I was recently looking at the tech preview of a site called TaskMarket. This is a marketplace recently launched by Microsoft to connect freelancers directly with businesses and it got me thinking about how internet market places are changing the way we work as marketers. Consider the case of launching a new website to be the destination in a marketing campaign for a new product or service. This is something I am sure many of you have worked on before and in fact may be doing right now. A project like this is multi disciplinary in nature. You need a combination of skills covering marketing, product management, copy writing, web development, graphic design etc

In the past there were two main approaches you might have used to assemble such a cast of characters

  • In house – If your company is large enough you might be lucky enough to have the resources you need for the project internally. You would bring together a team with the right skills and get cracking. 
  • Outsource – If your company is smaller or some of your key assets dedicated to other preexisting projects you might go ahead and bid the work out to an agency. A typical agency will have a large pool of freelancers in the different disciplines and they will put together the right team and get the job done.

In many industries the internet has helped cut out the middle man and flattened the way people do business. This is also true of marketing and the emergence of labor marketplaces allows you easy direct access to free lancers. This opens up a third choice for you empowering you as marketer to crowdsource your projects. Essentially this means you can choose to easily and cost effectively bid out components of the project as you see fit. Don’t have get copy writing? Bid it to the marketplace. Don’t have web design in house? Bid it to the marketplace. You get the idea. 

While TaskMarket is just taking its first baby steps there are other more established sites that have already achieved critical mass.  Take a look at guru.com for a robust example of a freelancer market place. They have in excess of 100,000 free lancers across a multitude of skill areas. I will certainly be keeping my eye on the development of these marketplaces and considering them as a tool in my arsenal when it comes to cost effectively delivering my marketing projects. How about you?