Marketing Consultant: What They Do and Why Your Business Needs One

An outside marketing consultant can be an incredible resource for your business. They can help you get clarity on what you should be doing, share proven growth strategies, and help you execute on your marketing ideas faster.

Marketing a business can often feel like throwing darts at a moving target in the dark. One day you’re learning Facebook Ads, the next day it’s TikTok, leaving you spinning a dozen plates with little to show for your marketing efforts.

With so many different marketing tactics and ideas but limited resources, things can get chaotic fast. This is where bringing in a marketing consultant can help.

A great marketing consultant can bring you 2 things:

  • Strategy: Show you the stuff that works based on real experience (saves time).
  • Execution: Get stuff done and get real, measurable results (makes you money).

If you feel like you should be getting more from your marketing efforts, it might be a good idea to bring in a marketing consultant to shake things up and get you the results you want.

Who Should You Hire?

Choosing the type of marketing consultant to hire can be tough. Especially because there are pros and cons to each type.

In order to make the best decision, you have to think about the needs of your company and the resources it already has. You need to ask yourself the right questions. For example:

Do you prefer someone with in-depth knowledge or years of experience?

Do you need someone who is systematic, or leans more toward creative?

What resources do you have available for this person? Not just the money to pay them, but the time to spend in meetings and getting the person familiar with your company.

These are a few of the questions to keep in mind when making your hiring decisions. Now, on to the types of marketing consultants!

The types of marketing consultants you can hire:

Here’s a quick rundown of the pros and cons of each type of marketing consultant you can hire to help you make your decision.

An independent or freelance marketing consultant

  • Costs:
    If you look hard enough, you can find someone who will run your entire marketing campaign for a few hundred bucks. However, it’s best to not expect great results.An amazing freelance marketing consultant who can produce actual results will often ask for as much as the price of an agency.Handling a business’s entire marketing campaign is no easy task. Running marketing campaigns will need more than one person, unless your freelancer has mastered all elements of marketing.The pro is that you won’t have to pay full-time salaries, benefits, or provide an office space.
  • Resources:
    As we have established, running marketing campaigns isn’t easy. Aside from skills, resources also play a big part in marketing campaigns.It’s likely that when you hire a freelancer, the money you save from paying team salaries will end up going to your budget for softwares.
  • Availability & Speed:
    There are many freelancers who are great at doing their jobs, but the only problem is that because there’s only one person handling your campaigns, deadlines are often missed and projects are delayed.Freelancers will take more time accomplishing goals, especially if they handle other projects from other businesses as well.
  • Skills:
    Freelancers are always working with businesses from different industry backgrounds. They are likely already familiar with different strategies and tactics that may also work for your business.

If you’re interested in working with or hiring a freelance marketing consultant, you can check out sites like Upwork or Credo.

A marketing consulting firm or marketing agency

  • Costs:
    An agency is going to cost you more than a freelancer, but compared to an in-house team, you will save money by not having to provide office space, resources, or equipment. Agencies often have flexible packages, where you can add on or remove services or hours, depending on how the contract is structured.
  • Resources:
    Marketing consultant agencies have access to the best softwares and resources on the market. Unlike in-house employees or freelancers, you won’t have to pay extra to have access to these resources. Agencies have a higher volume of work, so they often get these resources at a lower rate. They know what works for them and they already have systems in place.
  • Availability & Speed:
    Agencies have a team of experts with diverse skill sets. Together, they have the competency to execute any marketing related task. They can easily pass the work from one team member to another. Agencies can complete a lot more in less time because they’re working with a team, rather than a one man show. This is especially important in marketing, as a well-timed campaign is sometimes crucial to its overall success. The marketing world moves fast – you want someone who can keep up!
  • Skills:
    Like freelancers, agencies have worked with all kinds of projects for various businesses. They have the skills, experience, and knowledge to complete everything from ongoing social media marketing to complex ad campaigns.

If you’re interested in working with or hiring a marketing agency, we can be your creative and digital growth partner. Our goal at Just Digital is to create effective marketing solutions for your business that drive growth. Contact us here to get the details on our marketing consulting packages.

An in-house marketing team

  • Costs:
    An effective marketing strategy needs to be executed by a team. Hiring that team in-house will cost you the most out of your three options.Here’s a list of the average salary in the US for each team member:

    • Marketing Strategist (salary of $70,000)
    • Copywriter (salary of $55,000)
    • Content Editor (salary of $42,990)
    • Graphic Designer (salary of $51,360)
    • Social Media Manager (salary of $47,190)
    • Content Marketing Manager (salary of $66,000)

    This doesn’t include their office space, bonuses, and softwares they may need.

  • Resources:
    Softwares can cost you a lot more money if you prefer hiring an in-house marketing consultant. You’ll have to pay anywhere from $20 to several thousands of dollars per month to have access to these resources.
  • Availability & Speed:
    One great thing about hiring in-house employees is that they can easily complete any task you ask from them. They are at your beck and call. In-house employees will devote their time to making sure your projects are ready and done before the deadline.
  • Skills:
    Hiring a team of marketing employees based on their skills will give you an expert group of marketers. Unfortunately, if one doesn’t work out, you’ll have to find a replacement and re-integrate that person into the team, get them used to the company, and slowly start seeing results. Basically, you will have to use your valuable time to manage employees.

If you’re interested in working with or hiring an in-house marketing team, you can check out sites like Indeed or LinkedIn.

Skills Marketing Consultants Should Have

As an employer, you need to be able to identify the kinds of skills that should be present in a marketing consultant. Your company is only as good as your people, so look out for these skills before deciding to work with or hire one.

skills a marketing consultant should have

    • Exceptional communication skills
      Marketing consultants need to know how to communicate and listen to avoid any kind of misunderstanding. When you try to relay your message or explain what you want, the marketing consultant should be able understand what that is. Knowing how to listen can help a consultant empathize with you and also your target market. Aside from listening skills, a great marketing consultant should be able to give marketing advice as clearly as possible. You should always be on the same page regarding your goals and your strategy to get there, which means your marketing consultant needs to communicate clearly and often.
    • Exceptional understanding of people and consumer psychology
      People skills will always come into play when it comes to marketing, especially consulting. Marketing consultants are going to have to deal with different kinds of clients from different backgrounds, so people skills are a must. Marketing starts with understanding your client and what their business is about. Once your marketing consultant has that figured out, he has to be able to understand your audience. Having a deep understanding of your clients, how they think and what they want, can help them create marketing campaigns that work.
    • Copywriting
      Marketing is all about creating and distributing content that can drive action and deliver results. High-quality, informative, entertaining, and honest content isn’t easy to make. It will be a huge plus if your marketing consultant can plan and create amazing content for your business.
    • Media buying
      Part of creating an effective marketing campaign is the ability to choose the right platforms to advertise your campaigns on. What’s the point of creating amazing ads if they’re being advertised to the wrong audience on the wrong platform? A marketing consultant should be able to pinpoint which platforms will work best for your marketing campaigns.
    • Planning budgets
      There’s a fine line between spending too much and spending too little. A marketing consultant should be able to know how to plan the right marketing budget.
    • Data analysis
      A marketing consultant should be able to take the available information he has about your market to create a proper marketing plan. This process is called data analysis. Once the consultant has created a proper marketing plan to help you achieve your goals, he should be able to present and analyze the data at the end of the campaign to show you how well your marketing plan worked.
    • Strategic decision making ability
      Strategic decision making in a marketing consultant can help provide a competitive advantage to your business. This skill can help change the overall scope and direction of your business. Consultants can’t just make decisions based on a hunch or an emotion, there should be a reason behind each decision.

You’ll need a team around them

Marketing consultants usually have all the basic skills needed to create a marketing campaign, like copywriting, designing, programming, etc. However, basic isn’t enough for an effective marketing campaign. If you really want your campaign to work, your marketing consultant will need a team.

Your marketing consultant will need these people on his/her team for the best results:

  • Project Manager
  • Strategist
  • Content Writer
  • Graphic Designer
  • SEO Specialist
  • PPC Manager
  • Front-End Developer
  • Email Marketing Specialist
  • Social Media Manager

A marketing consultant can help you with:

what does a marketing consultant do?

Pros of Working With a Marketing Consultant

working with a marketing consultant

  • Fresh perspective – It’s easy for us to feel a little bit biased about our own businesses. You might see your marketing efforts through a narrow lens. Working with a marketing consultant can help shed some light on different perspectives, innovations, ideas, and insights on new marketing angles and strategies you haven’t tried before.
  • Strategic thinking – Marketing consultants know how to develop and deploy marketing strategies in a snap. They know how to think on their feet and make decisions based on information they already have.
  • Zoom out – A good marketing consultant can zoom out, look at your business as a whole, and provide honest and unbiased advice. Don’t take anything as an offense – marketing consultants share a common goal with you, they want to help you grow and achieve your goals.
  • Get your results faster than doing it yourself – Don’t waste time learning about marketing and the different softwares you’re going to have to use, you’ll end up losing the opportunity to reach out to your market sooner. Hire someone to do it. Let the professionals handle it so you can skip the learning curve and get things done as fast as possible.
  • Increase your resources so you don’t have to hire someone full time – For smaller businesses, you can hire an external marketing consultant to help organize everything for you. You won’t have to waste money paying for softwares and resources you don’t have.
  • Helps you find hidden opportunities – Just as we’ve mentioned before, a good marketing consultant will be able to deliver a fresh perspective and be able to zoom out – because of these skills, they can easily point out hidden opportunities you could have missed.
  • Experience across different platforms – Marketing consultants will have at least the basic knowledge on how to use various platforms to help your marketing campaign. As we’ve said, skip the learning curve and let the people with experience handle it.
  • Experience in your industry & outside of your industry – More often than not, marketing consultants have worked with a range of companies from various industries and backgrounds. So there is a high possibility that they’ve worked with businesses similar to yours. This means they already know what strategies will and will not work. Aside from that, working with all kinds of businesses can help them draw inspiration from these other businesses to deliver creative ideas that will also work for you.

Downsides of Working With a Marketing Consultant

working with a marketing consultant

Working with a marketing consultant won’t necessarily mean everything will be in rainbows and butterflies. There will be times when you work with a consultant who isn’t compatible with you. For example:

  • They might not know your industry well enough – Some industries may be foreign for newer marketing consultants. This will lead to many trials and errors before finally figuring out the right marketing strategies for your business.
  • They might have a difference of opinions – This is pretty self explanatory, some marketing consultants may not want what you want. However, since they are the experts, try to listen to what they have to say first and if they have a reason for going the other route, don’t be afraid to give it a try.
  • They might not have real business experience – Not all marketing consultants have experience running their own business or trying to sell something. This could be a set back because they may have unrealistic strategies for your campaign.
  • They might not get you results – Not everything in business works out the way you want it to, and there will be times when a marketing consultant also gets stuck.

When to Hire a Marketing Consultant

The marketing industry can sometimes be a little bit too much – everything is fast paced and things are always changing. If you’re wondering when you should hire a marketing consultant, check the list below and see if you’re suffering from any of these instances:

  • There are not enough hours in a day to get everything you want done, and marketing is at the bottom of that list
  • You’ve started a lot of marketing initiatives, but didn’t keep most of them going
  • You’re not clear about what actions you should be taking to market your business
  • You’re not getting the results you want

Finally, if you do find the right marketing consultant who has the qualities we’ve been discussing, now is the time to hire a marketing consultant!

Conclusion

Scaling your business with successful marketing and acquiring customers for your business consistently can be one of the hardest things for a business owner to figure out. A marketing consultant can shortcut your path to success.

If you feel stuck or don’t know where to start, we’re ready to help. We can work together to create effective marketing solutions for your business. Contact us here.