If you’re looking to hire a marketing consultant or are thinking about bringing a consultant in to assist with your business goals, the first question you may be thinking is “What exactly does a marketing consultant do?”. Before jumping in and hiring, learn what to expect and what a consultant can bring to your marketing campaigns.
Digital Marketing Consultants Vs Traditional Marketing Consultants
First things first – there is a big difference between a traditional marketing consultant and a digital marketing consultant. To determine which type of consultant you’ll need, consider the marketing channels you’re looking to improve upon. Below we’ve outlined different marketing channels and which channel falls under which type of consultant. If you’re entirely unsure of where to start, hiring a general marketing consultant is probably the best move as they can help with foundational market research, determining your target audience, and more. If they feel the need to bring in digital experts, they will make that suggestion.
Digital Marketing Consultants Typically Consult On:
Traditional Marketing Consultants Typically Consult On:
- Traditional PR (magazines, print, television)
- Messaging and Copy
- Print and Collateral
- TV Advertising / Commercials
- Radios Ads
- Outdoor Ads / Billboards
- Direct Mailings
- Newspaper Ads
Of course, within these two areas, depending on who you hire, there may be overlap. It isn’t to say that a digital marketing consultant couldn’t help with messaging and branding, for example. If you know focusing on your website and search engine marketing is a top priority for your digital marketing strategy, hiring a consultant focused on digital marketing would definitely be best.
A seasoned marketing consultant will be able to create marketing strategies based on a lot of data and past experiences, something that is very hard to come by with an in-house marketing team. Whether it’s SEO or radio ads, a consultant can guide you down the right path knowing what has worked for hundreds of other businesses. Without a consultant, many businesses go blind to new marketing strategies and channels, often wasting advertising dollars guessing and trying what might work best for them. Using a consultant should limit the amount of guessing that goes into your overall marketing strategy.
Marketing Consultants Can Provide Insights To Your In-House Marketing Department
If you have an in-house marketing team, it doesn’t mean a marketing consultant cannot provide a ton of value. Usually, in this situation, a marketing consultant can provide even more value by pushing your internal resources in the right direction. Often, internal teams lack data and insights to create actionable plans of attack and get “lost” in the day-to-day. A consultant can come in, develop a detailed marketing plan, and get your team working on the right items. A new marketing strategy can invigorate your team and get them to think outside of the box.
Does a Marketing Consulting Actually Do the Work?
This is a great question to ask yourself as to what your needs are and to ask a consultant when interviewing. If you have an in-house team you may want a consultant that simply guides your team, other businesses may be looking for a consultant to do more than consulting, they want someone who can implement the marketing strategy.
If you’re looking for a consultant who can develop the plan and execute it, be sure to be upfront with those expectations. Some consultants are high-level consultants focusing on strategy, turning it over to your team to implement, while some consulting agencies are just that – agencies that have a team to handle implementation. For example, if you’re looking for an SEO consultant to help with an SEO campaign you will need multiple skill sets to implement the strategy including a designer, programmer, copywriter, and more. Launching a successful marketing campaign usually isn’t a one-man job that an individual consultant can handle alone.
Remember, your marketing consultant isn’t a full-time employee, they are a partner in your business. Someone that can guide you in the right direction and advise you and management about the best practices, while also doing some of the work.
Who Hires a Marketing Consultant
Ranging from start-up businesses to Fortune 500 companies, businesses of all sizes use marketing consultants, albeit in different ways. Whether your marketing efforts are brand awareness or to develop branding to get your business off the ground, you’re never too small or too big to gain valuable insights from a professional marketing consultant.
How Much Does a Marketing Consultant Cost?
A marketing consultant often bills hourly with a monthly retainer, meaning you choose how many hours a month you need and are invoiced each month for those hours. Hourly rates can range from $75-$500+ an hour. If you wanted a seasoned pro, someone who can truly bring unique value to your business, paying $150-$250 an hour is normal. Remember, the value of a marketing consultant is in the experience they have and a successful marketing consultant will always be more expensive than someone just getting into the field.
What Skills Should I Look For In a Marketing Consultant?
Remember, this person will be part of your team, so just like hiring an employee, it’s important your consultant fits in with your culture and has the skills you need.
We recommend looking for a consultant with the following skills:
- Strong at critical thinking and creative thinking
- Clear communication skills
- Marketing management skills to guide your team effectively
- Strong at internal communications
- A quality writer and experience in content marketing
- A background in working in and implementing the types of campaigns you feel your business most needs
If you have questions about hiring a consultant or need help with your campaigns, give us a call or request a free quote.