Why a marketing consultant is 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, you dress up, so on and so forth. As long as you have a drafted plan for the day, you feel more orderly and active.
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 is all about putting the right amount of effort and time to build an action plan. So, where are the businesses going wrong?
Nowadays, with tough competition and new entrants from different countries lowing down costs and competing for revenues, businesses are focusing more on cutting costs and encouraging the core business, and 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 the time to search for a marketing consultant.
What Is a Marketing Consultant
A marketing consultant works as an external advisor to businesses for planning and executing marketing strategies. He/She understands what the customer needs and analyzes everything with great expertise.
He/She bridges the gap between the current marketing failure and what is needed for a successful marketing strategy.
Consultants can either be self-employed or employed at a company. 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.
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.
Most marketing consultants are in charge of planning and support 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 a marketing consultant in a detailed manner.
Consultants offer guidance and expertise to businesses to help them enhance their business performance in terms of:
Marketing consultants are well-versed with the ways to grow business operations that could work for your company. They help the business in fine-tuning their processes that support your business to run smoothly and increase productivity.
Four key areas can help a business hit profitability. A marketing 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.
A marketing consultant is aware that real insights come from identifying the unique behaviors that follow your organization’s mission, culture, customer needs, and strategic goals. Likewise, a marketing consultant works with your team to co-create plans and formulate new ideas.
A significant function of a marketing consultant is to help enhance the structure of your organization. He or she is 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.
We all have used a map to consult before we set off across a new location. And we did it, so we don’t get lost. Strategy acts as a roadmap for the success of any organization. A marketing consultant works with businesses to examine their current marketing strategy and formulate a plan to fill the gaps, execute the established program, measure the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), and adjust goals based on results.
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 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 project.
- 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.
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 to bring faster ROI.
- Suggest applications and platforms that would facilitate companies’ marketing process, monitoring, and campaigns.
Who Is a Digital Marketing Consultant?
A digital marketing consultant builds a link between businesses and the online world, helping them market products, services, and advise a company 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. A marketing consultant knows the trends and plans 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 it, and adjust campaigns accordingly.
How to Become a Marketing Consultant?
First and foremost, marketing consultants usually have a bachelor’s degree and in some cases, an MBA in Marketing, Business, or any related field.
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 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.
What Is a Marketing Consultant Salary?
According to the marketing consultant salaries submitted to glassdoor, the yearly marketing consultant salaries based on years of experience, last updated as per September 2020, in the United States are as follows.
Why Would Companies hire a Marketing Consultant?
Sometimes companies need assistance with their marketing as their current strategy looks flawed. That’s where a marketing consultant comes into play. 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.
A skilled consultant can bring a holistic approach for large and small companies, helping them identify roadblocks and workarounds. Here are three significant reasons when it makes the most sense for companies to hire a marketing consultant.
1) Marketing Isn’t Working
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
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.
For example, imagine the company is developing a new product and need to listen to customer feedback about their latest prototype. However, no one at the company has any knowledge of consumer research. It’s probably the best to find someone to assist in carrying 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. 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 who is a specialist in this area.
3) You Need an Outsider Perspective
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 your market areas that need improvement.
Cost of Hiring a Marketing Consultant
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?
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 are a must to maintain a successful relationship with the businesses.