Why hire a marketing consultant?
- Firstly, it is a cost-effective and rapid route to solving your marketing challenges.
- Secondly, you get expert knowledge, either in short bursts to troubleshoot or regularly as a senior voice on marketing.
- Thirdly, they are impartial advisors, focused on results and clear objectives in an agreed timeframe.
Marketing consultants bridge the gap between in-house marketing teams and external agencies. If your team needs support or you are not getting value for money externally, a marketing consultant provides overarching support to get the best results.
Read on to find out how to hire a marketing consultant and also why it pays to choose wisely.
Our guide to hiring a marketing consultant
- When to hire and where to find a marketing consultant
- Why it pays to hire a marketing consultant
- Why choose a qualified marketing consultant
- Why choose a marketing consultancy firm over a freelance or independent
When to hire and where to find a marketing consultant
Firstly, hiring any marketing role, even a marketing consultant, requires careful consideration. It depends on what you are trying to achieve, how much support you need and the skills available to hire. The great news is that by nature, marketing consultants are flexible to dial up and dial down as you see fit. You should hire an individual or a consulting firm when you need support with innovating, transforming and enhancing your marketing strategy and operations.
Secondly, a great time to hire a marketing consultant is following a business disruption, a reorganisation or when innovation and improvement is high on the agenda. These periods of change benefit from a stabilising force and an expert pair of hands. The ‘fit’ is also important and their values must inspire and align to what you want to achieve.
Thirdly, you can find a marketing consultant near you, via your network or search online for the marketing consulting services you need. You may be surprised at the knowledge and services offered, so wherever you look, ensure that your requirements are clear and don’t be afraid to ask questions to find out how they can help. We offer a free initial consultation to listen to your needs and answer any questions you have.
Things to consider before hiring
- The extent of customer-centricity applicable to your business
- A manufacturer of medical equipment with a restricted market may require little marketing consulting;
- whereas a technology business may need support to align decision-making, value proposition and messaging for personas.
- The challenge of achieving growth or stopping decline
- A dynamic, equity-backed firm that aligns itself with growth opportunities but wants support to enter new markets;
- whereas a mature industry such as printed press may need little support.
- The skills of the marketing contacts that you have
- A fast-changing landscape means that any advisor need to have up-to-date skills and awareness of new channels;
- whereas a qualified marketer must undertake continuous professional development to update their skills.
- The dynamism of the market and industry in which you trade
- A developing market with high innovation requires a constantly evolving value proposition and marketing strategy;
- whereas a utility has little change in its offering over the long-term.
Are you still wondering why hire a marketing consultant? Read on as we address the many types of consultant, qualifications and services on offer in the market.
What to look for when hiring
- A recognised marketing qualification
- A specialist in one area or a strategist across the marketing mix
- A voice for marketing on the board
Firstly, when hiring a marketing consultant, look for a recognised marketing qualification. Hiring a chartered marketer can be a good investment, especially one with substantial experience in marketing and different industries.
Secondly, a marketing consultant can specialise, such as a social media marketing consultant, or be strategic across the marketing mix. The latter supports delivery of all facets of your strategy, plan and works towards your marketing goals.
Thirdly, hiring a marketing consultant with board experience brings a voice of marketing to the boardroom, representing the voice of the customer and delivering up to 8% additional revenue versus a board without marketing skills.
How do I find a marketing consultant near me?
You find a marketing consultant in your local area or one with specialist knowledge, a recommendation or listed in the CIM chartered marketer directory that is qualified to solve your pain points.
Marketing is a very broad field and technically challenging with the growth in data, tools and technologies. Finding a marketer means either finding an expert on one particular aspect or across one domain such as digital. There are fewer strategic consultants out there and some that specialise in a specific industry. A few offer a broad range of services to support you in every aspect of marketing, offering strategies, techniques and programmes to enhance marketing and and deliver results. You will find us offering strategy to execution, marketing plans to campaigns, scientific studies to reports, training to mentoring.
You can find us in Wilmslow, Cheshire, but we support all businesses across the UK. We have clients in Lancashire, Derbyshire, Manchester, Staffordshire, Liverpool, London and more.
Why it pays to hire a marketing consultant
It pays to hire a marketing consultant that can accelerate your revenue growth. It also pays because the business case stacks up advantageously against a full-time senior director and other in-house resource. New recruits or agents take time to train, time to embed and cost money to onboard before paying salary, NICs and pension.
Rather than pay a senior marketer a six-figure salary, why not hire a consultant when you need the extra support and advice? It also pays if you have a range of suppliers to manage and you don’t have the time to focus on innovating, automating and improving the capability of the team.
Ultimately, what you actually pay to hire someone depends on what you are hiring them to deliver. General advice and direction are often charged at an hourly rate. Marketing plans, audits, transformation and implementations are charged as projects. Digital services, inbound and lead gen are a hybrid of projects and retainers.
Why you need a marketing consultant
You need a marketing consultant because marketing is critical to your business success. According to the Harvard Business Review, 54% of CMOs are focussed on growth, innovating and understanding the customer, analysis and product design. Less than half of these own a P&L, so only 23% of CMOs are seen as critical to success and employee churn stands at more than 4 out of 5 over 3 years. A marketing consultant brings a focus on growth, customer experience, data and analytics to support your strategic marketing plan.
Furthermore, an outside expert doesn’t focus on a single area of delivery like a member of the marketing team. If your team are busily focussed on activities, your third parties are numerous or you don’t have the bandwidth to innovate, you need a marketing consultant. Thinking of a consultant as a trusted advisor, an agent of change or an extension of your team, this is one investment that can really reap rewards.
Benefits of hiring a marketing consultant
The benefits of hiring a marketing consultant are many. From auditing your current position to creating and executing agreed strategies, a marketing consultant uses experience to add value and grow your business. Other benefits of business consultation is outside expertise, saving time and money and change management.
The perception of marketing sometimes hampers awareness of the benefits that marketing consultants bring to a business. Marketing is not the colouring in department and you can achieve competitive advantage through marketing. Consider the evolution of marketing: technology, analytics, social media and omni-channel campaigns whilst leveraging software, platforms and agencies. Ultimately, things have come a long way in the last 10 years.
Reasons to hire a marketing consultant
- Short-term support for innovation and transformation in marketing
- Medium-term support for marketing skills, strategic planning and lead generation
- Long-term support for marketing on the board, digital marketing and inbound marketing services
There are a multitude of reasons to reach out for external help. Challenging projects, changes to regulations, new tools and software, more sales leads, improved digital footprint and identification of growth opportunities are a few examples. Whatever the reason, a qualified marketing consultant can offer you expert marketing input when you need it most.
Objectivity, independence and impartiality are strong reasons to hire an external consultant, especially if change, innovation or cost saving is needed. Similar to an external audit, qualified experts apply theory into practice to find areas of improvement, reviewing how well the organisation is delivering the plan.
A voice for marketing at board level, especially those with senior experience, is a powerful tool to advance customer-centric initiatives and advance marketing success. The right consultant can support decision-making where it would benefit to have marketing skills, setting the tone for improved personalisation, customer experience or focus on key accounts.
Why use a marketing consultant
Use a marketing consultant if you need advice, want to get started with marketing strategy or to find a marketing growth strategy. According to Levitt, there is no such thing as a growth industry, only people and organisations that organise to capitalise on growth opportunities. With marketing research, competitive strategy, value propositions and analytical tools such as PESTLE and SWOT and Porter’s Five Forces, marketing is ideally placed to identify opportunities.
A marketing consultant is also a great place to start to audit marketing to find areas of improvement. A marketing audit by a consultant looks at how well your business is enacting the marketing plan. If your plans are not going so well, use a marketing consultant to bring things back on track.
A digital marketing consultant may be familiar with websites, paid ads and organic search but may not understand traditional marketing techniques such as building a marketing strategy and plan. Depending on your needs, use the marketing consultant that best fits the needs of your business.
Do I really need a marketing consultant?
- Do you need an impartial advisor to review marketing?
- Are you seeking to innovate in marketing?
- Do you need expert knowledge to implement a marketing change?
- Are you unsure if you are receiving the right marketing advice?
- Do you need to develop your marketing team?
- Are you seeking growth opportunities through marketing?
If you haven’t decided to speak to a marketing consultant, we offer a free consultation to listen. Ultimately, it depends on your marketing needs but rest assured you will receive professional, independent and qualified advice. Our honest approach gives you peace of mind to find the best solution for your business and some marketing consultants operate as a one-stop-shop for all things marketing. We promise not to push a hard sell and we never recommend services that are not right for you.
Why choose a qualified marketing consultant
Choose a qualified marketing consultant with skills and accreditations in traditional marketing techniques, strategic marketing planning and analysis to create strategies for growth. Even better, a qualified expert with frameworks, IP and models to deploy gives you a shortcut to marketing success.
There is no protection on the title of ‘marketing consultant’. In truth, anyone can label themselves as experts in marketing with little or no qualification. Many agencies are owned by salespeople and some print, creative and digital specialists label themselves as a ‘consultant’. Unfortunately, you don’t notice the problem until a long way down the road. Perhaps the recommendations didn’t deliver benefits and ‘spending a little extra’ gets what you expected from the outset.
Choosing a chartered marketer with CIM is a great way to obtain some reassurance as to the training and pedigree of the person giving advice. Additionally, only a small number of CIM members have completed level 7, strategic marketing leadership. Level 7 gives senior marketing leaders an additional route for the best qualified marketers.
Hiring a freelance or independent
Hiring a freelance marketing consultant brings specialist knowledge, extra resource, an objective point of view and a breadth of experience in marketing across different industries. A freelance marketing consultant buys you short, medium or long-term marketing advice, support and services. The types of consultant range from a freelance marketing strategy consultant to a freelance digital marketing consultant or a freelance sales and marketing consultant.
Not all marketing consultants are created equal. Start with a chartered marketer level 7 who went beyond diploma level to cover strategic marketing leadership.
Hiring an independent marketing consultant gives you external expertise, objectivity, impartiality and skills that can support and enhance your marketing team and operations. An independent consultant has no hidden agenda, only a desire to support your achievement of marketing goals.
Furthermore, the marketing team can access support with no hidden agenda, no politics and no favourites. Independent review, support and advice gives marketing and sales a frank opinion or audit report on today’s marketing plan performance and tomorrow’s marketing innovation. An independent extension of your team for a helping hand to guide you and analyse across disciplines or business units, a marketing consultant is an asset to leverage as little or as much as needed to get you where you need to go.
Why do I need a digital marketing consultant?
- Create a digital marketing strategy
- Increase your online visibility
- Deepen customer engagement
- Create inspiring customer journeys
- Develop a website that converts
- Innovate with new digital techniques
A digital marketing consultant has a high degree of knowledge in the digital arena. This covers websites, search, paid ads, affiliates, social and more. If you need support with a digital marketing strategy, it pays to hire someone with the digital skills required.
Rather than spending on digital without return, look at digital consultants to plan your digital goals and generate a return. Innovation in digital, or digitalisation, continues apace across marketing, including more use of AI, process automation and customer intelligence.
Do I need a small business marketing consultant?
You do not need a small business marketing consultant. In reality, this may mean a restricted view of what is achievable with your marketing. A small business consultant may prefer print, graphic design or basic brochure template websites for example. A qualified consultant may have broad knowledge of digital, lead gen, automation and beyond across many organisations.
Small business marketing services get your business online, create logos, produce business cards and leaflets. Corporate marketing looks at the strategy, plan, goals, proposition, personas, competitors, channels and measures before executing activities.
Do I need a marketing and brand consultant?
A marketing and brand consultant protects your brand, increase brand equity and creates advocates for your brand. From brand strategy to brand management, conducting a brand audit to building advocacy, a brand is your most valuable asset and it pays to hire someone with some expertise with brands.
A brand consultant is not a creative, a photographer or contributor on social, it goes beyond brand identity. They help to boost engagement, performance and value to increase the profitability of the organisation. Notably, there are strong parallels to why hire a marketing consultant but with more focus, frameworks and field experience of branding.
Why choose a marketing consultancy firm over a freelance or independent
You should choose a marketing consultancy firm if you require support beyond the specialism of the freelance or independent consultant. A marketing consultancy is either a group of marketing consultants or in our case, a one-stop-shop for all things marketing. With us you can find the advice, approach and activities you need to deliver your marketing goals.
A consulting firm allows multiple perspectives on marketing and expertise in many areas for you to choose from. This gives you more choice, more flexibility and more convenience with a single point of contact. Many freelance or independent consultants refer business to an online agency rather than cater for all. Instead, they focus on face-to-face advice and answering questions based on an hourly rate.
What is different about Think Beyond?
We offer marketing consultancy that works. Our marketing consultants are chartered marketers with experience in SMEs, corporates and blue-chip firms. We use a philosophy of partnership to support achievement of your marketing goals. Supported by the science of marketing and the latest techniques, we increase your return on investment. Also, we pride ourselves on not only offering professional advice but acting as a single point of contact. That means a range of consulting and marketing services from brand to digital and neuroscience to planning.
Our value proposition is:
- Qualified marketing advice for credibility
- One point of contact for simplicity
- Marketing as a profit centre for returns
We offer marketing consulting services from a strategic marketing plan over 5 years to aligning with your sales team. You can seek support with deploying ABM programmes through to marketing transformation. Furthermore, we make it easy to deliver marketing activities from websites to social accounts, advertising to content. All services are backed by a marketing consultant driving towards your goals aligned to your business plan. Are you sick of large retainers and waiting two weeks to get a response to your query? Try giving us a call and see how we can support your business and increase your return.
Why hire Think Beyond’s marketing consulting services?
Why hire a marketing consultant? A qualified marketer, experienced in different corporate structures and industries at all levels may be just what you are looking for. Find an expert that believes in putting the customer first – that’s you. Additionally, our science-backed and data-oriented approach seeks to boost the return on your marketing investment. Finding a marketing consultant just became a whole lot easier.
We believe that when you hire a consultant, you shouldn’t need to hire multiple agents to support you. We offer a one-stop-shop for all things marketing to simplify the experience for our customers. This service wrap removes the need for you to find, sign up, instruct and manage multiple third parties.
So, why hire a marketing consultant? In conclusion, we offer an enhanced consulting service that goes beyond with one point of contact for your marketing needs.
Why not book a free consultation with one of our team to find out more with our quick contact form. It only takes 30 seconds and we will call you back to arrange a call or meeting.