The future of work is not about remote working or working from home. The reality is Australia’s communications and marketing professionals face a fundamental restructure of our industry and the way we engage in work.
How well companies communicate, influence and connect with customers (existing and new) will be a major factor in whether they survive or thrive. Effective delivery of fully integrated marketing and communication programs today requires a breadth and depth of skills that many Leaders of Communications and Marketing functions have not had to deal with before. We are seeing some very adaptable and future-focussed businesses moving quickly and taking advantage of the situation, some are slower to realise and adapt.
The reality is, no agency or marcomms function can build and sustain the diversity of skills at the quality and agility required to achieve this especially in the current environment. The future will be a mix of fixed and flexible workforces with specialist teams for dedicated projects. And in some cases, the future is already here.
While communication and marketing departments reduce headcount, and agencies downsize to meet short term margins the remaining full-time teams are required to deliver more for less. The cost is quality, business recovery, efficiency and burnout.
Employment down – flexible talent surges
Demand by Australia’s media and marketing professions registering for short term contracts and projects on digital talent platform, Commtract, has surged 50 per cent in April and May 2020 in response to COVID-19 and the economic downturn.
Commtract has seen a surge in demand from employers for content marketing, digital marketing and writing skills as companies seek short term support for BAU activities while in-house teams address the strategic response to COVID-19 including executive counsel, issues management, customer relations and internal communications.
Cost-constrained agencies are also engaging specialist communications talent to help win work from growth sectors including Federal Government, technology and digital companies.
Our market insight indicates a significant and immediate loss of jobs in Australia’s marketing, communication and agency environment. With so many highly-skilled and specialised talent on the market, smart companies are quickly assembling flexible teams to ensure they don’t miss out while managing costs,”
Legacy structures will hold back growth
Corporate marketing and communications functions can benefit from agency models – however it goes further. Fully fixed teams are legacy, and the faster all employers re-imagine what’s possible from the full range of talent in the market and range of engagement options to achieve it the quicker we will deliver the business results required to excel.
By Vanessa Liell, Executive Director – Commtract