Good question! You are realizing the value of adapting and evolving your business to the dynamic business environment of a globalized world. Perhaps you have done marketing in the past or your employees are dabbling in marketing but the results are still not on target. What went wrong with your marketing strategies? How do you move forward and achieve results to grow your business? This is when a marketing consultant is greatly beneficial to you.
Here are 5 reasons and tips when hiring a marketing consultant.
1. Expertise & Experience A marketing consultant has a specific skill set neither available to you nor your employees due to time/budget/education/experience constraints. Projects that are very specialized or that have short life spans wherein either it is impractical to train your current staff or you simply do not have enough staff to do it. This is mostly the case for start-ups and MSMEs (micro,small, medium) companies. Large companies looking to explore new territories and new market hire marketing consultants from those potential regions. Other reasons are:
- Launching new strategy
- Jump start the market new product or camping department of newly formed companies
- Re-brand your organization
- Identify areas of opportunity and change
- Lead major initiatives
- Replace key members of your team on leave
A marketing consultant brings in his/her knowledge and recommends excellent strategies on implementing and sustaining them.
Tip: Look for consultants with industry specific knowledge. If you are a small resort marketing to international tourists, hire a marketing consultant with a background in the resort industry and experience in international marketing under limited budget. Ask about the results of his/her experience.
2. Realize Investment An employee can cost 25-30% more on top of their base salary per year. Think about it, you will be paying the staff’s salary, benefits, office space, office equipment, leaves, taxes, training etc. while managing your staff’s workload and development. A consultancy contract does away with all of these. It may seem daunting at first when you are a small business and you are hiring a consultant with a high asking rate. Well, you can do a comparative analysis by computing all the expenses you will pay if you are going to hire an employee taking into account the external cost such as time, quality etc. versus the consultant’s rate.
Tip: Marketing is not a cost, it is an investment. Measure it by focusing in its value for your customers/clients. A lot of businesses fail because they invest on their company without or little investment in their customers/clients. A marketing consultant must be able to tell you how to properly “invest” your budget that produces ROI.
3. Integration and Replication Consultants are experts in jumping in and out of a project. They are people with initiatives who know what questions to ask, know how to do the tasks, and know how to manage and execute those tasks seamlessly. They know what to leave behind so you can track performance or transition over to the underclass or one of you employees. They are able to replicate themselves especially if you still on the process of looking for a suitable candidate for the position or if your staff is on leave.
Tip: Ask your marketing consultant to train someone from your staff. The consultant may ask a separate billing for this, you might as well include it on the consultancy contract and address this specifically.
4. Objectivity A marketing consultant is focused on the results and making the project succeed. He/she has no vested interest in your organization’s dynamics. He/She can bring a unique perspective on the project, identify areas for improvement, suggest new initiatives, or change old ones from an objective viewpoint. Your organization can choose to consider or reject those recommendations without having to worry about the consultant’s performance. You may even consider those suggestions for future projects with your consultant.
Tip: Your consultant’s focus is on the success of the project. Only by doing so can he/she generate renewed business with you in the future.
5. Network and Invigoration A marketing consultant gives you access to a wider breadth of talented professionals in PR, design, technical writing, technology etc. Some can even provide you new clients and connections to other industries. You can basically outsource an entire marketing department made available to you only when you need them. This minimizes your cost, saves you time and effort, and gives you the best value for your money. The variety of projects which a marketing consultant has worked on will prove valuable to your company. They bring in with them new ideas, technologies and wisdom that will contribute on your profit, minimize cost, or capture a new market segment.
Tip: Bear in mind that a marketing consultant will have previous non-disclosure agreements with their clients, some of them may even be your competitors. Maintain professionalism and remember that you will want your organization to be protected as well after your contract ends.
Ultimately, though, how well the consultant serves you and fulfill your needs, depends mostly on how well you work together. Marketing is an investment and your consultant is your trusted advisor.