You’re a small to medium-size business owner, you’re doing well, and chances are you know a lot about your business and the industry you’re in. Chances are also, especially if you’re starting out, that your budgets are extremely tight, and hiring a marketing expert is not top on your priority list. But, in order for your business to thrive long term, marketing is critical, and the good news is that there are multiple ways the right marketing can help your business to not only make you money but save you some too.
Bringing in a good Marketing Consultant can not only assist you in developing the right marketing tactics for your business but also with how to practically implement them. Many business owners think they can do marketing themselves but getting an experienced professional in can save time and, we said it before and we’ll say it again, money in the long term, by preventing costly mistakes that can happen when you choose to do it yourself.
WHY IS MARKETING IMPORTANT?
- It gets your product or service in front of the right people
- It gets your product or service in front of more people
- It helps you to strategically build a great identity and reputation
- It can help build a competitive advantage
- It helps you to engage more effectively with existing customers or clients
- It informs and educates about your product or service
- It can also allow you to reach your audience at a very personal level which isn’t always possible for big corporates
WHAT A MARKETING CONSULTANT CAN DO:
- They can do the marketing on your behalf, taking it off your hands or, they can train you and your employees to do it yourself.
- They will assist in creating the right Marketing Campaigns for your business, on a regular basis or for specific rollouts.
- They can conduct market research on the products or services of competing companies. This can be in the form of simple price comparisons or full-scale surveys.
- They will assist you to develop a marketing plan that is aligned with your business goals.
- They will assist with strategic planning and branding that will increase sales and customer retention.
- They can provide expertise in marketing, ranging from advertising, promotions, PR, website design, SEO/SEM strategy, and social media campaigns.
- The right Marketing Consultant will ensure that your business has everything it needs to thrive in a very competitive market.
You could hire someone in-house to do the above, but hiring someone on a consulting basis comes with its own unique benefits:
- They can save you money: you get the expertise without needing to hire someone full-time.
- They provide a high level of expertise and experience: A good consultant has generally been in the field for a while and can not only bring specialist knowledge but also an objective point of view about your business.
- They are flexible: You can use them as little or as much as you need in order to attain your goals – you decide. Whether it’s short, medium, or long-term services they can cater to your needs.
- They are easier to manage: Because they are more objective, they won’t get involved in the politics of the business – less time on people managing and less time on performance reviews and training.
- They come with a fresh perspective: You’re so involved in your business it’s often difficult to see it from an outside perspective – the right consultant can provide a new perspective.
SHORT, MEDIUM, OR LONG-TERM?
Hiring a Marketing Consultant short-term can help when you just need extra support for marketing projects – they can also temporarily replace an employee who is on leave or left the company. Medium-term, they can assist to come up with marketing plans to drive lead generation after spending time to properly understand your business. Long term, they can give strategic advice that is fully in line with your overall business plan and strategy. They can be involved in longer-term plans and be part of decision-making.
When you commit to hiring a consultant here’s what to expect: They will ask you a lot of questions, they’ll need you to give access to any analytics tools that you have been using, your leads and sales data and they’ll need to understand more about the goods or services you sell. Ideally, they will then need a site tour in which they can meet your team and see your business ‘in action’. Throughout all of this, they will be using their experience to spot the gaps and see where the opportunities lie.
They will also want to look at any tactics or strategies you used previously to see what has and has not worked. Having a good understanding of your customers will be needed too – knowing their motivations and habits is vital.
Marketing Consultants are there to make you more successful in marketing, and in turn, make your business more successful. They will not only serve your business but will also help you to better understand your business – it’s in their best interests to grow your business from a marketing point of view because they will want to keep you as their client. Hiring the right Marketing Consultant will give you the best of both worlds: expert advice but without the cost of hiring someone full time. They will be able to offer entry-level access and be adaptable as the business grows. The right consultant will be willing to take on shorter-term projects in order to prove their value and build lasting relationships with people and businesses.