Here's a great link from the USA Today to an article that discusses how individuals and corporations are coping with current economic realities through outsourced and contract work. And if USA Today is reporting on the matter it must be prevalent and it must already be a firmly established trend.
Lacuna was created a few years ago to capitalize on this trend. Companies, facing quarterly expectations and profit pressure, are turning to contractors and partners as a means to ensure quality but minimize cost. Marketing is one realm of business that is at the forefront of change. Initially it was graphic design work or advertising that was given to outside parties and now it has expanded to include everything from demand generation functions to overall marketing strategy. We have a client whose sole remaining marketing employee is essentially a project manager who oversees the myriad contractor relationships and ensures consistency with the brand.
This is no longer a trend to observe but a firmly entrenched reality. If you are a service provider it behooves you to understand the reasons why a company outsources its work and what areas are most likely to be outsourced. Figure out what it is you do well and differentiate yourself. Land 5-6 regular clients and, like a mutual fund, diversify your income streams and embrace the freedom that comes with the new business model.