Marketing Outsourcing – Working with freelancers, specialists, and talents for demand generation07 Aug 2016, Posted by Content marketing in
A good reputation is more valuable than money
According to surveys by leading organizations, there are almost 53 million freelance workers just in the American market who astonishingly occupy one-third of the total work force. A significant percentage of companies are outsourcing specialized jobs that are part of high-value projects – a study by Truelancer website reveals that the global market for freelancers is worth $2-3 billion, of which India accounts for about $1 billion. The scenario is especially true in the demand generation scenario. However, despite incredible options in the freelance sector, most of the new-age enterprises face several challenges in discovering and utilizing the right creative talents for their specialized needs.
Let us take a closer look at these problems before suggesting measures to enhance the productivity of freelancers and specialists – also called the contingent workforce.
Challenges faced by organizations in finding the right freelancers and specialists
- Ability to map the right candidate to the right talent
Companies usually receive innumerable work portfolios and requests from freelancers, but they often find it difficult to zero in on the right candidate, especially in case of urgent content demands for specific demand generation campaigns. Associating with creative professionals adept at providing intelligent content for product marketing is the key to success in today’s marketplace. But the toughest challenge is mapping the required talent with the right freelancer when time is of the essence.
- Insufficient resources
Not every company is financially adept to meet the resource demands of maintaining a permanent team of skilled content specialists. Freelancers or the contingent workforce is a trusted option in such cases. However, getting this skill set on board for a limited period under a flexible work arrangement is a challenge owing to the exceptions that need to be planned. This variance restricts companies from exploring all available options for delivering intelligent content marketing strategies for demand generation.
- Finding the right balance between flexibility and always being on call
The freelancers and specialists also feel the pressure of temporary arrangements where the balance between flexibility and the need to always be on call with the companies is at stake. The pace of content marketing approaches for demand generation varies across organizations – with different strategies and goals. Hence freelancers are often forced to juggle varying strategies, ways of working, and roles across organizations at a single point of time.
- Contracting the wrong fit based on a one-dimensional assessment
We often come across instances where some people appear strong in their resume and perform well in the initial meeting, but eventually stumble when you associate with them on a project. As a result, the entire content generation process is tense, stretched out, and repetitive with plenty of back and forth and possible delays in planned schedules.
- Inability to meet standard organization benchmarks
Despite regularly hiring freelancers and specialists, companies find that sometimes this workforce struggles to meet standard performance benchmarks, which might even adversely affect their lead generation strategies, especially in case of content marketing for technology products. Companies find themselves spending a lot of time and effort on inducting the contingent workforce into the business essentials in terms of demand generation goals and strategies, sometimes with hardly any positive response.
So what are the best options that companies have to enhance the productivity of freelancers and specialists?
- Involving them in relevant business objectives
The best strategy to enhance the productivity of freelancers and specialists is to ensure their active participation in the organization’s marketing initiatives. This approach would actually help the specialists and freelancers to develop clear insights into the organization’s vision and positioning. They can then contribute effectively to developing a coherent marketing strategy that increases the overall campaign’s performance.
- Having clearly defined objectives and key result areas (KRAs)
The companies should craft well-defined, achievable objectives and KRAs for freelancers and specialists (comparable to the approach used for regular employees). This approach provides intense clarity to both the freelancers and the organization in terms expectations and what the term “completed” would look like. Freelancers can also prioritize their tasks accordingly, optimizing the productivity and efficiency of the marketing process.
- Blending in the strengths and skill sets of the freelancers and the organization
Companies will benefit from following the strategy of effectively describing their strengths to the clients because this would help in both motivating the freelancers and specialists, bringing an appealing approach to the marketing processes, and helping them use their skill sets to bridge any gap between the requirements and the organization’s capability.
- Regularly reviewing the performance for lead generation campaigns
The ideal strategy that ensures consistent performance from the freelancer and a healthy work relationship is to regularly review the performance of freelancers and the organization. This pre-scheduled meeting will help identify the strengths and weaknesses of the freelancers and fill any gaps from the organization’s side too. This approach would make a huge difference in the quality of lead generation efforts, especially in the domain of technology marketing.
- Learning from the past
The companies need to carefully analyze and gather inputs from past successes, failures, and overall experiences. This data provides them precious insights on the approaches that work well and those that are best avoided. This will also help the organization to hone their techniques of utilizing the contingent workforce to bring them optimal value.
Some of the most successful companies across the world operating across a wide range of industries have indeed shifted their approach to developing a healthy balance between in-house and freelance resources for generating intelligent content. This success formula has redefined their positioning strategy in highly competitive markets. Effectively utilizing creative, freelance talents proficient in intelligent content writing and marketing that suit the needs of new-age businesses is probably a deciding factor between success and failure for most organizations. However, this crucial factor is often overlooked. It is high time today’s firms understood the value of outsourcing content marketing responsibilities to freelancers and specialized companies that would take their business game to the next level.