When a company needs to outsource marketing efforts, it is often time to seek out marketing consultants.
A marketing consultant is an outside advisor who works with companies to create and implement marketing strategies. This can be likened to CMOs and marketing teams who hire branding agencies or attend branding workshops to dial-in their brand narrative.
A consultant helps create a detailed marketing plan, determine a business’s marketing message, and identify the appropriate marketing mix to get the message out to the target market. Most consultants are also involved in implementing the marketing strategy. They often help monitor results and tweak campaigns as they go to ensure that companies get the best results from their marketing efforts.
When to Hire a Marketing Consultant
Both small businesses with no marketing experts on staff and large companies with a dedicated marketing department can use the advice of a marketing consultant. Hiring a marketing consultant can:
- Supply specialized skills and expertise that a company lacks.
- Provide an external viewpoint to internal challenges.
- Prompt a new perspective on customers or marketing strategies.
- Allow a business to focus on product development and overall operations.
What Skills Should Marketing Consultants Have?
Marketing consultants need a mix of technical and soft skills to work effectively with their clients. These consultants are skilled in marketing, business, communications, and psychology. Many will also specialize in specific areas of the marketing process, such as:
- Online marketing
- Social media marketing
- Nonprofit marketing
- Print or TV advertising
- Public relations
- Direct response marketing
If your business is considering hiring a marketing consultant, look for one who can show both creative thinking and practical, results-driven analysis. Anyone you hire should be familiar with the consumer behavior of your target audience and willing to work collaboratively to achieve the best possible results, not just for their own portfolio but for your business’s goals.
What Is a Career in Marketing Consulting Like?
If you have a background in marketing, copywriting, or advertising, you may consider transitioning into work as a marketing consultant.
A marketing consultant can work as an independent contractor or within a marketing firm. Many marketing consultants are entrepreneurs that have started their own businesses.
To be successful as a marketing consultant, you should have both education and practical experience in marketing, as well as a background in both independent and collaborative work. You should also study:
- Social media marketing and popular social media platforms
- Search engine marketing and search engine optimization
- Reputation management
- Image and brand management
- Consumer behavior and customer psychology
Marketing consultants work closely with businesses to develop brand awareness or promote a single product or service. It’s a career that requires teamwork and partnership, as well as the ability to work in different business environments on projects with a variety of goals and strategies.
Whether you are seeking to hire a marketing consultant or become one yourself, flexibility, collaborative energy, and creative thinking are all essential to a successful relationship between marketing consultants and the businesses they work with.