When you originally set up your business it was probably because you saw a gap in the market and had a great idea for a product or service that would fill that gap, take away some of the pain faced by your prospects and help make peoples lives that little bit easier.
Whilst you were getting the business off the ground you quickly realized that in order to succeed you needed to brush up on your knowledge of additional skills like accountancy, business law, operations and marketing. As the business grew you began to offload some of these roles to specialists either recruiting them in-house or outsourcing to agencies or consultants. Or perhaps you held on to some of these roles because you were good at them (or just liked doing them).
From a traditional marketing perspective that may have been ok but the problem today is that technology is changing how people search for solutions to their problems, how they shop and buy, how they interact with a business and how they decide whether to purchase or not. This process has changed dramatically over the past few years and continues to change at a rapid rate. Unless you’re involved in this area on a full-time basis it’s difficult to keep up, even if you work in an in-house marketing function it can still be difficult as you’re too busy doing your day-to-day job to catch up.
However, I’ve found that there is a tendency to view “marketing” as a purely creative role and this creates the false premise that because we all have a creative element within us, anyone can do marketing.
As I disagree with the statement above, I’ve put together the following 7 reasons to explain why retaining a marketing consultant with the relevant skill set can help your business succeed and add value to your proposition.
Note: It’s important that you carry out your due diligence and take your time before deciding to retain a consultant. Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals.
#1. A marketing consultant can help you plan
I’m amazed at the number of businesses I talk to who have no written plan stating the business objectives and explaining how they’ll be achieved. There are plenty of stats out there on the internet that show businesses who plan have a much higher success rate than those who don’t. It stands to reason, you wouldn’t have your new house built without a plan so why is your business different?
A marketing consultant with the relevant skills and qualifications (CIM based) can work with you to create a plan tailored to your market and focused on resolving the needs of your audience, better than your competitors.One advantage of bringing in a marketing consultant is the breadth and depth of experience on offer. Click To Tweet
#2. A marketing consultant can save you money
Yes, there is a cost involved in retaining a consultant but generally, they are brought in to a business on a project basis where the in-house skills are in short supply and it doesn’t make sense to recruit for a full-time post. So there are no recruitment fees, national insurance costs or other benefits associated with employing staff. Any costs incurred should be offset by the value the consultant brings to the process. On completion of the agreed deliverables, the contract terminates.
As Red Adair said:
If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.
#3. You are not a marketing expert
I come across many people who are involved in marketing. Some are business owners who wear many hats, some people have fallen into the role and are self taught, some are sales people with marketing responsibility, some are traditional marketers who don’t have too much experience in the digital world. Bringing in an independent marketing consultant who can hit the ground running can save you time and provide training to help bring staff up-to-date with the latest marketing processes and trends.
#4. Get fresh ideas from multiple industries
Generally a marketing consultant will work across many industries and market sectors and exposure to what works elsewhere can be a major benefit. In addition bringing in someone from outside your business with no vested interest in the internal politics of the business can be a catalyst for change and help identify and drive through necessary changes.
#5. Marketing consultants need to understand the latest trends and technologies
We do this on a full time basis so we have a vested interest in keeping up with the latest marketing trends and technologies so you don’t have to. We read the latest blogs, we attend seminars and conferences, we keep our skills up-to-date through regular training courses, all in our own time.
This is very difficult to do when you have a full time role within a company.
#6. Marketing consultants need to keep their skills up-to-date
There are many marketing consultants who do a great job and have no formal marketing qualifications. There are also many consultants that specialise in specific areas within the marketing mix e.g. social media, SEO, PPC, etc. But it pays to get in touch with a consultant well schooled in the principles of marketing who understands the need for an integrated approach ensuring all aspects of the marketing mix are working together to achieve the key objectives. In order to do so, a consultant needs a good understanding of the key pillars of marketing e.g. strategy, search engine optimisation, paid advertising content marketing, social media marketing and email marketing. Keeping these skills up-to-date takes time and effort and the proof is can be found through certification of skills.When retaining a marketing consultant, check they've kept their skills up-to-date to suit today's audiences and channels. Click To Tweet
#7. A marketing consultant can provide peace of mind
There are times when all you want is someone on the end of the phone to provide guidance and support on a sticking point or you want access to a quick face-to-face meeting to discuss an idea you have or you’d like regular meetings to keep you abreast of the latest and greatest in the world of marketing. A consultant can provide help and support when you need it.
So there you go, my take on why it can make sense to retain an experienced, qualified marketing consultant. If you disagree with any of my points, let me know.
I provide a number of consultancy options that can be tailored to suit your needs and your budgets. If you’re still concerned about the costs involved in retaining a marketing consultant, take a toe-in-the-water approach through my Consultancy Over Coffee service and get access to an experienced marketing consultant for a set fee of just £75.Get access to an experienced marketing consultant for a set fee of £75. Visit https://andrewleonwalker.co.uk/consultancy-over-coffee/ for more info. Click To Tweet
If you’d like more information from an independent marketing consultant about how to improve your marketing performance or any other aspects of marketing call 01803 413481 or email [email protected]
Andrew Leon Walker, has an MA in Marketing from Plymouth University Business School, is a CIM qualified Marketer and a graduate of Google’s Squared Online Digital Marketing Programme.