising, allowing more brands to reach their audience in this highly engaging channel. Paragon can help you launch successful CTV campaigns. Get in touch.

Author:David Tyler

Date:21st February 2022


The opportunities of retail media

Retail media is red hot these days, enjoying 27% YoY growth. According to eMarketer, advertisers spent an eye-popping $23.92 billion in 2021 in the U.S. alone. This year, retail media advertising will go as high as $41.37 billion in 2022.

Source: eMarketer

It’s no surprise that advertisers are investing more in retail media; it makes sense on a lot of levels. Let’s take a look.

First, what is retail media exactly? Web properties like,, and Amazon are more than mere ecommerce sites; they’re robust marketplaces that attract hundreds of millions of consumers each year.

Consumers visit these sites when they want to:

  • Research products
  • Make an actual purchase

For brands, retail media presents ideal opportunities to introduce new prospects to their products, and to influence their buying decisions. In other words, retail media is terrific for both awareness and performance campaigns.

The impact of privacy regulations + browser restrictions

By now you’re probably tired of reading about privacy regulations and the death of the cookie, but the truth is, marketers will need a new way to reach and engage consumers. Retail media is a great alternative. Why?

Traditionally, consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies have relied on third-party retailers to sell their products directly to consumers. Retail partners were the ones to collect the consumer’s first-party data, not the product manufacturer itself. As third-party cookie tracking goes away, brands without vast pools of first-party data are at a disadvantage.

Enter retail media. These big retailers know a great deal about their customers, and can help brands target shoppers who are likely to be interested in a specific brand or product. What’s more, they have developed sophisticated tools and audience segments to help brands home in on their ideal consumers.

All brands offer multiple ad options, including display ads and sponsored products.

What’s more, when brands advertise on a retail media site, they can use first-party data to measure the success of their campaigns. The retailer can provide reports that tell marketers the number of customers they’ve reached, and whether or not those customers went on to convert.

Retail media advertising platforms

Retailers offer more than inventory, however. Many now offer the technology brands need to reach target users. For instance, Target’s digital ad platform, Roundel, partnered with an ad exchange to offer programmatic advertising, and has rolled out an attribution tool that’s available to marketers who spend $75,000 over a six-week period.

Walmart Connect and Lowe’s One Roof Media Network offer similar functionality.

Don’t miss out

Many say that retail media will become the dominant advertising channel for advertisers, thanks to the abundant availability of first-party data for targeting purposes, along with the ability to reach consumers who are actively researching products and forming opinions about brands and measure campaign effectiveness.

Should your brand include retail media as part of your media budget? A large number of consumers rely on retail media to learn about products. If you’re not there, those consumers may never have a chance to learn about your brand. Get in touch – we’ll be happy to discuss with you further.

Author:Sarah Chapman

Date:14th February 2022


Should you in-house or outsource campaign management?

Planning for 2022

Right about now, many organizations are tweaking their 2022 business plans, looking for opportunities to lower costs without sacrificing revenue. In executive suites the world over, leaders are looking for ways to lower costs and reallocate resources in a way that supports revenue facing account management, sales and partnership resourcing requirements.

It’s natural to assume that in-housing your digital ad campaigns is the best way to lower costs, and build expertise among your ranks. The IAB reported last year that 69% of brands have brought some or all of their programmatic campaigns in-house, although not all have in-housed their complete operations.

If your company is a publisher, agency, brand or tech platform, you may be wondering whether outsourcing generates enough cost savings to meaningfully reallocate to account management sales and partnership efforts. The answer depends on your unique circumstances. Here are three factors to consider.

Labor cost

First, organizations need to consider their “recruitment costs”, which in 2021, according to HR associations, costs around $4,000 and takes about 42 days. Once the new hire arrives you’ll need to spend time and money training the employee on your systems. In some instances, training will require certification from a third-party, which means it may take several months before an employee is fully up to speed and contributing.

Ongoing salaries are another factor to consider. Employee salaries, per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, represent 61.7% of an employer’s cost. In addition to salaries, US companies must  pay specific employer taxes for their employees (e.g. Social Security, workers compensations), which, per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, cost an average of $20.50 per hour per employee. On top of that, there are employee benefits, (which, on a $70,000 salary can run more than $17,000. (Source: BeeBole), hardware and software costs, communications costs, office costs, etc.  An employee supporting ad operations work who is paid $70,000 salary actually cost their employer in the $125,000 – $145,000.

There are other soft costs that are harder to calculate. Lost Opportunity Cost comes to mind, that’s the cost to the organization when people who are customer acquisition or existing customer growth facing spend a portion of their time doing routine, repeatable tasks like testing creatives, chasing creatives, setting up a campaign, reviewing campaign results on a daily basis.

Talent shortage in the Great Resignation

The Great Resignation is real, not a figment of your imagination. Beginning in April 2021, 11.5 million American workers quit their jobs. Of those still working, 48% told Gallop that they’re actively looking for other work.

The marketing and advertising sector has not been spared. A survey of 423 marketers and agency employees found that 63% plan to change jobs or careers this year, 40% demand flexible hours, and 100% – every single respondent! – said they would not consider a job that didn’t offer the option to work from home.

Tempting talent to your ranks is getting more expensive. It’s an employee market, and brands across the world find they need to pay more to entice people to work for them.

Retaining talent, especially those with the highest skillsets, is just as challenging There is nothing more upsetting then watching your top talent walk out the door, after all the efforts in recruitment, training, etc.

You can pay steep recruitment costs, and pay to train new hires, provide the latest and greatest employee benefits but there is more than a slim risk that they’ll be open to new opportunities that may arise. Employee poaching is here and on the rise.


Continuity is the final consideration and it’s an urgent one, due to the above mentioned Great Resignation. You can have a stellar employee executing and optimizing your campaigns, but what happens if he or she resigns or retires? Not only will your campaigns be interrupted while you recruit, hire and train a replacement, but you’ll lose the “institutional” knowledge of that employee. As the employee manages campaigns, he or she garners detailed knowledge of which channel works best with which type of product, as well as strategies for getting the best price for media. It can take years to recover that kind of insight.

Outsourcing partners, on the hand, are all about continuity; it’s our raison d’etre, so to speak. We put processes in place to document all knowledge gained with every campaign, so that there are never any interruptions of continuity.

Which option is right for your company? Get in touch and we’ll be happy to discuss with your further.

Author:David Tyler

Date:31st January 2022


A look back on 2021, and a peek into 2022

If we thought 2021 would settle down after a tumultuous 2020, we were wrong. The business world is still reeling, this time from a labor crunch that’s affecting everything from supply chains to restaurant service.

It’s a time of great uncertainty for many companies: each month more than four million US workers resign. Those resigning are mostly mid-career workers, and they take with them the skills that keep a company going on a day-to-day basis. Complicating matters further, 48% of employees surveyed by Gallop say they’re actively looking for another job, putting business continuity at risk.

How are companies pivoting to adapt to these post-pandemic challenges? Paragon Digital Services has a unique perspective on some aspects of labor shortage, as our teams are asked to step in and fill gaps as they arise.

Here our observations gathered over the past year, and what we see in store for 2022.

Outsourcing fills in skill gaps 

Outsourcing various aspects of business operations has been on an upward trajectory for more than a decade, but the pandemic has accelerated the trend.

As workers reevaluate their priorities and assess how to achieve a work-life balance that’s right for them, hiring managers are panicking. It’s not uncommon to see $5,000 sign-on bonuses offered for entry-level positions and warehouse workers. And the fear that once they invest in recruiting, those workers will be lured away by a competitor.

In 2021, companies engaged outsourcing partners as a stop-gap measure, but that fix is increasingly seen as more of a permanent solution, or at least until such time when recruiting costs come down a bit. Those who hope to eventually bring functions back in-house are keen to work with outsourcers who can transfer skills to newly hired employees.

In-housing plans slowing down or put on hold

Prior to the pandemic companies have been bringing various marketing activities in-house, but those efforts have slowed down. In-housing is proving expensive and its rewards are harder and taking longer to realize, prompting many brands to hit the pause button. “Many advertisers are being more selective about how they want to work with agencies and are prioritizing flexibility and capability over scale and stability,” write Kimeko McCoy and Seb Joseph in Digiday.

Many companies are continuing their push towards in-housing, but they want to focus those efforts on the strategic work, and leave the more technical aspects to outside experts like Paragon’s trafficking teams. Some see this approach as a strategy to retain employees who want more interesting work. For others, candidates with the needed technical skills just aren’t available in their areas, so they have no choice but to outsource.

Enabling full-time employees to focus on strategic work is a good way to combat the Great Resignation, as many people have quit in order to pursue jobs that give them a greater sense of fulfillment.

Operations still seen as prime outsourcing candidate

Business process outsourcing (BPO) has been on an upward trajectory for the past 20 years and is showing no signs of clowning down. In 2022, the global BPO market is valued at $232 billion, and will grow by 8.5% each year until 2028.

Advances in SaaS, platform as a service and infrastructure as a service give companies a lot more flexibility to outsource some or all of operations to a partner.

Looking ahead to 2022

So what’s ahead for outsourcing, particularly as it applies to the media industry?

We’re likely to see hybrid models, with companies looking for outsourcing partners willing to take on a portion, but not all, of their workloads. Companies want partners who can augment, not necessarily replace, their internal teams.

Outsourcing engagements will start out small, but will increase as clients see tangible benefits. This is a trend we see currently, and expect it to continue, especially as managers strive to provide more meaningful work for their employees in order to retain them.

If the Great Resignation continues at its current rate, outsourcing will become an important strategy to maintain business continuity. In some cases, outsourcing partners will be asked to perform more niche work.

Rising recruitment costs, higher salaries – along with the scourge of luring trained away from current positions with competitive offers – may lead more companies to seek outsourcing partners as a more permanent solution.

Get in touch today to learn how we can help you transform your ad ops as we head into 2022.

Author:David Tyler

Date:7th December 2021


Language isn’t a barrier to success

Cross border sales are booming

According to eShopWorld (ESW) data released in August, 2021, cross-border sales are booming. Facing reduced access to stores, global shoppers are turning to ecommerce, and a good portion of them (46%) are buying directly from international brands online. Over half of millennials (52%) are actively buying from brands outside of their home countries. Like a lot of pandemic-induced habits, this isn’t a new trend, but it’s one that has been greatly accelerated by lockdown orders.

Over the past ten years, the barriers to cross-border selling have been coming down. All of the standard ecommerce platforms – Shopify, Magento Commerce, BigCommerce, WooCommerce – have streamlined cross-border sales. Merchants can easily display products in local languages and currencies by leveraging out-of-the-box features.

Meanwhile, a host of entrepreneurs have been busy developing platforms and solutions that streamline the workflows of taking orders and delivering products to customers, regardless of where they live. By selecting the right partners, merchants can offer Amazon-like delivery service.

For instance, allows website visitors to browse and purchase products in their local currency. It also automatically calculates duties and taxes, and offers logistics. ShipStation is the facto partner for multinational merchants, offering order management, landed-cost calculations, branded shipping, volume discounts and more.

The gap: digital campaigns

While the ecommerce platforms and third-party plug-ins can make any mom-and-pop shop look and act like a multinational corporation, there’s still a critically important piece missing: campaigns. You may be able to take an order, charge the correct price, pay the appropriate taxes and deliver a product to a consumer’s door who lives halfway around the world from your headquarters, but how are you going to inform that customer of your products to begin with?

The importance of speaking the local language in campaigns

There’s a story that makes its way around the internet on a fairly regular basis about a Chevy Nova marketing debacle in Latin America (no va means ‘doesn’t go’ in Spanish). The story is a myth, but it’s an instructive one.

All marketers should pay very close attention to the language used in every market where their ads will appear. It’s all too easy to send the wrong message to a market due to language barrier. Fortunately, language isn’t a barrier for Paragon Digital Services and our teams. Every day we help multinational brands execute their performance and brand-awareness campaigns in markets all over the world.

Paragon multinational campaigns by the numbers

  • 44,000 campaigns. We deliver an average of 44,000 campaigns a year across 70+ markets with an accuracy rate of 99.9%, 100% campaigns were delivered on, or before, the deadline.
  • 68+ languages. We work with clients and stakeholders who, combined, speak more than 68 languages. We get the nuances of local languages, and can ensure multinational campaigns don’t fall flat due to poor language. All of our team members are conversant in English, so you’ll have no trouble explaining what you need to them.
  • 17 different departments. We don’t handle just one type of campaign, we handle them all – paid social, paid search, display, programmatic. We’re your one-stop-shop for your global campaigns.
  • 70+ markets. We can help you reach your audience wherever they are, be it in the US, LatAm, EMEA, MENA or APAC.
  • 50+ global brands. Global brands trust us, and rely on us to execute their campaigns accurately and on time and budget. There’s no better endorsement than turning over a media budget!
  • 5000+ unique brands. We’ve launched a wide variety of campaigns for brands that span many sectors. Whether you’re a DTC, B2C or B2B brand, we can help you reach your exact audience.

Ready to take advantage of the modern, post-pandemic consumer’s enthusiasm for global shopping? Get in touch and we’ll help you deliver successful, multinational campaign.

Author:Rekha Patil

Date:2nd November 2021


Why agencies should embrace remote workers

Advertising and media agencies, like companies everywhere, are experiencing a labor crunch. With hundreds of open recs and few candidates to choose from, agencies are facing the prospect of turning down work because they don’t have the staff to do it.

One way to solve the labor crunch is to embrace the concept of remote workers. Not only will it solve the short-term recruitment challenges agencies face right now, but it’s entirely likely that remote work is the future of employment, and those agencies that don’t allow it will find themselves at a competitive disadvantage.

The Great Resignation of 2021

We are living through an extraordinary time, by any measure. The pandemic forced people to work from home and to cancel all social activity. As a result, they had plenty of time to think about big issues, such as what they wanted to get out of life, and how much of their time they wanted to dedicate to work. Many knowledge workers moved out of the city to escape the pandemic, only to discover they liked having more space and appreciated the lower cost of living. Why return to the rat race just to afford expensive housing?

Beginning in April 2021, just as companies were beginning to make plans for their employees to return to the office, the Great Resignation began. Over a three month period, 11.5 million American workers quit their jobs. Of those still working, 48% told Gallop that they’re actively looking for other work.

What are they seeking when they quit? Many say they’re in search of more free time and happiness. The cultural shifts of the past year, combined with economic upheaval caused by lockdowns, have fundamentally changed the way employees want to work.

Remote work is a top priority, and 70% of American workers said they’d happily forgo benefits —  including health insurance paid time off and retirement accounts —  in order to continue working from home.

Today we see a global labor shortage in every sector, from retailing, restaurants and service industries, to ecommerce developers, marketers and agency personnel.

Ad agencies struggle with The Great Resignation

Advertising and media agencies are far from immune to the Great Resignation. Many have hundreds of open positions they can’t fill, and ad professionals continue to leave the industry.

A survey of 423 marketers and agency employees found that 63% plan to change jobs or careers this year, 40% demand flexible hours, and 100% — every single respondent! — said they would not consider a job that didn’t offer the option to work from home.

Their reasons for quitting mirror those of other knowledge workers. Digiday interviewed seven people who left their agency jobs without having another one lined up. A desire for a better life/work balance, and too much work without a sense of satisfaction were some of the reasons given.

Business response

Across the industry, business leaders are responding to employee demands by offering more flexibility. Many are opting to give up big offices that accommodate the entire workforces in favor of multiple satellite offices in areas that are closer to where employees live. The goal is to allow employees to mostly work from home, but to provide a space for weekly or biweekly team meetings.

And full-time work from home is still on the table for many big corporations. In September, The Conference Board released a survey of more than 330 HR executives at large companies, and found that they are 3x more likely to hire remote employees; 36% are willing to hire people who are fully remote and located anywhere in the world.

Will agency executives join their peers in other industries and meet their employees’ demands for flexible work schedules? It certainly would be wise to do so, especially since we urgently need to stem the employee exodus from the space.

Remote work works

Paragon Digital Services can offer insight into the questions on how to run an agency efficiently when workers are remote. As our critical teams are widely dispersed, the single most important factor is having a deep understanding and high priority on processes. When we take on clients, during the onboarding phase, every single process is written down and mapped to KPI, in precise detail, so that each employee knows what is expected of him or her.

Our investments in mapping each business processes have paid off in numerous ways. Ad operations work done remotely by Paragon has lead to efficiency gains ranging from 20% – 30% and accuracy rates (error free work) above 99.9%.

The final reason to support remote work: employees say it’s critical to their quality of life. Companies can stem attrition by enabling their employees to achieve the right work/life balance, and by assigning employees to work that provides them a sense of satisfaction which leads to  opportunities for meaningful growth “within” your organization.

Interested in discussing our offerings further? Get in touch.

Author:David Tyler

Date:12th October 2021


5 things to look for when selecting an outsourcing agency

Is your brand thinking about outsourcing your digital campaigns? Good plan. By selecting the right outsourcing partner you can get access to experts in every aspect of digital campaigns, and give your internal teams more time to focus on other work that is client or revenue focused.

Of course, this begs the question: how do you select the “right” partner? Here are five things to look for when selecting an outsourcing partner.

#1: Industry expertise

Launching, optimizing and reporting on campaigns successfully is no easy feat. There are a million details to take care of, all of which require considerable expertise to do properly. Perfection is required every step of the way, from ensuring that all creatives are formatted correctly to the channel in which they’ll be seen and assessing brand safety of ad placements, to execution across multiple direct and programmatic channels.

You need a partner with significant industry expertise, someone you can learn from, and who can step in to fill in unexpected gaps in your internal teams as they arise.

As a premier digital media services agency, Paragon Digital Services teams offer considerable end-to-end campaign expertise. Our teams are well trained and well versed in every aspect of digital campaigns, including media operations, data analytics, creative and campaign optimization, as well as ancillary business finance services to advertisers, publishers and platforms across the globe.

#2: Methodology for learning and documenting your internal processes

Every brand has a unique combination of internal processes, supported by internal infrastructure, that its employees follow in order to work towards common goals. Processes include campaign requirements, sign-off authority, escalation procedures and so on.

You need a partner that has a methodology for supporting your internal way of doing things, and not the other way around, otherwise, you will spend too much time managing your outsourcing partner, rather than reaping the benefits of time saved.

This is why Paragon Digital Services has designed an onboarding system that begins with the creation of a client-specific Standard Operating Procedures document. This document is a comprehensive roadmap of how our two companies will work together. It covers:

  • How, when and why we communicate
  • Which systems and tools you want us to use
  • Services we’ll provide
  • Your priorities
  • Escalation management plan

#3: Certifications

It’s one thing to be trained in a software or process, it’s a whole other matter to complete rigorous certification. Take ensuring quality management and data security. Your outsourcing partner will touch a lot of your sensitive customer data, don’t you think they should be certified to do so properly?

This is why Paragon is fully ISO 9001:2015 certified. Not only that, after four years of audits and certification, Paragon has built a robust infrastructure around the ISO 9001:2015 principles, and it has become a way of life for our organization. All of our workflows – from the simplest task for a client to fulfilling a role they’ve handed off to us – are executed with these quality principles in mind. If you’d like to learn more about our ISO certifications, and what they mean for you, we’d recommend you check out one of our previous blog posts – ‘What is ISO 90001:2015 / ISO 27001 and why should you care?’.

#4: 24/7 campaign support

Campaigns can’t wait for someone to return from vacation or a conference. You need a well-oiled machine that can design, execute and optimize campaigns based on your schedule.

A good outsourcing partner is one who can meet your campaign deadlines, and manage your ongoing ones 24/7 by seamlessly plugging resources when a team member calls in sick or attends a conference. This is why Paragon prioritizes our Standard Operating Procedures document.

There is always somebody looking after your campaigns.

#5: Full advertising support

If you only plan to do one form of advertising, let’s say paid search, outsourcing to an agency with limited skill sets may work for you. But consumers are multi-channel, and that means your advertising strategy will need to meet them wherever they are in the digital universe.

Paragon can support every component of your campaign, from paid search and paid social, to global display and video programmatic campaigns. The benefit of a one-stop shop is that we can analyze your campaign holistically, and inform you when you’ll get better results by concentrating on one channel over another. Plus, it means you have just one point of contact to work with.

Interested in discussing our offerings further? Get in touch.

Author:David Tyler

Date:5th October 2021


Get ready for Black Friday/Cyber Monday: 6 tips for success

2021 promises to be another “interesting” holiday season. Last year consumers stayed home, and many used the no-traveling policy to cross people off their shopping list they weren’t going to see in person. Are those permanent or temporary removals?  Will people abandon the idea of holiday gatherings in favor of a wonderful trip as a reward for sheltering in place?

One thing we know for certain is that competition for consumers will be fierce. On top of that, the economy is groaning under a global labor shortage which means you might not have the resources to provide the high-touch level of support you once did. So how do you ensure your all-important holiday season is a stellar success?

Here are six tips for you to consider.

Tip #1: Expand your store footprint with social selling

According to a DigitalCommerce360 survey of over 4,500 consumers, 82% of people say that social media is where they hear about brands and products most frequently. Almost a third (29%) say that most of their new purchases come from social media discoveries. Even before the pandemic forced people to stay at home, however, more than half (54%) of people said they purchase directly from social media. Social selling is hot!

Headless commerce lets you move your ecommerce frontend to your social media pages, and capture consumers where they’re increasingly apt to shop.

Tip #2: Expand your payment options

More than 150 million Americans have a digital wallet; worldwide the number will top 1.5 billion by the end of the year. And, people don’t have just one digital wallet; they have many. It’s not unusual for consumers to regularly use PayPal, Venmo, Android Pay/Apple Pay, Amazon Pay as they shop online and in real life.

Why the popularity? For 66% of consumers it all comes down to convenience. It’s just so easy to buy something with a digital wallet. In fact, finding a wallet, entering credit card and shipping information, especially from a mobile device, is an utter drag. It’s just easier to find a retailer who will let consumers purchase they way they want.

What’s more, let’s say that a consumer lent her friend $100, who later paid her back in Venmo. That money is more or less sitting in her Venmo account waiting to be spent. Let your ecommerce store be the place where she spends it. Including your list of payment options in your ad campaigns is a smart move to attract such people.

Tip #3: Offer live chat or personal assistants

A recent study by LivePerson found that, “75% of consumers will spend more money with retailers that support digital and in-store experiences with messaging experts. More than half of shoppers, 63%, will purchase more from a website that boasts a virtual assistant.”

It’s not difficult to understand why. Selecting gifts is stressful. Will the recipient like it? Will it arrive on time? How can I be sure that the Black Friday/Cyber Monday promo code will go through?

Live chat and personal assistants can deliver answers at the most critical time, resulting in better conversion rates.

Tip #4: Create answers to routine customer questions

It’s not likely that we’ll resolve the global labor shortage in time for Black Friday/Cyber Monday, which means your customer care team will need to respond to a lot more questions with fewer people to help. You can ease their workload by creating answers to routine questions like, “when will my order arrive?” or “do these hoodies run large?”

There are many tools that can streamline your customer care operations, including responding to incoming questions at lightning speed. Quick response builds shopper confidence, and your sales.

Tip #5: Offer “shop online pickup in store”

In the unlikely event that you haven’t built this functionality into your site, give consumers the option to avoid crowds (and COVID variants) by shopping online and picking up their packages at one of your retail outlets.

Consumer behavior has changed quite a bit since the pandemic. Habits acquired out of necessity, like shopping online and picking up in stores, are here to stay. Why battle crowds if you don’t have to?

Tip #6: Offer gift guides

Some people love gift shopping, for many others it is a job full of terror. What do you get a 13-year-old kid who seems to spend all of his time looking at his mobile? Or the coworker whose name you drew in the office Secret Santa?

Offer a series of gift guides – Gifts for Him, Gifts for Her, Gifts for Teens, Gifts Under $25, Gifts Under $100, and so on for shoppers who have no idea what to get the people on their lists.

Gift Guides are also a great way to attract visitors to your site as people often search on terms like, “gifts for teens.”

Get in touch

Right now you probably have your hands full getting ready for the holiday season, but there’s one burden you can offload to us: your ad campaigns. We can run all of your Black Friday/Cyber Monday campaigns, including Paid Search. We’ll execute them flawlessly, analyze results daily, and optimize every aspect of your campaign in order to drive performance – get in touch.

Author:Rekha Patil

Date:29th September 2021