As per Glassdoor, a marketing consultant is responsible for defining marketing strategies, identifying the most appropriate message and executing these strategies for business. Marketing consultants are up – to – date with trends in social media marketing, online marketing and direct response marketing.
“Good marketing makes the company looks smart. Great marketing makes the customer feel smart” – Joe Chernov.
Hiring a marketing consultant for a small business is a huge step up for many small businesses, but to be honest a really important one. Hence it is advisable for every business to either go for a marketing recruit to cater offline and online marketing or if there are budget constraints, then at least hire a marketing consultant.
Why should a small business hire a marketing consultant?
A small business should hire a marketing consultant for the following reasons:-
- Execute short and long – term marketing strategies aligned with business goals:
An efficient marketing consultant can sketch out marketing strategies, not only for amplification but to create a business impact in terms of customer acquisition, sales and top line revenue, which eventually helps the business to sustain.
- Time and skill set issues for marketing:
As every small business owners are not keen, have paucity of time and often are not technically capable to handle marketing initiatives, hence it’s advisable to hire a marketing consultant because he or she would bring in the relevant marketing skill sets and can deliver results in a timely manner.
- Having resource gaps:
It is often observed in multiple small businesses, that they often lack marketing resources who are skilled enough to deliver results in terms of establishing brand narratives, creating offline marketing campaigns, online marketing campaigns, spreading Word Of Mouth (WOM) and even generating sufficient business leads, which can be converted to paying customers, in order make the business viable. Hence the need of hiring a marketing consultant arises as an external resource in order to help the business grow and meet its short and long – term goals.
- Generating leads for business:
The viability of a business is in generating significant business leads which can be converted into paying customers both in the short and long term. A marketing consultant can generate leads by creating campaigns on social media, online marketing, running ads on Google AdWords, implementing email campaigns and if the budget allows do some ATL (above the line) campaigns as way in order to bring in leads.
- Creating relevant buzz for product and service differentiation:
It’s impossible to survive without creating a relevant product or service differentiation for a business, otherwise all brands will look like a Me-Too brand, leading to chaos and confusion among the prospective customers. In this context a role of a marketing consultant is not only relevant but critical in creating and amplifying narrative, both offline and in the online marketing space which strongly differentiates the products or services of a business and establish the uniqueness of the business offerings.
- Create the overall business narrative, as what the business stands for:
The role of every business small or big, is to establish a business narrative in order to justify its existence or why the business even exits in the first place. It can be its diversity of product or service offerings, the value proposition or it simply can be to fulfil certain needs of customers who are looking for certain solutions with relevant products or services. Therefore it is imperative at times for a small business to hire a consultant, who can define and establish the overall business narrative, with relevant offline marketing, online marketing and brand communications.
Advantages of having a marketing consultant on board
The advantages of having a marketing consultant on board are many folds, as some of them are mentioned below:
- Marketing consultants are considered to be subject matter experts, who can add value in order to enhance the overall image and viability of small businesses in both offline and online marketing space.
- A marketing consultant can save time and cost for a business, which adds up to a bottom line profit for the business.
- Business owners acquire relevant offline and online marketing and consumer insights form the consultants in the process.
- Marketing consultants come at comparatively lower hiring costs as they are usually not a part of pay role and are often hired on project – to – project basis, hence the cost to businesses are comparatively lower than hiring a senior executive on pay role with a fixed compensation including all the pay outs as per established labour norms.
- Result’s derived from a marketing consultant are faster as the marketing consultants have certain skill sets, experience and are often bound to deliver outcomes in time – bound manner due to contractual obligations.
Steps involved in hiring a marketing consultant?
Once the decision of hiring a marketing consultant is made, then there should be no looking back. The following steps are advisable while finalising a marketing consultant:
- Create a set of responsibilities or tasks you want the consultant to perform.
- Create benchmarks and criteria’s for selection.
- Outline deliverables from the marketing consultants in a time – bound manner.
- Look for candidates from LinkedIn, or you can explore someone from your established connections.
- During interviews or meetings with the relevant candidates, please share your expectations from the role with the candidate.
- Get a complete hang of the candidate’s experience in the marketing field and responsibilities handled in his or her career for which he or she is being interviewed.
- Do a reference check.
- Bring the consultant on board.
- A marketing consultant can create a brand narrative through offline and online marketing initiative’s which is relevant to the prospective customers.
- Marketing consultants are good in market research which enables a small business to put the marketing monies in sponsoring the right campaigns as per business goals.
- Marketing consultants usually comes up with marketing contents and communications which would initiate leads for a business in the short – term, making the business viable.
Therefore we can easily conclude by saying that one must hire a marketing consultant if the budgets permits, as its difficult to survive without relevant marketing and communication in today’s competitive landscape, where every brand big or small is gunning to grab customers attention 24/7.