You are thinking of working with a marketing consultant but you have any questions?
Who is a marketing consultant?
Why hire a marketing consultant?
These are all great questions and we’ve got answers for you.
In this article, we will look at all you need to know about marketing consultants. Who is a marketing consultant, when to hire one, what are the marketing consultant’s responsibilities, salary and types?
We’ve divided this article into the following sections for your ease of reference:
- Who is a marketing consultant and what do they do
- What is the difference between a marketing consultant and marketing agency
- When to hire a marketing consultant
- Why do you need a marketing consultant
- What are the marketing consultant responsibilities
- What is a marketing consultant’s salary
- Types of marketing consultants
Let’s do this.
Who is a marketing consultant and what do they do
A marketing consultant is a person who has studied or has experience in marketing in general providing consulting services, guidance and marketing services to individuals and businesses.
Considering marketing is a vast topic, marketing consultants may need to specialize in certain types of marketing such as digital advertising, content marketing, public relations marketing, social media marketing and so on.
A marketing consultant can also be a generalist having a good overall understanding of different marketing channels, understands how to use marketing tools and create marketing campaigns.
Fundamentally, the marketing consultant is the professional who will guide you and give you recommendations on the type of marketing strategy, plan and campaign you should put in place to achieve your specific company goals.
To better who is a marketing consultant and what they do, let’s contrast them with a marketing agency.
What is the difference between a marketing consultant and marketing agency
At first glance, your initial reaction may be that a marketing consultant does the same thing as a marketing agency.
That’s partially true but not actually the case.
Of course, a marketing consultant and marketing agency may do similar things but they are not the same thing.
A marketing agency is great at creating marketing content, ads, collateral and advertising content based on your business needs and specific requirements.
Agencies employ many professionals such as graphic designers, video editors, software developers, copywriters, art directors and marketing experts to provide marketing expertise to your business.
They’ll be great to handle a highly sophisticated marketing plan you may have or perform a large scale marketing campaign you may not have the internal capacity to handle.
They are external to your business so you’ll need to give them clear instructions on what you need and they will then execute based on your requirements.
A marketing consultant, on the other hand, is like an internal consultant to your business helping you in all aspects of your marketing operations relating to your existing clients and for your continued business development.
You’ll want to work with a marketing consultant to define how to cater to your existing customers, potentially doing some upselling, cross-selling or finding ways for generating additional revenues from your existing customer.
With the help of a marketing consultant, you’ll be able to successfully handle your day-to-day marketing operations and develop a more strategic marketing plan.
You also want to work with a marketing consultant to do industry research, market audience analysis, evaluate the best marketing channels to reach your target audience, plan and execute a successful marketing campaign and so forth.
The big difference between the marketing agency and a marketing consultant is that a marketing consultant will be more deeply embedded with your business operations while an agency will be an external marketing expert you’d hire for highly specialized requirements.
When to hire a marketing consultant
If you are running a small business and you do not have the budget to hire a full-time marketing expert, you may need to hire a marketing consultant.
You can also be running a business with a few marketing professionals on-board or even have a big team in place but you need someone to provide strategic marketing advice and help your marketing team execute well.
It would be a good idea to hire a marketing consultant when you are looking for specialized skills that your company is lacking like social media marketing, content marketing, retargeting, native advertising, online PR and so on.
You could also hire a marketing consultant to provide you with advice on how your company’s internal marketing department or operations is set up so you can achieve process improvements, find better software tools and better coordinate workflows with other departments.
You could benefit from the services of a marketing consultant when you are looking for specific skills, to complement your own marketing team’s capacity, to provide you with strategic advice and to help you execute your plans.
Why do you need a marketing consultant
Marketing consultants can help you achieve your business goals and drive value to your business.
A marketing consultant can provide you with strategic advice with respect to your business operations.
Running a marketing campaign may look simple at face value.
Anyone can handle it, right?
Anyone can handle basic marketing efforts, put together amateur marketing campaigns and wing a few things here and there.
The results may be wishy-washy!
You’ll need a marketing consultant to run strategic marketing campaigns.
A marketing consultant will do market research, understand your audience and segment them, decide the best marketing channel to use for maximum conversion, put together the proper messaging about your product and service, follow your prospect’s purchasing journey and monitor results to focus on what really works.
That’s not quite the same as just running a campaign and hoping to make more money than you spend.
Marketing is not necessarily black and white.
It requires sound judgment, an excellent understanding of your customer’s purchasing psychology and a mastery of digital marketing tools and platforms.
That’s why you need a marketing consultant.
With the expertise and advice of an experienced marketing consultant:
- you can better define your business marketing objectives and KPIs
- define your ideal customer persona, build a short-term and long-term marketing plan
- drive revenue from your active customer base
- expand into new markets and find new ways to generate revenue to the business
What’s great with digital marketing is that you can track your results in so much detail that you can clearly calculate a return on investment.
With a good marketing consultant, your marketing efforts should lead to a positive return on investment justifying the spending for the business.
What are the marketing consultant responsibilities
Marketing consultants can bring value for any type of organization, whether a startup, a growing organization, a mature business or a business operating in any industry.
What are the typical responsibilities of a marketing consultant?
Responsibility to understand your business
A marketing consultant will have the responsibility of understanding where you are with your current marketing efforts and bring you to the next level.
To achieve that, the marketing consultant’s first responsibility is to learn and understand your business.
Who are your customers?
What are your products and services?
How are you positioning yourself in the market as a business and each product line?
What is your brand’s reputation?
What marketing channels are being used to create brand awareness and leads?
Once your marketing consultant understands where you are in your marketing efforts, he or she will be able to appreciate what seems to be working and what’s not.
With your company’s baseline marketing efforts define, your marketing consultant should then define your marketing strategy.
Responsible to define marketing strategy
Once your marketing consultant has defined the baseline marketing position of your company, then the marketing consultant’s responsibility is to strategically plan the short-term and long-term marketing goals of the business.
How can you improve your current marketing efforts?
How can you improve client engagement?
What KPI’s do we want to set and will these KPI’s properly measure success going forward?
What type of marketing material and digital assets should be created by the company?
What marketing and audience segment should be targeted and how?
What is your typical customer’s persona?
What is a typical customer’s buying journey?
What type of marketing funnel will be lead to maximum conversion?
What are the different type of digital advertising strategies providing the best cost-to-benefit ratio
How will each marketing campaign be monitored and results tracked?
Your marketing consultant will have a lot of responsibilities as you can see in the strategy defining stage.
Defining the strategy is crucial as that’s the marketing direction your company is going to take.
You want to make sure that you have done your research, you’ve defined what your business wants to achieve and you’ve defined the short-term and long-term marketing strategy to help you reach that goal.
Once direction and strategy is defined, the next important responsibility is the execution!
Responsibility to execute on marketing strategy
Once the strategic decisions have been made, now your marketing consultant must successfully execute the marketing efforts based on strategy.
Planning for something and actually executing something according to plan is not something that everyone can do.
A marketing consultant is responsible to ensure your marketing efforts are delivered flawlessly.
At the end of the day, that’s why you are paying a marketing consultant.
Running a successful campaign is not just about revenue generation and sales.
A successful marketing campaign may be to increase brand awareness and loyalty, to increase the number of subscribers to a newsletter, to drive a certain level of traffic to your website.
When a marketing consultant is able to have a user take a positive step moving through the marketing funnel, that’s a successful marketing effort even though the customer has yet to make a purchase.
The marketing consultant will have to ensure that your company’s marketing efforts implemented in such a way that the overall marketing objective of the company can be achieved.
Responsibility to track results and adjust
Ultimately, your marketing efforts must produce results.
To see if they produce results, you’ll need to track your results and that’s another responsibility of your marketing consultant.
Your marketing consultant will need to make sure each individual marketing campaign and each individual marketing deployment produces results consistent with the strategy.
How much traffic did we bring to your website?
Is our content marketing driving the number of organic leads we were expecting?
How many conversions did you get through your social media advertising?
How many email subscribers did you get and what’s your conversion ration?
It’s important to have both a detailed assessment of the marketing efforts so decisions can be made based on real-time data, conversions and profitability for the business.
A marketing consultant has a lot of responsibilities as you can see!
Let’s see how much a marketing consultant can earn in salary.
What is a marketing consultant’s salary
Marketing consultants can earn a good salary depending on their areas of expertise and performance.
Based on a study from Glassdoor, a marketing consultant’s salary based on experience only ranges from $39,145 for a beginner to $60,974 for someone with 15+ years of experience.
There are many factors that can justify a different salary.
Based on Glassdoor, the average base pay for a marketing consultant is $54,000 per year.
A good marketing consultant in a good industry can earn as much as $122,000 per year in average base salary.
Types of marketing consultants
There are many types of marketing consultants out there.
You’ll generally see marketing consultants types categorized based on their individual skills and specialty or based on their business model.
If you look at the types of marketing consultants based on their skills and abilities, you’ll have generally four types:
- Strategic thinkers
- Day-to-day managers
It’s very difficult to find someone excelling in all these four areas.
In most cases, you’ll have a marketing consultant with one or two primary strengths.
Based on what your business will need, you may need to work with a marketing consultant having a different skill set.
The second type of marketing consultant is based on their business model of an area of focus.
You’ll have the following marketing consultant types:
- Freelance marketing consultants
- Marketing consultants for small businesses
- Marketing consultants for specific industries
- Marketing consultants for B2B businesses
- Marketing consultants for B2C businesses
Marketing consultants tend to gravitate around these areas of focus.
Within each of these areas of focus, you can then drill down and find a strategic thinker or a day-to-day project manager or the right person to suit your business needs.
There you have it, all you need to know about marketing consultants.
In this article, we looked at who is a marketing consultant, what they do and how they can bring value to a business.
Marketing consultants come in many colours and flavours.
You’ll need to define what your business needs so you can select the right marketing consultant for your needs.
Do you want someone specialized in a marketing segment?
Someone understanding your industry or business type?
Are you looking for a marketing consultant to give you strategic advice?
With this article, you can better scope your needs so you can better appreciate what marketing consultants do and how they can help your business grow.
Have you worked with a marketing consultant in the past or are you one? We would love to get your feedback on this article. Drop us a comment!