We started Wripple in 2019 with a very simple proposition: create an on-demand talent platform that gives marketing and digital experience professionals unparalleled freedom in how they team up to get great work done. This freedom plays a very essential role in building the modern marketing workforce required to win in the future of work. In 2022, our team made great strides building out Wripple’s platform experience and support team to deliver on key benefits of a modern marketing workforce, including:
- The ability to create the best work possible with greater flexibility
- Reduction of traditional workplace constraints (budget, geo, capability, capacity)
- The efficient design and onboarding of fit-for-purpose teams, in real-time
Before jumping into 2022’s highlights, it might help if we define what we mean by modern marketing workforce:
A modern marketing workforce includes teams comprised of full-time employees and different types of on-demand talent to optimally deliver work. It is agile, distributed, open, and dynamic. There are five components to building and managing a successful modern marketing workforce:
- On-demand Talent Sourcing that matches organizations with the right talent at the right time
- On-demand Talent Operations for scoping, worker classification, contracting, and payment
- Blended Team Design & Planning for optimized team structures and delivery
- Hybrid Workplace Effectiveness for successful delivery across onsite, offsite, and hybrid work
- Modern Workforce Tech & Data for end-to-end management of distributed and blended teams
The following 5 highlights represent 2022’s share worthy progress made in Wripple’s journey to help marketing and digital experience professionals realize the full potential of a modern marketing workforce.
2022 Highlight 1: More marketers across more industries established plans with a modern marketing workforce in mind.
When we started out in 2019, we worked with 3 primary industries. By the end of 2022, our clients spanned more than 17 industries. One big change since 2019 is the number of clients across all industries that now include some level of formalized planning and budgeting for on-demand talent as a core part of their marketing organizations. Industries that we’ve observed with advanced capability include automotive, travel & hospitality, CPG, and media & entertainment. We think it’s safe to say that for marketing teams to compete in their respective industries, a dedicated focus on modern marketing workforce planning will become even more critical.
2022 Highlight 2: Optionality, operations, and category expertise stood out as modern marketing workforce priorities.
As more clients sought tailored solutions, we saw increased demand for different options related to how companies work with on-demand talent. In 2022, 72% of all transactions on Wripple were Match + Operations, which entails Wripple sourcing vetted talent and handling all ops, including scoping, worker classification, contracting, onboarding, and payment. In addition to this option, we saw strong growth in two other ways to work with Wripple, which point to the importance of sound ops and category expertise, respectively:
2022 Highlight 3: Companies embraced a platform approach to get top-notch, cross-discipline work done.
When we launched Wripple, we wanted projects on the platform to span the types of work that a top-tier, full-service digital agency does. 2022 marked the year that our project diversity and complexity definitively reached that level. Talent from the Wripple marketplace delivered work across seven different project categories, including projects as diverse as go-to-market strategy, customer journey mapping, enterprise CMS implementation, integrated marketing campaigns, and content development for social programming. 2022 confirmed that leading companies have embraced a platform approach to finding on-demand talent to get meaningful cross-discipline work done. Below is the breakdown of project types for 2022 based on transaction volume:
2022 Highlight 4: Companies hired more project teams comprised of all on-demand talent to tackle key projects and manage economic uncertainty.
Throughout 2022, we saw demand for teams made up entirely of on-demand talent grow significantly to 34% of transactions. This includes Freelance Enterprise Teams (20%) that completed a wide range of consulting projects as well as Fractional Teams (14%) that played integral ongoing roles for organizations. With budgets under pressure and full-time hire requisitions declining, these teaming options provided flexibility and minimized risk of overcommitting. For reference, below are the five team building options on Wripple and the percentage they represented of total 2022 transaction volume:
2022 Highlight 5: The talent pool experienced strong growth and increased ‘professionalization’.
One of Wripple’s most important jobs as a platform is to provide meaningful opportunities for the talented independent professionals that apply and join. Last year, talent members were invited over 4000 times to propose on opportunities via the platform. Further, our largest roadmap investments in 2022 focused on providing our talent members a better platform experience to land their next project, and there are a lot more platform improvements coming in the new year. Stay tuned!
In 2022, talent membership grew by 50%. At the end of 2022, 57% of talent members had over 15 years of experience and 25% had over 21 years. This is similar to 2021’s makeup. Wripple conducted over 1200 vetting interviews for applicants across 47 different roles, with the top 10 most popular roles on the platform staying essentially the same as 2021:
Other talent stats were mostly steady year over year:
Freelancer Type: As the general American worker population turns more to freelancing, our percentage of talent that define themselves as full-time professional freelancers increased to 64%. Also, while self-described side-hustlers may have declined as a percentage of talent members, we saw a sharp increase in the number of projects that hired side hustlers. Below is the breakdown of how our talent members describe themselves:
- 10% are side hustlers that hold full-time jobs but take on side gigs (16% in 2021).
- 26% are part-time freelancers (23% in 2021)
- 64% are full-time freelancers (61% in 2021)
Remote Work: While employees and employers continue to determine the mix of on-site, remote, or hybrid work, our talent population’s preference for work location changed only marginally. A small decline in willingness to work on-site generally mirrors what’s happening across the board; however, during the second half of 2022, we have observed an increase in clients asking for hybrid work (on average, asking for onsite work 2-3 days a week)
- In 2021, 45% of talent members said they would be willing to work at a client site.
- In 2022, 42% of talent members said they would be willing to work at a client site.
So, what does it all mean?
2022’s key takeaways boil down to the following:
A formalized plan for managing a modern marketing workforce is needed to compete in the future of work. Hiring on-demand talent in a reactive, ad hoc fashion won’t cut it any longer.
The flexibility, speed, personalization, and transparency required to manage an on-demand workforce can be achieved by incorporating a platform approach.
With the growing importance of on-demand talent as part of the overall workforce, companies need sound operational practices in place to ensure efficiencies, compliance, and a good experience for both talent and business stakeholders.
One size does not have to fit all. Marketing teams should seek on-demand talent solutions that provide category-relevant experience and meet a wide range of business needs including options related to contracting, ways of working, and talent assignments e.g., work with a full project team, single experts, team extension, fractional teams, etc.
The global on-demand talent pool continues to grow, and its level of professionalism only gets stronger. This means companies can trust on-demand talent to take on an even wider range of work with greater complexity.
While all bets are off on which way 2023’s economy will go (soft landing, hard landing, status quo?) it’s clear that creating a well-functioning modern marketing workforce will continue to be essential. If your organization would like help assessing its current modern marketing workforce capability and setting a plan for success, please contact us for an initial discovery conversation using Wripple’s Modern Marketing Workforce maturity model.
You can reach us at ClientTeam@wripple.com.
If you are a freelancer, or exploring the potential of freelancing, please learn more about working with Wripple and apply to join.
Happy 2023 from the Wripple team!