An analysis of more than 300,000 jobs posted in Q2 2013 reveals that as corporate giants attempt to innovate in the consumer market with major product releases and reckless software updates, little thought has been spared for the SMEs fighting to keep up with the pace of technological change. Increasingly, SMEs are turning to external support and finding the answer in freelancers around the world.
The 3D printing industry heats up amid a $600 million acquisition. Set to become a $3 billion industry by 2016, the 3D industry continues to grow as increasingly households and workplaces adopt 3D printing technologies**. As a result, 3D Rendering, 3D Modelling and 3D Animation showed significant growth, with all three jobs securing spots in the top 20 categories (up 17.3% from 1,570 jobs, 12.5% from 1,774 jobs, and 11.7% from 1,758 jobs respectively). First flagged in the Q1 2013 Fast 50 as a key growth industry, recent industry movements, such as the acquisition of Makerbot by 3D printing giant Stratasys, continue to suggest that this will be the industry to watch in the latter half of 2013.
The online design industry flourishes as SMEs embrace freelancers over local agencies. Illustration (up 19.7% from 1,501 jobs), Photoshop Design (up 19.4% from 1,241 jobs), Banner Design (up 14.4% from 2,131 jobs) and Logo Design (up 9.2% from 7,591 jobs) are all up in Q2 as ever-increasing fees charged by design agencies encourage SMEs to embrace online designers and force them to shop around for a better deal. Disruptive online business models such as crowdsourcing deliver unprecedented levels of flexibility, quality and ROI for SMEs, and we anticipate that this trend will continue as creative design professionals embrace online freelancing, while traditional design agencies join Borders and the Dodo in the annals of history.
Android continues to school Apple. Despite newer, flatter icons, iOS development continues to lag behind Android. Android achieves 14.8% growth in this Fast 50 (from 5,152 jobs), as iPhone and iPad lag with 10.2% and -2.5% growth this quarter (from 5,552 and 2,266 jobs respectively). These findings are supported by an IDC study^ conducted in late 2012 finding Android had more than 70% market share of new sales vs. 21% for the iPhone. As growth in mobile sales within the developing economies continues to surge, we expect that this trend will continue. With Android unchallenged, the new iOS releases are struggling to create must-have features and Apple is increasingly looking like a follower rather than a leader in the market it reinvented.
Facebook fights fire with fire and comes out triumphant over Twitter. A year after Facebook’s IPO belly flop, the world’s number one social network has recovered, this month reaching its issue price on the back of strong growth in mobile advertising. The social media giant grew mobile advertising revenue a massive 76% to US$656 million from the previous quarter, as reported in June this year. Advertisers have seen the light, as Facebook marketing jobs grew 16% this quarter to 7,281 jobs. After a strong first quarter, Twitter stagnated at just under 2% growth (from 2,624 jobs), as Facebook cashed in on its own version of Twitter’s hashtag feature and tweaked its commenting system to allow users to upload photos to comment threads. With Facebook starting to see positive results from its mobile advertising push, businesses will continue to diversify their online advertising budgets to include Facebook.
Telemarketing and Email Marketing experts take home the bacon as demand surges for these job types, at the expense of SEO and Link Building. Telemarketing and Email Marketing jobs showed a strong 14.6% and 4.9% growth (up from 1,118 jobs and 1,206 jobs) respectively, supported by a 2013 report* which states that customer acquisitions via email marketing have quadrupled since 2009. Additionally, the study showed that customers acquired via email were 11% more valuable than average customers from Facebook, cementing email marketing as the central pillar of online marketing. Meanwhile, a Google Penguin update has delivered another crippling blow to SEO and Link Building jobs (down 6.3% from 10,906 jobs and 6.8% from 7,531 jobs respectively), further damaging an industry that is struggling as advertisers increasingly diversify their budgets into social channels like Facebook.
SMEs now use freelancers as an integral part of their business. Traditionally, SMEs outsourced work at the peripheries of their core business function, but this is rapidly changing. Today, SMEs are integrating freelancers directly into their business, relying on them for core tasks such as accounting (up 23.3% from 888 jobs), report writing (up 20.5% from 1,535 jobs) and the creation of powerpoint presentations (up 35.4% from 1,499 jobs), which require in-depth knowledge of the business. As the online freelance labour force shifts focus, tasks such as copywriting, ghostwriting and PDF conversions that require little to no inside knowledge have suffered (dropping by 13.5%, 11.8% and 38.1% respectively).
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