The coming of the ‘digital nomads’ has turned the already strained client-agency relationship on its head, creating a new dynamic environment throughout the creative marketing industry.
Combined with the rise of crowdsourcing and online talent marketplaces, the rise of the nomads means that marketing managers have direct access to talented freelancers all over the world who are often cheaper, faster while offering the same quality as agencies and in-house teams.
There’s a few sweeping generalizations here so, in real terms, here’s what the digital nomad means for you, your business and your marketing strategy.
Digital nomads don’t work 9-5, they’re worldwide and operating in multiple time-zones meaning they’re often available around the clock if you’ve got a good network. The result, you can build elements of responsiveness and reactiveness into your marketing strategy without any loss in quality that may not have been possible otherwise.
Working with freelancers means less in house overheads and makes agency costs a thing of the past and with the best talent being increasingly self-employed and becoming more mobile, creative budgets can stretch further than ever before often with a better outcome.
Putting together a marketing strategy that uses digital nomads gives you the ability to ramp-up or scale-back activity in accordance with your plans. You can plan and recruit appropriately for both regular/retained work (social, blog writing, website maintenance) as well as scheduled projects (advertising campaigns, content marketing and PR). Depending on flex in budgets, especially when it comes to end-of-year use it or lose it splurges, you can up your activity. You can also pull projects or reduce spends if there’s a squeeze without the need for any difficult discussions with in-house teams or agencies with whom you’ve had a good relationship.
Agencies and in-house departments are often guilty of adopting a cookie-cutter approach when it comes to strategy, they’ll sing from the same hymn sheet and say things like: ‘This is how we’ve always done it…It’s always worked before…Well our competitors are doing it’ – it’s a mindset that stymies creativity and often results in lost opportunities and you saying: ‘What if…If only’. Digital nomads operating independently will offer a variety of opinions, insights and ideas – some of them may be exactly what you expect to hear from in-house teams and agencies, but every now and again, they’ll be something new and brilliant.
When you’re not tied to an agency, you can get multiple specialists for every role and in every channel without it costing the earth. You get the same standard of work and insight with the potential to move into more channels while spending less than you would if you used agencies or recruited the equivalent in-house team. At DesignBro you can, for instance, start your design project & get a carefully curated selection of 10 freelance designers to work on your project.
Besides having grown up in the design Industry, Christiaan has advised some of the world’s largest companies on their branding & packaging designs. Has been the resident judge for design awards, and has spoken at numerous global design & marketing events. Christiaan founded the London office of the award-winning Cartils agency, and has founded the DesignBro.com platform.