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New Insights from Freelancers and Companies on Effective Marketing Collaboration

2 Mins read

Recently Wripple conducted our third Team Up Research study aimed at understanding how freelancers and the companies that hire them come together to get great work done.

Given the essential role that blended teams of freelancers and full-time employees play in the modern marketing workforce, this latest version of our Team Up Report takes a deeper look at how well these teams function—what’s working and what’s needed for teams to reach their full potential as one seamless workforce.

The Story from Both Sides

Wripple partnered with MDRG, an independent research company, to conduct two surveys. One targeted freelancers and the other focused on the marketing and HR leaders at enterprise and mid-market companies who hire freelancers. In total, we collected 414 completed surveys – 200 from freelancers and 214 from companies.

What’s working well?

Despite a topsy-turvy economy and labor market, both freelancers and companies feel good about the project work experience, the value they get from their work, and the potential for future engagements.

Overall satisfaction with the work is high.

Both freelancers and companies are satisfied with their engagements. Satisfaction has also improved since 2022—up 14% for freelancers and 15% for companies.

The outlook is bright for future work.

Both freelancers and companies anticipate working together more in the future. This is likely due to a more positive mindset coming out of the pandemic and increasing acceptance of freelancing in the economy.

But like any relationship, there are always areas to improve.

While freelancers and companies have positive views about teaming up, they both perceive there is still work to be done operationally and strategically.

We see that freelancers and companies are fairly in sync on ways to improve how they work as a team, pointing to a need for clear guidance and support, more consideration of fit for the assignment, and better onboarding and briefing.

One significant difference—freelancers point to the need for stronger standards and professionalism, while companies are far less likely to say that this is an issue. This tells us that companies, even if they think things are going well, should look at how they engage freelancers and be open to feedback that could improve the freelancing experience.

Digging deeper, we start to get into one of the most fundamental limitations of freelancing’s role within the workforce—both freelancers and companies view freelancing’s overall role in the workforce as constrained.

Insights from the research provide five recommendations to put complacency in its place.

Reduce the Professionalism Deficit – Instill more trust, confidence, and respect throughout all aspects of the relationship. This requires establishing partnerships built on mutual understanding, transparency, and a commitment to process standards.

Modernize End-to-End – Leverage tech to provide a better talent experience, gain speed to market, and reduce friction. This entails integrating FTE and freelancer data which will also support more holistic workforce planning, risk management, and optimization.

Wipe Out Persistent Process Pain Points – Set quality standards for hiring, onboarding, and delivery. Pay close attention to providing thorough job descriptions, informative project briefs, and clear points of contact for freelancers to resolve HR and work issues.

Capitalize on Freelancing’s Multi-Dimensional Nature – Embrace the freelance marketing workforce as a deep, cross-discipline pool of experts. Many specialists are leading the charge in tech innovation and using freelancers provides unmatched flexibility for building fit-for-purpose teams.

Commit to Core Values Across the Entire Workforce – Engage freelancers with a genuine commitment to values that are important to the modern workforce, most notably DEI, flexibility, and opportunities that provide meaningful challenges and growth.

As stated, freelancing already plays a critical role in marketing. These five recommendations will help companies and freelancers drive even stronger returns and gain strategic advantage through a more modern approach to on-demand work.

For the full research report, including freelancer and company deep dives, download the report. Download the Report

‍Shannon Denton is co-founder of Wripple, changing how digital work gets done. 

Freelancers stock image by vinnstock/Shutterstock

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