Cerius Insights – Independent Executive Trends and Marketing Success

It is always our goal not just to be up-to-speed on the business climate, but also to use our unique position to see and share information about coming trends for the independent executive.

We recently attended an industry conference specific to the Gig Economy (independent/freelance workforce). It’s not just for ride sharing and vacation rentals anymore.

One of the most intriguing statistics shared was that more than 53% of businesses using gig talent to supplement their talent are companies with less than $50 million in revenues. Small to mid-sized businesses are benefiting the most from this flexible talent pool.

Given the popularity of this topic, we will be presenting at a couple of CEO conferences in the next few months, speaking on how companies can leverage the gig economy at all levels of the organization. The elastic and scalable nature of this talent model is becoming more attractive to business owners and human resource professionals and is more mainstream in the C-suite today than it was even two years ago.

The Cerius Crystal Ball

Working with hundreds of c-suite executives and business owners each year, we have a unique perspective into a variety of industries and business situations. Beyond providing highly vetted part-time and interim executive talent, we are highly engaged with our clients and their businesses. It is always our goal not just to be up-to-speed on the business climate, but also to use our unique position to see and share information about coming trends.

Industry Insights – The Big Picture

  • The global human cloud marketplace (accessing talent online) has reached over $1.2 trillion in revenues.
  • More than 53% of companies $50 million or less in revenues are using gig economy talent.
  • Industries that are using a lot of consulting and interim management are Financial Services, Manufacturing, Healthcare, Energy Resources, Public Sector, Retail, and Pharma,

What It Means to the Independent Executive.

  • The demand for independent talent is increasing; interim and project work is becoming more of the convention than the exception in some sectors.
  • Human resources and total talent management is becoming a standard part of strategic planning, including how to blend the roles of the traditional workforce with a more flexible, scalable workforce.
  • Whereas five years ago, companies only thought of part-time and fractional C-suite talent for the finance role, today interim talent is becoming more widely adopted for all functional roles.

Marketing Insights

Even after leading the interim executive market in the United States for more than twelve years, with a tremendous reputation and a great value proposition, like 99% of the business population, we still have to rely on marketing.

As quickly as the business environment is evolving, business leaders’ buying process is changing, too. Through the years, we have built a marketing innovation lab to continually test new marketing strategies and tactics to keep pace. The tactics we test change from year to year, but here are some insights we can share from this past year.

  • Partnerships – One of the most common themes we have seen this past year with businesses regardless of size is companies with complimentary offerings and similar marketplaces teaming up to offer creative solutions that provide synergistic value for clients. Some of the vetted partners Cerius offers as trusted resources to our network are Senior Management Worldwide, Outside GC, KSJG CPA, CapStack West.
  • Past Clients – We continually see the value of staying in touch with past clients as the greatest marketing tool in business. Whether your past clients are using your services/products again or referring you to new business, they are a true testament to the value you provide. On the other hand, the biggest missed opportunity is the assumption that, “We did a great job, so they will remember us.” Reality proves the opposite: Out of sight, out of mind. So keep in touch!
  • Podcasts – It has been said that podcasts are the new AdWords in marketing. There are a number of ways to leverage podcasts, from being a guest to sponsorships to ad placement to hosting your own. It’s worth taking a first, second, and third look at podcasts. The adoption rates, conversion rates, and impact rates will surprise you. Cerius is getting involved with podcasts, including the upcoming launch of our own hosted podcast—Cerius Business Today (more details to come). We have also appeared on Hack The Process, Millionaire Woman, and Business Building Rockstar Summit.

What It means to the Independent Executive.

Most of the marketing activities outlined above are investments of time, not money. Start with one that you feel most comfortable with and focus your efforts.

Demographics – Roles, Industries, Geography

  • Functional Roles – Human Resources joins Finance and Operations in the top 3 interim executive roles for the first time, for a combined 50% of requests. This is followed by Board, President, and CEO requests at 21%, and Sales/Marketing at 16%.
  • Industries – Manufacturing, technology, and healthcare dominated the independent executive requests for years, but this past year has seen a dramatic diversification from our perspective. No one industry was a statistical leader in our space.
  • Geography – As a national provider, we continue to see requests originate from evenly distributed areas across the United States. The outlier this past year has been the amount of international inquires we have had, particularly from global companies with struggling U.S. business units.

What it Means to the Independent Executive.

While the data above shows an annualized picture, in reality, it is cyclical. The activity in past few months and through the end of the year are weighted heavily on finance and operations. This past summer, it seemed as though human resources was all companies wanted to talk about. After the first of the year, the details of the marketing and sales strategy start to come out and it’s game time. The same cycle tends to repeat year after year. There is a predictable season of demand for many functional roles.

The Independent Executive’s Guide

We are seeing a large shift in the executive marketplace right now. Executives who have been independent for the last 5+ years are accepting full-time positions, and long-term corporate executives are looking to be independent. If a transition is on your list for 2018, we highly recommend taking any shortcuts you can and reading our book, How I Fired My Boss and Made More Money. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

We always enjoy sharing. Please let us know if there’s any other information we can provide as you prepare to set your businesses up for continued success next year.

Learn how we can help your career grow.