Cerius Insights – Gig Economy Trends, Marketing Tips, and Business Success

Gig EconomyWe 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 talent in the gig economy 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 Business Owners/Leaders

  • If you are considering leveraging the gig economy for your company’s short-term or interim needs, you are no longer an early adopter; in fact, soon you may join the ranks of the laggards.
  • Such terms as “business innovation,” “business pivot” and “transformation” have gone from change initiatives to standard operating models.
  • 3 reasons to hire interim or part time executives:
    • Not enough bandwidth in your executive suite to get everything done,
    • Missing a particular expertise on your executive team but it’s not a position that needs to be long term and can be transitioned to a lower paying position once infrastructure is in place or
    • Need expertise but you don’t need it on a full time basis.
  • The independent workforce is becoming highly segmented, with experts available to support companies’ growing demand to shorten their learning cycles and get results quicker.

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 Business Owners/Leaders.

Marketing is an enigma for many companies. As a business leader, it is not always intuitive what should be expected from the marketing efforts. Despite popular opinion, marketing is not difficult to measure and get results. The challenging part is that it requires patience since it is a never ending formula of: Test + measure + adjust + test + measure + adjust + test + measure…and so on.

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 Business Owners/Leaders.

Although finance, operations, and human resources are the most requested interim executive services this year, it is why they are being requested that matters most.

  • Accountability – Interim executives are brought in due to lack of ownership to drive the business forward.
  • Talent – Business leaders know they need the right talent for the job and they need it within budget—sometimes those two are literally impossible within the constraints of a full-time hire.
  • Finance – Business leaders need the full picture: “How much money are we making/losing by customer, by product/service line? I need better information for decision-making.”

The Trust Factor

The bottom line for business leaders is they need to trust who they are working with—whether this is trust that they will get the job done right, trust their advice, or trust that the company’s “check book” is safe in their hands. We exist to provide companies with trustworthy options when bringing in an outside resource. We are always happy to talk those through

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.


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