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Most brand and agency marketers (58%) say they employ creative (nontechnical) marketing freelancers, according to recent research from The Creative Group.

The report was based on data from a survey of 400 marketing and advertising executives in the United States.

Freelancers make up 14% of firms' marketing staffs, on average. Small agencies (20-49 employees) rely most heavily on freelancers (23% of employees, on average). Large companies (1,000+ employees) rely least on freelancers (8% of employees, on average).

Some 39% of respondents say the quality of marketing freelancers has improved over time, and 59% say it has stayed the same. Executives say the biggest challenge in employing freelancers is making them feel part of the team.

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image of Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is a digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Media, a marketing agency specializing in content and social media services for tech firms. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji