Definition: A marketing consultant is very skilled professional and an outside advisor who works with businesses to develop and put marketing strategies in place to improve business. 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.
There are many that confuse advertising/marketing agencies and marketing consultants, assuming marketing consultants do the same thing, but not tied to an agency. However, in truth the two are very different although they perform complementary functions.
For example, if you know your message to advertise, you might hire an advertising agency to create advertising materials, as they have creative teams who will help deliver the message in a fresh and engaging way through a variety of marketing channels.
In contrast, a marketing consultant is the person who helps a business decide how to best engage existing clients, determine who else might be attracted to try the product or service and how to expand the customer base, by looking at the existing business model, considers the market potential and develops a strategy to achieve larger goals. In addition, marketing consultants usually have associates on hand who can provide other marketing services ensuring synergistic approach for the business.
WHEN SHOULD YOU HIRE A MARKETING CONSULTANT?
You should hire a marketing consultant if you are a small businesses with no marketing experts on staff or a large company with a dedicated marketing department who can benefit from the advice of a external marketing consultant.
- Supply specialised 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.
SO, WHAT WOULD YOU HIRE A MARKETING CONSULTANT TO DO?
• Identify new opportunities to engage with existing and new clients
• Evaluate existing marketing materials, social media and advertising, determining how well these target customers and generate sales
• Shape company branding, the identity of a company and how well it resonates with the desired lifestyle demographic (is it professional? unique? recognisable?)
• Manage the brand if something happens to damage a company’s reputation – a form of damage control
• Get former customers to return more often by introducing new products or service opportunities
• Improve customer engagement through social media, creating the opportunity for interactive relationship to be nurtured and maintained
• Coordinate content on website, in blogs and on landing pages, writing content mindful of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) keywords to generate organic search engine rankings on Google, etc.
• Manage email and social media marketing campaigns, online advertising, mobile and local marketing
• Manage marketing related activities, such as print, events and short-term projects
As you can see the roles of marketing consultants are quite diverse, and an experienced one will be well worth the cost of assessing and improving marketing for your business.
Find out more about APS, our services, and projects we’ve worked on, and why APS should be your chosen marketing consultancy?