Updated: Feb 7
A Marketing Consultant is a strategist and planner of high level marketing activities, his or her guidance forms the direction of marketing activities across the whole business. The Marketing Consultant will usually report to the CEO or the CMO of the business.
A good Marketing Consultant will usually have a great deal of experience and this will be coupled with a degree and post-graduate qualification, many Marketing Consultants go on to take MBA's or up to PHD level.
A Marketing Consultant puts in place the blueprint for the business or organisation's communications strategy at a high level. Sometimes this vision is then dissemminated across the business, into trading divisions based on products or services, and into geographic regions that have cross-cultural considerations.
The Marketing Consultant will have budget and profit and loss responsibility, this can run into millions of pounds if a corporate business, but certainly into tens of thousands of pounds for most SME businesses.
A Marketing Consultant will work very closely with other departmental heads, such as Operations, IT, Sales, Finance as the functions of the Marketing Consultant often impact on the other departments or require input and expertise from each for a coordinated marketing approach.
Marketing Consultants have to be very adept at managing reputation and ensuring that the brand(s) under their remit is constantly evaluated and benchmarked against competitors.
Often, when a business fails, it is traced to the Marketing Director and higher management not being aware of developing trends, or indeed ignoring them, or not having an empathy for changing consumer habits and needs.
What is an outsourced Marketing Consultant?
An outsourced Marketing Consultant carries out a similar scope of activities to an employed Marketing Director. The only difference being that the outsourced Marketing Consultant is employed on a contract basis, which can be on a daily rate, or monthly retainer basis.
An outsourced Marketing Consultant gives the client business a usually lower cost option than employing a full-time Marketing Consultant, albeit an outsourced Marketing Consultant will only provide his/her expertise for a limited number of hours per day and will often be working for several clients concurrently.
Just like an employed full time Marketing Director, an outsourced Marketing Consultant will be responsible for the future direction of the business, so a good amount of time will be based upon strategy and planning.
An outsourced Marketing Consultant will provide services usually under three main topic areas, firstly Direction - the future planning and 'set of the sail' of the business, secondly Management - managing all the facets of marketing, measuring results and KPI's, managing partner and staff team replationships and reporting to Owners, CEO's, shareholders and Investors. Lastly Implementation, the Outsourced Marketing Consultant is often hands on and taking a keen interest in branding, lead generation activities, social media and all aspects of the digital media mix.
How much are Marketing Consultants paid?
Marketing Consultants in the UK can earn from £50,000 per year to well over £175,000 +, to millions in some cases, this will depend on a number of factors, such as the specific sector of the role, i.e. IT, Finance Software etc., the location of the role and exactly what the role entails.
It will also depend on the background and experience of the Marketing Consultant. Generally Marketing Consultants with long experience across senior roles in blue-chip brands will be in a position to attract much higher salaries.
Where the role has factors that create larger barriers to entry, such as needing multiple languages, or very specific technical expertise, it may also drive up the salary threshold.