As I was perusing the web, I tried to find some relevant forums, blogs, or articles on key differences between freelance marketing and corporate marketing. Much to my dismay, there isn’t much information on this topic. This was a surprise, as surely there are individuals who transitioned from corporate marketing to freelance marketing and vice versa. In a previous post, I wrote about the differences of working in corporatism vs. freelancing. This post focuses more on the concepts of marketing and the different marketing strategies implemented dependent on the environment.
I transitioned from corporatism to the freelance world and love it! Don’t get me wrong, as I’ve mentioned in other posts, I valued my experiences and time invested within the corporate environment, and have been able to transfer many of the skills acquired to the freelancing realm.
Here are several characteristics of corporate marketing:
- Organizational structure
- Intricate Hierarchy
- Thought leadership
- Systematic design
- Advanced technology/software systems
- Group collaboration
- Marketing reports and analysis
- Connectedness to departments/teams
Characteristics of freelance marketing:
- Client – Freelancer egalitarian structure
- Basic technology/software systems
- Basic analytic generated reports
- Liaising with fewer clients at a given time
Within a corporate marketing capacity, I liaised with team members, other departments, graphic designers, mailing houses, etc. on a daily basis which were provided to me as long-term contacts of the business. Corporations also utilize advanced technologies and software. This is expected as large businesses require systems that operate across platforms and departments. Analytic reports were generated every week based on the efforts of the entire marketing department, at times including the sales team performance. These reports were generated by complex systems and discussed in meetings with the Director of Marketing and/or Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). Social media was tracked using web metrics, a number of social media analytic tools, Google Analytics, and other paid measurable tools.
As a freelancer, it is expected to acquire specific contacts when I should need them, and the technology and software used is far more simple than what is used in the corporate environment. One of the main difficulties as a freelancer is that you must find as many cost-effective (free) marketing tools as possible. The client (small business) is rarely willing to pay for analytic tools or other advanced functionality. If the client does not come from a corporate background themselves, it’s even more difficult to sufficiently explain how some tools would be more beneficial if you paid for them.
Another matter I’ve run into is goals. In the corporate world, goals were always set out for me. I knew what I had to achieve and worked hard to do so. As a freelancer, I often set out the goals and expectations for my clients which is quite exciting; yet challenging at first. What I’ve realized is that you (the freelancer), are both the employer and employee. You educate, initiate, and guide; yet you deliver, receive, and learn. It’s the best of both worlds!
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