Marketers leaning on freelancers, automation to alleviate staffing shortages

Marketers are using freelancers and automation to meet the needs of clients while lacking the staff to handle an influx of new business, according to a July 20 Insider report.

Graham Brown, co-founder and CEO of agency search firm MediaSense, said businesses want more complex ideas that target consumers, which requires bigger marketing teams.

Simultaneously, marketers experiencing burnout are leaving the industry, and marketing teams are having trouble recruiting talent to fill hundreds of open roles. 

When advertising firms work on a pitch, they need to use all their resources, including freelancers, interns, staff from different offices and automation, Joanne Davis, founder and president of search firm Joanne Davis Consulting, told Insider.

Marketing teams are turning to automation, such as the consumer insight platform Helixa, which generates strategy and data.

Christine Burke, Helixa's vice president of growth, said it has seen increased demand from marketers since the start of the pandemic, when marketers were laid off because of budget cuts.

Helixa uses AI to figure out what people are interested in buying based on their social media habits. She said agencies mostly use it for pitching new business, but also for existing clients.

Mr. Brown said marketing teams are pushing their clients to consider offshoring, nearshoring and outsourcing back-office operations like ad serving and platform management.

Advertisers can only work on so many challenges at a time, Mr. Brown said.

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