Updated: Feb 7
Hiring a marketing consultant will depend on a number of factors and there are a great number of ways that a marketing consultant can add value to a business, particularly in generating new business and developing strategies to bring new products and services to market.
One of the first things that a marketing consultant will do is to look a the current situation, (situational analysis) of the business and decide on the most important areas of focus, aligned to the business objectives and financial goals.
Most marketing consultants will have a good understanding of budgeting and business finances to enable any planning derived from the findings of the situational analysis to be within the boundaries of available funds, or ability of the business to apply for funding.
So a marketing consultant can help greatly in the planning and strategy of the business and refining this down to the tactics employed to implement the action elements of the marketing plan.
A marketing consultant will look at the available personnel resources within the business to allocate tasks, as far as possible within the available team resources already within the business.
But on occasion, it will be identified that additional staff and even external contractors are required to carry out aspects of the implementation, this again incurs costs and these are usually factored into the marketing budget and period of return on investment calculated.
A marketing consultant can direct the marketing efforts of the business so that energy is not wasted on uncoordinated actions and spend that is diluted across ineffective marketing channels.
Marketing consultants can therefore reduce costs within departments and guide the available resources to greater efficiency and effectiveness.
Implementation driving sales and growth
As well as the important areas of planning, strategy and tactics, a marketing consultant will also be the person, working closely with the directors and investors of the business to ensure that effective implementation takes place and that every element of the agreed actions are both allocated and measures put in place.
A marketing consultant is therefore also an effective project manager as he or she will be responsible for the sharing of implementation across departments, teams, managers and individuals.
The consultant will ensure that internal marketing communications are on point and that the instructions derived from the marketing plan and project implementation schedule are carried out on time and on budget.
A marketing consultant is an effective bridge between the sales team and the marketing department in ensuring that the two important areas of the business work and coordinate effectively.
Sales initiatives tend to work much better if they work in tandem with the stages of the marketing implementation, so that sales people are leveraging the marketing and promotional messages that are being propagated across marketing channels, whether these be TV, radio, press, PR or social media.
Another element the marketing consultant therefore provides, is momentum and motivation, this is evident in the increase in performance of sales teams and a gaining of traction as marketing campaigns are rolled out and they work in tandem with the same themes and messages.
This in turn leads to greater motivation in sales and marketing teams as they see the results of their efforts coming to fruition and are buoyed by seeing a strong and coordinated marketing approach that gives them greater confidence when approaching customers and converting leads.
A marketing consultant will deliver regular reports across the whole of the marketing mix to include all necessary KPI’s etc. on necessary quantitative and financial data, so that ROI can be measured as well as all campaign metrics and costs.
This may take the form of a written report generated weekly or monthly, via an online meeting, or even a personal meeting with members of the board and senior management team.
How long should I hire a marketing consultant for?
Sometimes, a marketing consultant will be hired for a short period of time, and it may be for an interim period due to a requirement for a specific project, or to cover a team member's absence.
This could look like a term of anywhere between six and twelve months, but could be longer depending on the scale and nature of the project.
Any business taking on a marketing consultant should think about the type of project they are considering, and also how the engagement will work, as in will it be working remotely, or in the office.
The marketing consultant could be hired on a fixed project cost, over a given period of time, or it may be a rolling monthly contract that allows for the arrangement to be paused or ended once the project comes to a conclusion.
So any decision on the duration of the hire, should be made on the basis of what input is needed, the scale of the project and the available budget to pay for the consultancy services.