Marketing is an essential tool that your business needs to use to promote services to existing and potential new customers. With new technology, there has been an increase in methods available to the average business owner for marketing purposes.
However, marketing a business is no longer a simple task that can be completed with ease in-house. This is why so many business owners have chosen to outsource their marketing by hiring a marketing consultant. In this article, we will look at what a marketing consultant can do for your business and how to hire one.
What Can A Marketing Consultant Do For You?
This depends, says Marina Turea, the Content Marketing Specialist at Digital Authority Partners. ‘’If you have an in-house marketing team, then the future goals of your promotional efforts will determine how effective a marketing consultant will be working for you.’’
Maybe you just need the assistance of a marketing consultant to inspire your present team. Possibly, your business needs a short-term marketing consultant to create the foundation of an ongoing campaign.
Or, maybe you require the full-time services of a marketing consultant to head your digital marketing, from website development to PPC campaigns. Regardless of your needs, a marketing consultant can bring you results in all your marketing needs.
The best thing about a marketing consultant is that the strategies they develop are unique to the needs of your business. Plus, each tactic used has a way of being measured, which produces data that can be referenced in the future or just to verify the success of an existing campaign.
Factors To Consider When Hiring A Marketing Consultant
So what should you use as your guideline when hiring a marketing consultant? The following six-step program will give you a simple-to-follow framework that will make the task easy from start to finish.
Step 1 – Set A Budget
Although the term “marketing consultant” sounds expensive, the person you hire for the job will have to be able to do what you need within the budget you have put in place for this position.
That doesn’t mean you set a salary that is at the very low end of your company pay scale, nor should you establish a rate that is higher than everyone else. Keep in mind, too low of a budget and the quality of potential candidates also suffers. Think of this as an investment.
Step 2 – Research The Candidates
Spend some time online checking out the marketing websites that your candidates have promoting their services. This sort of homework will give you a good idea of what to expect from the person you eventually hire.
You should be looking for things like a clearly defined image/brand, a professional feel to the website, and content that makes sense without errors, typos, or anything else that downgrades the quality. What you see is a fair expectation of what you will receive.
Step 3 – Request References
References are still an effective tool in sorting out the good from the not so good. In the case of hiring a marketing consultant, questions you should focus on when going through references won’t need to be complicated.
All you need to know is whether or not the marketing consultant was able to consistently produce results. Oh, and if the work done managed to stay on budget and on time. That’s about all you need to know.
Step 4 – Conduct An Interview
By this point, you should have a shortlist of potential prospects to interview. Be concise about what you expect from the person who gets the job, and make note of the things they ask of you.
Things they should be interested in finding out about the job and the culture of your business may include some or all of the following:
- The goals of the company
- The target demographic
- The decision-making process
- Who your competition is
- Lead generation/conversions
- The most profitable offering
- The unique selling proposition
- What success will look like and how to measure it
Step 5 – Ask For A Proposal
This is where you get to see the candidates at work. Request that they submit a proposal, but it has to be on something they have identified that required correction. Ask for a plan on how they intend to correct and identify opportunities to achieve that goal.
A marketing consultant should be able to create a detailed plan with recommendations, a full explanation of the process, and an outline the implementation cycle. You are looking for a proposal that shows a clear direction that points to success. If they can’t do that, they won’t be of any benefit to your business.
Step 6 – Hire The Best Person For The Job
This is the final step. You have already identified a need for a marketing consultant. You have established a budget for the position and interviewed candidates following a short screening process that narrowed the field. Now you have to examine the proposals submitted and choose a candidate based on the following:
- Who offered the strategy that best fits your company?
- Who has the best success record in this field of work?
- Was the submitted proposal within the set budget?
Not every business requires the service of a full-time marketing consultant. However, virtually every business can benefit from the assistance of a marketing consultant. Small businesses can make use of off-site marketing services, where larger businesses would require an on-site marketing consultant.
If your goals are to improve your share of the market, or you have just launched an online store and need to get the word out, the assistance of a marketing consultant can make a huge difference.
Also, if your business continues to grow, that will be partly due to the success of your marketing programs. The days of being able to run both your business and the advertising and promotion of that business are far gone.
It is now an impossible task to juggle both duties. This is what makes the hiring of a marketing consultant such a good investment. With the right person in that position, your business will keep expanding and will remain competitive within your industry and your local marketplace.