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Perspectives

Wripple’s 2023 Year in Review

February 22, 2024
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It’s time for our annual look in the proverbial rearview mirror to see how the continued growth of on-demand work has impacted the marketing workforce. In 2023, companies valued more than ever the benefits of working with independent professionals who provide flexibility, specialized expertise, speed, and cost-effectiveness. These experts helped companies manage through 2023’s economic uncertainty and tight labor market to maintain momentum and mitigate risk.  

A clear proof point of on-demand talent’s positive impact is the growth in activity on the Wripple platform in 2023, which had more than double the number of transactions compared to 2022.

 

2023 Platform Activity Highlights:

Highlight #1  

Marketers across all industries turn to freelancers to make progress, but 2023 saw significant spikes in a few key industries.

More than 15 industries conducted business on Wripple’s talent platform in 2023. This is on par with 2022, but we saw a few industries ramp up significantly. Travel & Hospitality, Advertising & Marketing, and Financial Services represented over half of all platform transactions, with Technology & Education rounding out the top 5.  

2023 Top Industries by & of Transactions

2023 Top Industries by & of Transactions

Needs across these industries were diverse:  

  • Travel & Hospitality saw incredible growth coming out of the pandemic and needed to extend their teams quickly and in a material way.  
  • Agencies and Consultancies tapped into niche roles and skills to better manage their benches.
  • Financial Services, Technology, and Education industries needed cost-effective solutions to manage through economic uncertainty tied to factors such as interest rates, changing consumer spending and sentiment, and regulatory considerations.

Highlight #2

The persistent talent shortage and demand for specialized expertise (notably AI, MarTech, and Event Marketing) drove a big shift in how clients worked with Wripple.

In 2023, 86% of all transactions on Wripple were classified as "Match + Operations" – meaning Wripple sourced and vetted the talent,  as well as handling all freelance ops (scoping, worker classification, contracting, onboarding, and payment).

Match + Operations transactions increased 19% YOY.  

This jump in clients needing both access to Wripple’s highly vetted talent pool and ops solutions indicates companies need help finding the right talent for niche needs during a prolonged talent shortage. It also highlights the high demand for seamless hiring and onboarding and reduced risk associated with misclassifying workers.  

2023 Breakdown by Transaction Type

2023 Breakdown by Transaction Type

Highlight #3  

Clients continued to hire cross-discipline talent, but there was a notable shift from traditional campaign work and creating experiences to managing and optimizing existing experiences.

In 2023, we added new in-demand roles and skills to the platform to meet client needs and expectations. There were a few pronounced shifts in platform demand that caught our eye:

  1. The shift from experience-related work to content creation follows a logical progression. In 2021 and 2022 ,many clients focused on designing and building new experiences tied to digital transformation coming out of the pandemic. In 2023, those experiences needed new content to support priorities and maintain relevance.  
  2. The increase in Tech, Tools, and Data work was largely related to an increased need for expertise in AI and MarTech.
  3. The jump in project management is mostly attributable to a return to in-person event marketing that required specialists to ensure all went smoothly on the ground.

YOY Breakdown by Type of Work

YOY Breakdown by Type of Work

Highlight #4

The way clients contracted with talent in 2023 reflected an even greater need to team up with flexibility.

In 2023, there was an increase in both long-term staff augmentation contracts and hiring specialized experts on a Time and Materials basis. In another year of uncertainty, these two modes of teaming up—representing 68% of work—provided companies with increased flexibility for short-term and long-term needs.  

YOY Breakdown by Engagement Type

Team Extension engagements involve long-term staffing contracts which provided clients with a path to build teams in an environment where it was challenging to get budget approvals for full-time hires. The average length of Team Extension engagements was almost 9 months and over 30% of these opportunities included the possibility to convert to perm.  

Expert(s) T&M engagements are short-term assignments offering brands the flexibility to bring in specialists to tackle a wide range of work. These assignments averaged 4-6 weeks and most often addressed needs related to MarTech, Data & Analytics, Channel Strategy & Planning, Video Production, and Graphic Design.  

Not surprisingly, in a year that was difficult to read and plan for, fixed-scope Consulting Projects did not see as much activity as in 2022. This reinforces the shift in work type coming out of the pandemic in 2021 to now—less project work focused on building capability and experiences to cost-effective work focused on managing and optimizing existing experiences and programs.  

Read more about the rise of blended teams.

Highlight #5

The on-demand talent pool continued to grow and evolve to meet marketing’s increasing complexity and ever-changing needs.

Talent membership grew by 78%.
Wripple conducted more than 1,900 talent interviews as part of our vetting process.

On-demand Talent Experience: At the end of 2023, the breakdown by years of experience was relatively unchanged and we continue to offer our clients a highly experienced talent pool.  Worth noting, in 2023 and heading into 2024 we have seen an acceleration in the number of talent with 3 to 7 years of experience applying to join.  We believe this trend will continue as freelancing and taking on long-term contracts become more viable options for people earlier in their careers.

% of Talent by Years of Experience

Roles: The roles shifted alongside the work types––with content creation and project management rising to the top. Data/Analytics Consultants also moved up the list this year.

Top 10 Roles Booked on Wripple

Independent Professional Type: Most of our talent members define themselves as full-time professional freelancers––and this percentage increased by 11% in 2023.

Type of Work Breakdown

Talent Ideal Rate: The ideal rate that talent members set in their profile increased this year, likely a reflection of inflation and the growth of more full-time, highly experienced freelancers in the marketplace.

Talents’ ideal rates increased 13%.

Remote Work: There’s been a significant jump in the percentage of talent members willing to work on-site for a client at least two days a week. This reflects some of the changes we see in work modes settling into a new normal where hybrid is the rule. At the same time, there’s been an increase in clients requiring on-site work in 2023.  14.8% of project briefs created on the platform in 2023 required work on site vs. 5.8% in 2022.

% of Freelancers Willing to Work at a Client Site

In 2023, 14.8% of the positions clients were trying to fill through the platform required at least one day on site, versus 5.8% of positions in 2022.

Key Takeaways from 2023

  • Marketers across industries are using independent professionals to meet unique needs. From managing robust growth to limiting risk, companies find working with freelance talent an invaluable way to meet their unique opportunities and challenges.
  • Macro forces don’t relent. Economic and labor market dynamics continue to create an uncertain business environment. With change being one of the only reliable constants, marketing teams need the flexibility of on-demand talent to help them remain agile and relevant through change.
  • Specialized expertise is in high demand. With marketing’s growing complexity (e.g., channel fragmentation, emerging tech, etc.), marketing teams benefit greatly by tapping into the niche skills of independent professionals, just when the help is needed.
  • On-demand talent growth will continue. With the increased demand for and acceptance of freelancers as a core part of the modern marketing workforce, the talent pool continues to grow and specialize to meet the market’s needs and help companies achieve flexibility, speed, and cost-effectiveness.

Brian Deloach
Search Engine Optimization
Zebbie Gillispie
Creative Direction & Designer
Evelyn Creekmore
Content Strategy & Writer
Angie Vaughn
Marketing & Email Strategy
Andrew Golubock
Engagement Manager

Team Impact

Dropp Solution Sheets
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To learn more about any or all of these solutions, contact your Wripple Client Lead, or request a demo.

It’s time for our annual look in the proverbial rearview mirror to see how the continued growth of on-demand work has impacted the marketing workforce. In 2023, companies valued more than ever the benefits of working with independent professionals who provide flexibility, specialized expertise, speed, and cost-effectiveness. These experts helped companies manage through 2023’s economic uncertainty and tight labor market to maintain momentum and mitigate risk.  

A clear proof point of on-demand talent’s positive impact is the growth in activity on the Wripple platform in 2023, which had more than double the number of transactions compared to 2022.

 

2023 Platform Activity Highlights:

Highlight #1  

Marketers across all industries turn to freelancers to make progress, but 2023 saw significant spikes in a few key industries.

More than 15 industries conducted business on Wripple’s talent platform in 2023. This is on par with 2022, but we saw a few industries ramp up significantly. Travel & Hospitality, Advertising & Marketing, and Financial Services represented over half of all platform transactions, with Technology & Education rounding out the top 5.  

2023 Top Industries by & of Transactions

2023 Top Industries by & of Transactions

Needs across these industries were diverse:  

  • Travel & Hospitality saw incredible growth coming out of the pandemic and needed to extend their teams quickly and in a material way.  
  • Agencies and Consultancies tapped into niche roles and skills to better manage their benches.
  • Financial Services, Technology, and Education industries needed cost-effective solutions to manage through economic uncertainty tied to factors such as interest rates, changing consumer spending and sentiment, and regulatory considerations.

Highlight #2

The persistent talent shortage and demand for specialized expertise (notably AI, MarTech, and Event Marketing) drove a big shift in how clients worked with Wripple.

In 2023, 86% of all transactions on Wripple were classified as "Match + Operations" – meaning Wripple sourced and vetted the talent,  as well as handling all freelance ops (scoping, worker classification, contracting, onboarding, and payment).

Match + Operations transactions increased 19% YOY.  

This jump in clients needing both access to Wripple’s highly vetted talent pool and ops solutions indicates companies need help finding the right talent for niche needs during a prolonged talent shortage. It also highlights the high demand for seamless hiring and onboarding and reduced risk associated with misclassifying workers.  

2023 Breakdown by Transaction Type

2023 Breakdown by Transaction Type

Highlight #3  

Clients continued to hire cross-discipline talent, but there was a notable shift from traditional campaign work and creating experiences to managing and optimizing existing experiences.

In 2023, we added new in-demand roles and skills to the platform to meet client needs and expectations. There were a few pronounced shifts in platform demand that caught our eye:

  1. The shift from experience-related work to content creation follows a logical progression. In 2021 and 2022 ,many clients focused on designing and building new experiences tied to digital transformation coming out of the pandemic. In 2023, those experiences needed new content to support priorities and maintain relevance.  
  2. The increase in Tech, Tools, and Data work was largely related to an increased need for expertise in AI and MarTech.
  3. The jump in project management is mostly attributable to a return to in-person event marketing that required specialists to ensure all went smoothly on the ground.

YOY Breakdown by Type of Work

YOY Breakdown by Type of Work

Highlight #4

The way clients contracted with talent in 2023 reflected an even greater need to team up with flexibility.

In 2023, there was an increase in both long-term staff augmentation contracts and hiring specialized experts on a Time and Materials basis. In another year of uncertainty, these two modes of teaming up—representing 68% of work—provided companies with increased flexibility for short-term and long-term needs.  

YOY Breakdown by Engagement Type

Team Extension engagements involve long-term staffing contracts which provided clients with a path to build teams in an environment where it was challenging to get budget approvals for full-time hires. The average length of Team Extension engagements was almost 9 months and over 30% of these opportunities included the possibility to convert to perm.  

Expert(s) T&M engagements are short-term assignments offering brands the flexibility to bring in specialists to tackle a wide range of work. These assignments averaged 4-6 weeks and most often addressed needs related to MarTech, Data & Analytics, Channel Strategy & Planning, Video Production, and Graphic Design.  

Not surprisingly, in a year that was difficult to read and plan for, fixed-scope Consulting Projects did not see as much activity as in 2022. This reinforces the shift in work type coming out of the pandemic in 2021 to now—less project work focused on building capability and experiences to cost-effective work focused on managing and optimizing existing experiences and programs.  

Read more about the rise of blended teams.

Highlight #5

The on-demand talent pool continued to grow and evolve to meet marketing’s increasing complexity and ever-changing needs.

Talent membership grew by 78%.
Wripple conducted more than 1,900 talent interviews as part of our vetting process.

On-demand Talent Experience: At the end of 2023, the breakdown by years of experience was relatively unchanged and we continue to offer our clients a highly experienced talent pool.  Worth noting, in 2023 and heading into 2024 we have seen an acceleration in the number of talent with 3 to 7 years of experience applying to join.  We believe this trend will continue as freelancing and taking on long-term contracts become more viable options for people earlier in their careers.

% of Talent by Years of Experience

Roles: The roles shifted alongside the work types––with content creation and project management rising to the top. Data/Analytics Consultants also moved up the list this year.

Top 10 Roles Booked on Wripple

Independent Professional Type: Most of our talent members define themselves as full-time professional freelancers––and this percentage increased by 11% in 2023.

Type of Work Breakdown

Talent Ideal Rate: The ideal rate that talent members set in their profile increased this year, likely a reflection of inflation and the growth of more full-time, highly experienced freelancers in the marketplace.

Talents’ ideal rates increased 13%.

Remote Work: There’s been a significant jump in the percentage of talent members willing to work on-site for a client at least two days a week. This reflects some of the changes we see in work modes settling into a new normal where hybrid is the rule. At the same time, there’s been an increase in clients requiring on-site work in 2023.  14.8% of project briefs created on the platform in 2023 required work on site vs. 5.8% in 2022.

% of Freelancers Willing to Work at a Client Site

In 2023, 14.8% of the positions clients were trying to fill through the platform required at least one day on site, versus 5.8% of positions in 2022.

Key Takeaways from 2023

  • Marketers across industries are using independent professionals to meet unique needs. From managing robust growth to limiting risk, companies find working with freelance talent an invaluable way to meet their unique opportunities and challenges.
  • Macro forces don’t relent. Economic and labor market dynamics continue to create an uncertain business environment. With change being one of the only reliable constants, marketing teams need the flexibility of on-demand talent to help them remain agile and relevant through change.
  • Specialized expertise is in high demand. With marketing’s growing complexity (e.g., channel fragmentation, emerging tech, etc.), marketing teams benefit greatly by tapping into the niche skills of independent professionals, just when the help is needed.
  • On-demand talent growth will continue. With the increased demand for and acceptance of freelancers as a core part of the modern marketing workforce, the talent pool continues to grow and specialize to meet the market’s needs and help companies achieve flexibility, speed, and cost-effectiveness.
Companies

To learn more about how Wripple can help your team thrive in the future of work, book a demo.

Freelancers

If you’re a digital professional interested in becoming a member of our talent marketplace, apply to join.

Freelancers

If you’re an experienced marketing freelancer interested in joining Wripple, apply today.

Companies

Need a T&M contractor to tackle your next project?