How To Choose The Right Marketing Consultant For Your Business
A marketing consultant can offer a wide range of services to a business. These can include anything from evaluating current marketing efforts and making suggestions as to where improvements can be made in terms of strategy for distribution channels for example, to helping develop, plan and implement marketing campaigns across channels.
However, being a marketing consultant isn’t all about the marketing consultant themselves. They should also provide further value to the business by training and mentoring the whole marketing department on current best practices and be up-to-date regarding new technology that will improve processes and save time and resources.
Different types of Marketing Consultants
Although the term is kind of all-encompassing, there are various branches to the tree…
Digital Marketing Consultant
This type of consultant specialises in developing, implementing and analysing a business’ paid and organic online marketing strategy and reach. Their job is to identify the most effective ways in which the business can advertise directly to its target audience using innovative digital technologies and strategies.
Growth Marketing Consultant
If your business is looking to grow revenue – and let’s be honest here, which business isn’t? – then you’ll want to work with a growth marketing consultant. Their whole world is centred around how to make your business more money by improving and implementing systems and processes. A constant desire to analyse the sales funnel and use the collected data to drive strategy updates that lift KPIs makes this guy your best friend.
Social Media Marketing Consultant
This lot specialises in social media strategy and planning. If you want to increase brand awareness and presence on social platforms, then this role needs to be filled. They are always on top of the latest social trends whether that’s reels on Instagram or drop shipping on TikTok, they live and breathe this stuff. And the proof really is in the pudding. According to new data, more than two-thirds (68%) of consumers have already purchased directly from social media and nearly all (98%) plan to make at least one purchase through social shopping or influencer commerce in 2022.
SEO Marketing Consultant
And last but by no means least, we have SEO. SEO consultants are responsible for planning, implementing and managing a company’s overall SEO strategy. This can cover a wide range of tasks including web marketing, web analytics, content strategy planning, link building, and keyword strategy. It’s a pretty enormous task but it definitely reaps the rewards – the Search Engine Journey found that 49% of marketers reported that organic search has the best ROI of any marketing channel. Whatsmore, SEO can reduce the cost of customer acquisition by 87.41% on average compared to digital advertising.
Once you’ve deciphered which type of marketing consultant would be best for your business, it’s time to start looking at when to take the plunge.
When to hire a Marketing Consultant
There are several reasons why you might need to hire a marketing consultant at a particular time but this is not always obvious. For example, if you have an inexperienced team or lack of senior executives on your marketing team, you probably don’t have the knowledge or expertise in-house that your business needs to truly succeed.
Struggling with growth?
If your business hasn’t been growing as you think it should, customers aren’t converting or they’re simply not becoming a lead in the first place or completing online lead gen forms, then your marketing strategy might be off and not performing as it should. Perhaps you’ve invested a tonne of money into certain marketing tactics or channels but you’re not seeing the ROI you were promised. Or, maybe you don’t even have a long-term marketing strategy in place and your whole department is sort of just winging it week in and week out without any real long-term goals to work towards.
If any of the above sounds like challenges your company is facing right now, chances are you need to hire a marketing consultant to get you back on track and improve overall performance. But what should you look out for?
What to look for when hiring a Marketing Consultant
Depending on the type of marketing consultant you need, you might have to search for different traits. However, the below is a good start…
If your business is lacking senior executives who can actually take charge and make a difference, then it’s critical that you place experience at the top of your ingredients list for ‘recipe for an effective marketing consultant’. However, all marketing consultants should have a decent amount of experience – 5+ years in the field is a good indicator that a marketing consultant will have the right credentials.
Ask yourself – do they have a track record of results? Can you find other companies that have worked with them or perhaps use cases, case studies or testimonials that showcase the results they’ve achieved for previous clients? If they don’t, be wary and ask for references that you can contact for validation.
If you are looking to address a specific marketing problem within your business or simply want to work with someone from a specific niche like social media or SEO, then you should take a look at what a marketing consultant’s specific area of expertise is. For example, if you need to start right from the beginning and develop and implement a whole new marketing strategy, then make sure you find someone with that experience, and ask for the proof to show its effectiveness.
- Personal branding
Looking at how a marketing consultant markets themselves is a pretty good indicator of how they work with other businesses. However, don’t make a decision solely based on this, we all know consultants lead busy lives and don’t always have the time to post on Twitter or create guides on why marketing consultants are so great. But do take a look at their website and LinkedIn page to see and understand how they position themselves in the market and read content if it’s available to gauge character and if that person will be a good fit for your business.
Now that you’re armed with your checklist, it’s time to look at recruiting.
Is it better to hire a Marketing Consultant or a full-time employee?
If you’re thinking about hiring a full-time marketing manager to do the job, consider these aspects first – do you have the budget to hire someone full time that may not have all the necessary skills and experience you’re looking for right away? Do you have the time to train them up and other team members you may need to achieve the goals you’ve set out?
If you’ve answered no to the latter, then you might look at hiring a full-time marketing director instead of a manager as they have the experience and skills necessary to provide your business with what it needs. However, there’s still a disparency – cost.
The benefits of hiring a part-time Marketing Director
If cost is one of the deciding factors for you when it comes to hiring the right marketing consultant, have you considered hiring part-time?
Part-time Directors can bring a fresh approach to your business while also allowing for greater flexibility without the need for long-term commitments or hefty costs. Leadership Services provides part-time marketing directors of this calibre for businesses that don’t want to run the risk of long and costly hiring processes that may not work out.
Conclusion: Marketing Consultant or part-time Marketing Director?
So, if your business is looking for someone to take charge and ramp up marketing efforts but you don’t want the hassle or cost associated with hiring a full-time marketing consultant, then choose a part-time director.
Contact Leadership Services today to hire a part-time marketing director via a monthly rolling contract, with all the benefits of a full-time employee, but at an affordable price.