How does the Gig Economy really impact marketers?

freelance gigple marketing magazine asia

As the gig economy expands, the number of independent contractors globally is arguably at an all time high, thanks to universal technology adoption.. While data sources vary, all of them agree that the number of independently employed individuals is growing, and fast.

While many interpretations of this trend exist out there, ranging from highly optimistic to negative, nobody can argue against the fact that the “gig economy” is changing the workplace in perhaps a very permanent way. This both brings about benefits and challenges. Having said all of that, how much are marketers impacted, really?

For many, the gig economy is associated with low skill, labor intensive and low paying jobs, usually enabled by an app. This is the case with apps like Grab, Lalamove and Food Panda.

While this has truth to it, the gig economy is much more complex than that.

Just as in the more common full time jobs, gig work is available not only for last mile delivery, but also for more highly skilled marketing tasks, such as copy writing, graphic design and digital marketing, just to name a few. This means that there is a whole breadth of opportunities out there on the world wide web.

When considering participating in the gig economy, one must consider factors that separate these opportunities from traditional employment:

  • Flexibility: This is one thing gig workers have an abundance of. They work however many hours a week they choose, thereby selecting how much work they actually take on.
  • Output-based compensation: Gig workers are paid proportionally to their output. Some platforms offer a milestone-based payment system which allows both contractors and clients to feel secure about getting their time and money’s worth.
  • Global reach: Given the internet’s borderless nature, clients are given the opportunity to choose from talent from around the world, not just their home country. This makes for a wider talent pool to choose from.
  • Transferability: Through its flexible nature, gig work can be transferred seamlessly from one contractor to the next without impacting any continuity.

Whether you look at the gig economy with optimism or gloominess, it changes the paradigm of hiring, making the process more about function, rather than individuality.

So when it comes to Marketing, traditional roles have been forever changed. Whether it’s  web designers, social media managers, copywriters or SEO consultants, most of the available talent out there turns to contract work – whether they already have a full time job or not.

Whichever way one looks at it, contractors in the marketing space offer distinct advantages when it comes to workflow:

  • Scale: Gig workers are an unquestionable tool for rapid scaling.
  • Cost: Gig workers give any client a better opportunity to stretch every Ringgit spent in manpower.
  • Freedom of Choice: Because of the remote nature of gig work, marketing teams literally have the pick of the litter from all over the world in terms of talent.

Does this make sense? Feeling an urge to explore the gig worker market?

While there’s no universal  answer for a marketing agency when it comes to hiring gig workers, there are a few things to consider to ensure the best possible outcome:

  • Know your brand: When getting gig workers’ help, making sure you have a firm grasp of your brand identity is helpful. An established brand guide will lead to a better understanding of what your expectations are and allows for a gig worker to hit the ground running.
  • Stay in touch: Make sure communications are seamless. Schedule regular virtual meetings to ensure deliverables are tracked and deadlines are met.
  • Keep core functions in-house: Not every task can be outsourced. Key decision-making and project management roles must stay in-house.
  • Use technology to manage projects: The internet provides for a multitude of project and task management platforms out there to better remotely manage your gig workers. Some gig hiring platforms even offer this function built-in.

By following these simple steps, marketers can immediately enjoy the benefits that the gig economy has to offer. In Malaysia, Gigple is the country’s fastest growing gig platform, connecting businesses to highly skilled marketers from all over the Asia-Pacific Region, enabling any company to get help within minutes.

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