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What’s a Marketing Consultant? All You Need To Know

What’s a Marketing Consultant? All You Need To Know cover

Searching for answers about what a marketing consultant does? Or how to become one? You're in the right place. Here we will talk about the main questions related to it and clarify if you need a marketing consultant and become one.

If you're searching for a straight marketing consultant definition, let’s help you by pulling it from our text below:

A marketing consultant works as an external advisor to the business for planning and executing marketing strategies. They understand what the customer needs, and analyze insights, processes, and issues using their experience to suggest and apply solutions.

Let’s dive deeper into the marketing consultant specialty.

Table of Contents:

  1. What Is a Marketing Consultant?
  2. What Does a Marketing Consultant Do?
  3. How to Become a Marketing Consultant?
  4. What Is a Digital Marketing Consultant?
  5. How to Become a Digital Marketing Consultant?
  6. How Much Does a Marketing Consultant Make?
  7. Why Would Companies Hire a Marketing Consultant?
  8. How Much Does A Marketing Consultant Charge?

Let’s get started

Why is a marketing consultant so important nowadays to every company, large or small? Every person has a fixed routine that he knows how to organize in his head. First, you wake up. Then you brush your teeth, dress up, and so on and so forth. As long as you have a drafted plan for the day, you feel more orderly and active.

Which way to go road sign: A marketing consultant sets a direction for businesses
A marketing consultant sets a direction for businesses

Likewise, businesses also need a plan. This is the same as building a blueprint or a draft plan before we act upon an idea. Companies are also built upon ideas. And to act upon those ideas, it is imperative to have a blueprint—called Marketing Strategy in the business arena.

Developing a marketing strategy involves putting the right amount of effort and time into building an action plan. So, where are the businesses going wrong?

Nowadays, with tough competition and new entrants from different countries lowing costs and competing for revenues, businesses focus more on cutting costs and encouraging the core business. That’s when an action plan to become more efficient comes into play.

Making sure to have the right time management and evaluating outsourcing comes as an option. When a firm needs to outsource marketing efforts, it is usually time to search for a consultant.

What Is a Marketing Consultant?

A marketing consultant works as an external advisor to businesses for planning and executing marketing strategies. They understand what the customer needs and analyzes everything with great expertise.

They bridge the gap between the current marketing failure and what is needed for a successful marketing strategy.

A marketing consultant celebrating an achievement with a high-five
A marketing consultant works as an external advisor to businesses

Marketing Consultants can either be self-employed or employed at a company. As a result, the role of consultants varies from company to company and also from project to project. And this is because each business has its own unique goals and challenges.

Marketing consultants work for the client and their goal is to help the client achieve their business goals.

They offer many different services, like search engine optimization (SEO), content creation, social media marketing, and more.

Some marketing consultants focus on digital marketing while others provide consulting services for traditional methods of marketing.

The key is finding a consultant that understands your business and your target market.

What Does a Marketing Consultant Do?

A marketing consultant helps build a thorough marketing plan, fix the message your business is trying to present, and identify the appropriate marketing mix to get the word out to the target audience.

Marketing Consultants help plan and execute what’s necessary

Most marketing consultants are in charge of planning and supporting the execution of the marketing strategy. They monitor the current plan and tweak operations to get the best results from the marketing efforts.

Let's dive deeper and understand the functions of this professional in a detailed manner.

Key Functions

Consultants offer guidance and expertise to businesses to help them enhance their business performance in terms of:

#1: Operations

Marketing consultants are well-versed with ways to grow business operations that could work for your company. They help the business in fine-tuning its processes that support your business to run smoothly and increase productivity.

#2: Profitability

Four key areas can help a business hit profitability. A consultant explains how to assess a business's profitability by reducing costs, increasing revenues, improving productivity, and enhancing efficiency. They deliver growth for your bottom line and guide how to plan and manage changes.

#3: Management

A marketing consultant knows that real insights come from identifying the unique behaviors that follow your organization's mission, culture, customer needs, and strategic goals. Likewise, they work with your team to co-create plans and formulate new ideas.

#4: Structure

A significant function of a marketing consultant is to help enhance the structure of your organization. They are thoughtful enough to create a plan that prepares you for future growth. Planning is the choicest way to build an organizational structure that boosts your business growth.

#5: Strategy

We all used a map before we set off across a new location. And we did it to avoid getting lost. Strategy is the same and acts as a roadmap for the success of any organization.

A marketing consultant works with businesses to examine their current marketing strategy, formulate a plan to fill the gaps, execute the established program, measure the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), and adjust goals based on results.

Infographics showing the marketing consultant key functions
Marketing consultant key functions

Roles and Responsibilities

Depending on the action areas, marketing consultants would play different roles, but in general, you could split roles as you see below:

1) Companywide Activities, Plan, and Strategy

  • Conduct research with primary and secondary sources, interview employees, survey consumers and take those results to understand the business.
  • Detect issues and find solutions to fix them.
  • Understand your competitors and the perils in your marketplace.
  • Gather, analyze, and present the data to the top management.
  • Reinforce an organization's culture by working on its vision, values, or internal communications.
  • Work with the HR department to align their recruitment branding and marketing efforts with potential employees.
  • Manage events or internal communications projects.
  • Develop and implement new action plans.

2) Products and Services

  • Make suggestions for product or service developments.
  • Use research methodology (focus groups, in-depth interviews, quantitative research, etc.) models and statistic methodologies to test innovations and present findings to the customer for feedback.
  • Manage the results of a company's or product's brand or re-brand.
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3) Marketing Campaigns and Lead Generation

  • Evaluate current marketing campaigns.
  • Find the best digital marketing campaigns (Email Marketing, Social Media, PPC, SEO, SEM, etc.) and optimize them to bring faster ROI.
  • Suggest applications and platforms that would facilitate companies' marketing process, monitoring, and campaigns.

How to Become a Marketing Consultant?

marketing consultant needs to have marketing expertise
Marketing expertise is key for such a function.

Marketing consultants are sought-after marketing professionals who provide their clients with consulting services to ensure the marketing and digital strategies are on target and a holistic plan for growth is implemented.

When businesses first begin exploring how they can use the internet to market their products and services, they need assistance in choosing the right channel, developing an SEO strategy, content creation, etc.

Instead of hiring a full-time Digital Marketing Manager or hiring freelancers as members of an in-house team, consulting as your first step into digital marketing will allow you to test your ideas before committing resources to them.

As the online environment continues to grow and become more sophisticated, it’s becoming harder than ever to gain visibility.

You need a consultant who has experience working with new clients and knows what works and what doesn’t work so you can be successful sooner rather than later.

Here’s everything you need to know about becoming a marketing consultant so you can start building your business from home!

Can You Be a Marketing Consultant?

Before you can become a marketing consultant, you need to consider the following:

  1. Are you confident in your skills and knowledge of digital marketing?
  2. Can you work well with others?
  3. Do you understand the digital trends that are currently changing today’s market?
  4. Can you manage client expectations while still staying true to your own vision?

If you answered yes to these questions, then becoming a marketing consultant is for you!

What You’ll Need to Become a Marketing Consultant

One of the most important things you need to do when starting your consulting career is brand yourself. You want to establish a name for yourself so potential clients can find you.

When you’re new in the industry, you may have a hard time getting noticed.

However, one way to make your name stand out is by participating in industry events; like social media conferences or webinars.

Another way is by making connections with other consultants who are already established in the industry so you can learn from them and use that knowledge to help grow your brand and business!

Digital marketing consultants take on a variety of roles, depending on the needs and goals of the business.

You might start as an SEO consultant or an ad strategist and then transition into a digital media planner or social media analyst.

These are just some of the possible options available, but what’s most important is that you identify a niche in which you can offer valuable services to businesses.

Requirements for Becoming a Marketing Consultant

To become a marketing consultant, you must have some experience with not only marketing but also digital marketing.

Most people who enter the field do so by going through an internship or co-op in their college program. If you plan to work with a digital agency, you will most likely be required to have previous experience with either social media marketing for small businesses or SEO for small businesses.

It’s also recommended that you have a bachelor’s degree in business management or marketing, which can be obtained online as well.

In addition to the essential nuts and bolts like obtaining an academic degree and having adequate work experience in the critical area of expertise, there is an impressive number of different prerequisites:

  • Excellent copywriting skills are key.
  • Strong Communication Skills.
  • Marketing Expertise in a unique range of functional capacities—lead generation, social media, content management, digital channel connections, product marketing, marketing research, marketing strategy, etc.
  • Key skills- creative thinking, copywriting and communications, problem-solving, analytical ability, attention to detail, and leadership skills.
Marketing consultant skills word cloud
Marketing consultant skills word cloud

Then What?

From there, it’s a matter of finding clients who are looking for your services. If you decide to become a consultant and build your own business, here are five essential things that you should consider:

  1. Set up your website- This is often overlooked by people who want to be freelance writers or consultants, but if you don’t have anything up on the internet, you won’t have customers coming through your door!
  2. Create content- If people want to learn about what you offer as a marketing consultant, they will need content related to your niche. This could include blog posts, white papers, case studies, etc.
  3. Build relationships with clients- Once your website is set up properly and your content is created in accordance with the needs of potential clients (i.e., meets their needs), it’s time to focus on developing relationships with them. The more they know about you and like what they see online (or at least perceive value in what they see), the more likely they will be to hire you for future projects.

Steps To Becoming A Marketing Consultant

The first step to becoming a marketing consultant is to find an industry niche. This will help create clarity about what type of company or service you want to specialize in.

Next, it’s important for you to hone in on your skillset and start building your portfolio. You can do this by attending events like the Marketing Summit hosted by Entrepreneur Magazine.

Your portfolio should include examples of how you executed campaigns successfully before and after consulting with companies.

Finally, get out there and start pitching! Pitch for yourself before pitching for clients. Pitch online through social media platforms like LinkedIn if possible.

If not, try pitching offline through events like Startup Weekend or pitching at local conferences in your area.

infographics representing the steps for becoming a marketing consultant
Steps for becoming a marketing consultant

Strategies for Becoming a Marketing Consultant

To be a marketing consultant, you need to have a company of your own and be able to provide services for clients.

You also need to have a basic understanding of what digital marketing is, how it works and what strategies are effective.

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The main strategy for becoming a marketing consultant is finding someone who’s willing to hire you as an employee. Once you have the job, you will need to negotiate the role of an independent contractor so that you can bill your client.

It’s important that you outline all of your services in detail so that they know exactly what they’re getting and at what price point.

For example, if you charge by the hour, then the client should know how many hours they’ll be paying, how much each hour is going to cost them, or what type of hourly rate they should budget for their project.

You should also make sure that all terms and conditions are clearly outlined in order to avoid any confusion or misunderstanding on either side.

Creating these terms allows both parties to know exactly where they stand from day one and prevents any confusion from coming up later.

Once the agreement is signed, it’s time for business! However, before jumping into the fray entirely head-first with this new venture it helps if you learn about some other things first like:

  • What marketing strategy will work best for your client’s brand?
  • How does their current marketing work?
  • Is there an existing marketing structure in place?
  • How do I track my progress?

What Is a Digital Marketing Consultant?

Notebook with Tools and Notes About Digital Marketing
Digital marketing consultants take care of all things digital

Digital marketing consulting is a type of consulting service that helps companies improve their digital marketing strategy.

Essentially, it’s the use of all things digital to promote your business and target prospective customers. It can be done by either working for companies or establishing your own consultancy service firm.

Once you have been recruited by a company to help them improve their digital marketing strategy, here are some tasks you will be focusing on: – Researching what needs the company has – Developing a plan based on those needs – Implementing that plan successfully

A digital marketing consultant builds a link between businesses and the online world, helping them market products and services and advising a company on the best way to reach their customers.

Firms can benefit from operating with a digital marketing consultant if they want to improve and expand their online marketing, generate leads (more subscribers, product sales, service contracts, or positive reviews), grow into new markets, or closely understand businesses’ position in the online competition.

With more and more brands engaged in effective digital marketing, digital marketing consultants’ requirement is increasing. They know the trends and plan accordingly on a digital marketing strategy for any business.

Some actions a digital marketing consultant can do:

  • Develop a new digital marketing strategy
  • Choose channels and types of digital campaigns (Email Marketing, SEM, PPC, Content Marketing, or SEO)
  • Analyze and define target audiences.
  • Support the execution of campaigns and optimization.
  • Establish KPIs, help the company monitors them, and adjust campaigns accordingly.

How To Become A Digital Marketing Consultant?

Digital marketing is the new buzzword that has everyone excited. You see, digital marketing is the use of technology-driven strategies for marketing businesses or brands via digital channels.

A laptop and notebook illustrating how to become a digital marketing consultant?
How to become a digital marketing consultant?

Essentially, it’s the use of all things digital to promote your business and target prospective customers. It’s a cost-effective and ideal way to reach out to potential customers and drive them towards you.

The demand for experts in the field of digital marketing consulting is also increasing at a rapid pace. This is because this type of consulting service helps companies understand their needs, develop an actionable plan tailored toward meeting those needs, and implement that plan such that it becomes successful.

Steps To Become a Digital Marketing Consultant

The first step to becoming a digital marketing consultant is to consider the industry. You can either choose an industry where you are already positioned or establish yourself in a new one.

If you choose an industry where you already have experience, it’s easy for you to get started.

For example, if you have been working in the field of IT and want to transition into digital marketing, then all you need to do is attend some online training and gain some hands-on experience.

If this is your first foray into digital marketing consulting, it’s best for you not to start with a new industry as your expertise will help establish credibility among existing clients.

Once that’s done, the next step is to create a business plan.

This helps set out your goals and gives potential clients insight into what your company offers and how much it costs. It also helps establish what kind of services your company offers as well as its competitive advantage over others.

Additionally, this will help show current and prospective clients how professional your company is and what its offerings are all about. One issue with creating this business plan is that it should be updated often – every six months or so – when market conditions change drastically or new information about the industry comes about.

Ways to Become A Digital Marketing Consultant

There are many ways to become a digital marketing consultant. Some of the ways include:

  1. You can start your own consultancy service firm.
  2. You may work for a company that already has a marketing department and then you could be promoted to the position of being one of its digital consultants.
  3. Or, you could even work towards getting yourself certified in digital marketing from an accredited university based in the United States.
inforgraphics showing ways for becoming a digital marketing consultant
Ways for becoming a digital marketing consultant

Benefits of Becoming a Digital Marketing Consultant

The benefits of becoming a digital marketing consultant are many. And these benefits have been proven time and again.

One of the main benefits is that you effectively reach out to prospective customers, which is one of the most important aspects of digital marketing. You also get to work alongside your future clients in generating strategies for their businesses so that they can grow better and faster.

Furthermore, this type of consulting service is extremely lucrative as it generates a lot of money for consultants. There are many other benefits too like the following:

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Should You Become A Digital Marketing Consultant?

Digital marketing is an exciting field. One that is on a constant rise as more people are becoming aware of it. There are many ways to make money by being a marketing consultant.

If you’re looking for more ways to make extra income, then becoming a digital marketing consultant can help you make your dreams come true. Imagine getting paid for everything from SEO and PPC to social media content and creating your own blog.

It’s an opportunity like no other! But there are also some drawbacks to becoming a digital marketing consultant.

First, you need to have an excellent grasp of both online and offline marketing strategies in order to be successful in this field. You also need to be highly qualified with the expertise required in this particular industry so that your clients would trust you with their most valued business assets.

If you think that becoming a digital marketing consultant is for you, start building up your experience now and focus on making yourself well-rounded before starting any consultancy services.

How Much Does A Marketing Consultant Make?

According to salaries submitted to Glassdoor, the yearly marketing consultant salaries based on years of experience, last updated as of September 2020, are as follows in the United States.

Marketing consultant average yearly salary in the USA by years of experience - source: Glassdoor 2020
Average yearly salary in the USA by years of experience – source: Glassdoor 2020

Why Would Companies Hire a Marketing Consultant?

Sometimes companies need assistance with their marketing as their current strategy looks flawed. Usually, they have a wide range of services to offer, besides the versatility and know-how to grow businesses, helping them reach their full marketing potential. That's where a marketing consultant comes into play.

A skilled consultant can bring a holistic approach to large and small companies, helping them identify roadblocks and workarounds. Here are three significant reasons why it makes the most sense for companies to hire a marketing consultant.

1) Marketing Isn't Working

Group of worried freelance workers having problems in the office.
A marketing failure is a consequence of a poor strategy

The writing is on the wall. Maybe companies are not generating enough leads or qualified leads? Or perhaps they are generating free subscriptions but can't close a sale?

An experienced marketing consultant will identify breakdowns in the company's marketing systems and create workarounds and solutions. Marketing consultants will even take the lead in determining the value and mission of a business.

2) You Need a Specialized Marketing Skill

Beautiful Woman with Cinema Clapper on Red Background
You should reach out to consultants for specific marketing needs

The company may already have a marketing department, and maybe it is performing great in certain areas while lacking in others. The marketing team may have identified a flaw that needs fixing but doesn’t have the means or time to tackle it.

For example, imagine the company developing a new product and listening to customer feedback about its latest prototype.
However, no one at the company has any knowledge of consumer research. Therefore, it’s probably best to find someone to assist in carrying out a focus group or an in-depth interview with consumers.

In another situation, a company wants to develop its marketing automation for retargeting customers who usually abandon the cart before finalizing the purchase. Unfortunately, no one at the company has ever worked with retargeting before. Then the best would be to hire a marketing agency or a marketing consultant.

This is when it makes the most sense to bring in a marketing consultant specializing in this area.

3) You Need an Outsider Perspective

Young Business Boy Runs Big Idea Stand
An outsider's perspective can help gain new ideas

Renowned companies are regularly evaluating themselves through honest feedback. They do this to get better.

You have to know where your deficiencies lie before you can up your marketing game.

An experienced marketing consultant can provide a much-needed outsider perspective, helping companies identify their market areas that need improvement.

How Much Does A Marketing Consultant Charge?

Cost. Let’s get into it. After all, the bottom line is what this is all about. After knowing the striking number of advantages that hiring a marketing consultant can generate, expect to pay a pro marketing consultant at an hourly rate from $150.00/hour to $300/hour.

Which is justified!

A consultant gives you 20 hours of his time per month-centered strategy for a monthly cost of $3,000, and his work could yield a great return on your investment. Worth it, right?

If you want to find more consultant roles, check our list of guides to becoming or hiring consultants:

Conclusion

A marketing consultant helps companies understand market intricacies, competition, strengths and weaknesses, trends, and other elements. Marketing consultants work jointly with businesses to develop brand awareness, campaigns, or products or services.

They can also help you build and develop your marketing team or your marketing processes. Sometimes they can search for marketing suppliers, advertising agencies, or marketing software and platforms.

Whether there is a soliciting to hire a marketing consultant or planning on becoming one yourself, flexibility, creative thinking, and collaborative energy must maintain a successful relationship with the businesses.

It takes years of study, hard work, and dedication to become a marketing consultant. You need to first understand how to market, how to market a product, how to develop a marketing strategy, and how to market a business.

This requires experience in the field. You’ll also need to be willing to work for very low pay for the first few years.

There are many ways to break into the world of marketing consulting. Some people are lucky enough to get a job from an established company like Coca-Cola or Procter and Gamble, which will give them experience that could lead them down this career path.

Others are looking for more of a freelance role, which will allow them to make more money than they could in another job. The most important thing is to know that you have the passion and skills necessary for this career. If you do, you’ll have a lot of success as a marketing consultant!

3 thoughts on “What’s a Marketing Consultant? All You Need To Know”

  1. By Totempool

    Hey Tom, thanks for the comment! I will let you know as soon as we get into videos.

  2. Semtitans Digital Pvt Ltd

    Thank you for sharing your blog post. I found it to be insightful and informative.

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