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What is the role of a marketing consultant?

Updated: May 24, 2019

A marketing consultant is usually a person with significant business experience who will usually be specifically educated in marketing and hold an advanced qualification in marketing at either degree, post-grad or Masters level.

They will usually have a minimum of 10+ years of senior experience, it can be much less, but in general there will need to be good all round experience gained across a range of industries and locations.

If a consultant is a highly successful high-net-worth individual with great influence, then age may not even be a factor at all, as clients will want to emulate the successful strategies that have got them their early success and will gladly pay for their time/ knowledge.

A marketing consultant will often work closely with a client, or a range of clients, usually up to a maximum of 20 clients for a single independent marketing consultant. The marketing consultant’s role is to advise the business owner, or senior marketing team of a business an a wide range of strategic and tactical marketing issues.

A marketing consultant therefore is a very important part of the management team and although usually employed on a contract basis, has a very close relationship with the client, usually in contact almost daily or at the very least weekly as the client and consultant collaborate to drive the marketing strategy forward.

Some marketing consultants will be more strategic focused and will work at a corporate level to create high-level marketing strategies over a wide range of subject areas. Other marketing consultants will focus on small to medium sized businesses, helping these get to the next level in their growth and development.

As well as strategic input, many marketing consultants will also deliver on the implementation side of the service delivery. Effectively taking on the weight of the daily or weekly ‘to do’ list for the client.

This type of marketing consultant will usually have a skillset around digital marketing tools and be focused on lead generation strategies for the client.

Marketing consultants will often take on profit and loss responsibility for the client and they will measure the effectiveness of multiple campaigns across a wide variety of media. It then follows that marketing consultants are highly analytical and have to be able to assimilate lots of data into meaningful key performance indicators (KPI’s) for their clients.

As well as the ‘left brain’ skills of strategy and analysis, the marketing consultant will, more often than not, be able to tap into both logical and creative sides of the brain, sometimes simultaneously, working on developing creative campaigns, copy headlines, content etc. whilst also having an appreciation and good knowledge of artistic effects, composition, typography, branding, tone-of-voice and other essential skills to be able to deliver on creative campaign requirements.

How much do marketing consultants earn?

Marketing consultants are generally on the higher earnings bracket, and can easily generate £100K+ per annum, mostly in profit made by monthly retainers of £1000 - £2000+ . This can be much higher if the business is scaled by placing work to associate consultants where a percentage of the gross revenue they make is paid to the main consulting business (like a franchise). In this scenario, earnings can be as high as £150 - £200k per annum.

It’s true to say that for many marketing consultants, it’s not just about the money and some are more content to have a comfortably work/ life balance and will therefore be doing yearly revenue of £40-60K per year. These are just broad figures as the actual amount they will turnover will depend so much on their individual clients and other factors.

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