How we’re helping marketing orgs shapeshift into the future

by | Sep 8, 2020

Our collective worlds were rocked with the rise of COVID-19 and the subsequent instability of what we’ve realized was a pretty fragile work ecosystem. We saw the biggest brands in the world simply unprepared to shift to distributed work systems and cultures. For decades, we’ve read whitepapers, participated in panels, written opinion pieces, and even made the occasional corporate or shareholder commitment to drive innovation through our organization, yet we’ve completely failed to reimagine how work happens in order to meet our goals. As technology has laid unimaginable capabilities at our feet that allow people to work literally wherever, whenever, we’ve somehow remained steadfast in our commitment to a traditional way of working that was built a hundred years ago. One that was primarily built for the manufacturing industry.

It is not a leap to say that in a time of radical change, we need a radically innovative approach to remain competitive, relevant, and empathetic. All of our vulnerabilities have been exposed and many of our deepest fears realized. But there is a silver lining: we get to create the new way forward together. We could merely use this time to grasp at the straws of a system of the past, or we could use our collective energy and imagination to build the new normal. For me, the answer is clear. As we rebuild the marketing industry in a post-pandemic world, the only way for leaders to future proof their businesses is by including a flexible talent solution to the strategy.

There will always be a place for consulting work, agency work, and full-time employees. But now, more than ever, there is a place for a flexible talent strategy that will allow organizations to tap into hive knowledge at a moment’s notice. Today, future-proofing looks like having a flex talent partner that can swarm business challenges with precision, efficiency, and purpose; a partner that can shapeshift alongside your organization as the demands on marketing organizations continue to evolve and become more niche. 

The benefits of a flex talent solution are many and I’d like to highlight a few that are particularly poignant in this moment:

Innovation: None of us has a crystal ball, but if the rise of digital, consumer insights, and purpose-led brands has taught us anything, it’s that we simply have to be ready for anything. And relying on your own team of FTE’s and marketing partners also reliant on an FTE model is a surefire way to slow you down.  If we want true innovation, we have to ask ourselves how to capture unique perspectives, question things we’ve taken for granted, and look to partners building the future. 

Inclusion: No one will argue that this is a priority, yet we still pay an incredible amount of lip service to the notion of a truly inclusive and equitable industry. Here’s the deal: the very fact that our industry has not been a welcoming place for so many underrepresented groups of people has resulted in diverse talent leaving the traditional employment model to seek independence in droves.  And we’ve done such an awful job building a work ecosystem where diverse talent can thrive that they don’t trust our system any more. It’s all true. When I started We Are Rosie, diverse talent was a priority, but I never could have imagined the stories we would hear, the diverse talent we would have the privilege of representing within our virtual walls, or that we would be able to easily tap into brilliant underrepresented talent from every corner of the country. We have consultants who are transitioning genders and don’t feel safe in a traditional work environment, we have Rosies who have been racially profiled, discriminated against, and held back because of the color of their skin. We have Rosies who were told they were no longer “enough” for the traditional work system when they became  caregivers. This is humanity. These are your consumers. It is imperative that we create a way for this talent to effectively participate in work in a way that gives them the dignity we all deserve.

Competitive edge: We all want a competitive edge, individually and for our organizations. And the fastest way to do it is to surround yourself and your team with the brilliance of unique, thoughtful perspectives that can help you grow. As we emerge into a post-COVID world (whatever that is) one thing is for sure: the teams that thrive in the new world will look a hell of a lot different than the teams we had in place last year. Let’s not waste this chance to become more competitive, nimble, and agile, while we rebuild a better way to work, together. 

This is why we’re launching the Next Front, for brands who understand the value of flexibility during uncertain and turbulent futures. With the Next Front, we’re offering limited packages that include a dedicated flexible talent strategist to help forecast your talent needs, while matching you with top notch, diverse marketing talent. We’ll enable Next Front brands to stay nimble, providing access to a custom bench of talent to access on-demand throughout 2021. Package details can be found here.

It’s time to accept that the old ways of working are not working for all of us anymore, and brands now have the opportunity to build anew. Are you ready to take your business to the Next Front?