Why hire a marketing consultant when you can get a permanent employee instead? What can a marketing consultant give you that a typical employee can't?
Lots of companies don't consider the option of using a marketing consultant as an opportunity for their business. They focus instead on building out an existing marketing team and building that knowledge in-house. My opinion is biased, but I think this decision is slightly misplaced when you consider the options available.
Here are the main situations whereby you would hire a marketing consultant for your business:
In-house marketers don't know how to do everything as much as you may want them to. You hire a marketing professional for a particular marketing problem, then as the business changes, the skills required of them also change. People you hire today, aren't always suitable for tomorrow.
Hiring people is one of the biggest challenges you will face with your business. It takes time and effort to hire good people; it is even harder to find great people. If you have targets to hit and have little time, then a marketing consultant can act as a sensible stop-gap until you hire the people you need.
You only hire a marketing consultant to help with a particular task you need solving; letting you overcome a skills gap you may have at that moment. A marketing consultant can also help you to grow the knowledge within your existing team or to understand what skillset you need from your next hire. This approach means you are not slowed down because of the hiring process; you can move faster and be more flexible.
Maternity or sickness cover
It can be hard to keep the momentum going when a prominent member of staff is going out of the business for a given period.
For instance, if a member of staff has taken emergency leave, hiring a marketing consultant might be a good short-term solution to help until they come back. A marketing consultant can also be a good option for a maternity cover, especially if you are expecting the leave period to be a year. Having a consultant will help to keep disruption to a minimum until things are back in place.
Typically, decision-makers will consider the cost and value in this situation as well as their business goals and work out what is going to work the best for them.
If you are launching a new website or developing a digital marketing strategy, it might be that you don't quite have the skills or time in-house to put this in place.
A marketing consultant can come in for an agreed period to get the job done. As they are a specialist in their area, you get the best expertise, and you know they are fully accountable for the work they produce.
A marketing consultant brings all of the knowledge of the similar projects they have worked on over the years, meaning you also get relevant insights you wouldn't normally be able to get from your own business.
You hire marketing consultants when you need them; at times most suited to yourself. This situation provides you with a lot of flexibility. You can place demands on a marketing consultant which you wouldn't be able to put on regular staff; such as working weekends.
A marketing consultant's plans are dictated by their current work, meaning they are always flexible with your plans. You can increase their workload as you see fit, not the other way round. If you are unhappy, you can find another consultant very quickly.
The Benefits a Marketing Consultant Can Bring to Your Business
Despite having your out team of in-house marketers, there are still benefits to be gained from hiring a marketing consultant. You can always benefit from a digital marketing consultant and here’s why:
Stay On Top Of The Latest Marketing Trends
A good digital marketing consultant stays in business by keeping up with the latest relevant strategies. They strive to learn something new every day to gain an advantage over their competition. Hiring a marketing consultant would mean that you too will gain access to their network of information, clients, professionals, and strategies. Having a great marketing consultant onboard means that your company will stay updated with the latest trends in today’s ever-changing marketing world.
To set themselves apart from their competition, marketing consultants often attend webinars, expos, conferences, and networking events to broaden both their knowledge and circles. These events and seminars are shouldered by the consultant, not by your company; which would be the case if he or she were a permanent employee.
Benefit From Their Specialised Skills
One of the main reasons behind hiring a marketing consultant is for their particular set of competencies. If a company’s current staff can't-do specific tasks or not available due to their existing workload, a marketing consultant is a way to go.
There will be times when a business has a particular project with a rather short lifespan. This project will require the management to train permanent staff for a short-term task which is rather impractical. Marketing consultants are a convenient hire in such a situation. They will don't need any training for the tasks to be fulfilled and can resign from the project once completed.
Business startups can also benefit from having a marketing consultant who can guide them and provide high-level strategic support. Marketing consultants can help startups launch a new product or company strategy, rebrand an organisation, and even identify areas for improvement.
Here’s where decision models differ since some businesses prefer a value-based model over a spend-based one. Considering that experienced marketing professionals can cost up to £50-£150 per hour, it may seem like a significant cost compared to the salary of a full-time employee. However, if we look at an employee’s benefits, office space, office equipment, vacation leaves, sick leaves, training, and payroll taxes, we’ll be looking at an even larger figure. According to Linkedin, employees cost 25%-30% on top of their base salary per year.
They Can Bring a Unique Perspective
A marketing consultant hired on a project basis has only one goal in mind, for the project to succeed. This alone is already a great reason to hire a marketing consultant. However, a marketing consultant is also somewhat immune to the political interests of a company, allowing them to have a more objective-based perspective.
Companies will benefit from the objective viewpoint offered by marketing consultants as well as their unique contributions to the project. They are likely to realise the gaps in your strategy that you might have missed. You can accept or reject the fresh ideas and concepts that these professionals provide without worrying about damaging a relationship.
They Can Connect You to More Professionals
Marketing Consultants are the nomads of the marketing world. They travel from company to company, offering their specialised skillsets while picking up new ones to add to their arsenal. These company hopping professionals are sponges that absorb information as they work for one business to another. This very nature allows marketing consultants to have a wider view of new ideas, strategies, and trends that can help your company.
Moreover, marketing consultants also have a full contact list. Through their years of being outsourced by different companies, they have added many talented professionals in their social circles. You can count on them to know someone in design, technical writing, PR, sales, and more.
Is a Marketing Consultant a Good Option for my Business?
Every situation is different, but you should consider a marketing consultant as a potential option, regardless of your plans. Even if you just arrange to meet a marketing consultant, you might be able to get enough insight from just that particular meeting to steer your decision making.
If you are interested in hiring me as your marketing consultant, then please feel free to get in touch for a free audit. I promise you won't be disappointed.
About Murray Dare
A digital marketing consultant and entrepreneur,
Murray runs his marketing agency Murraydare.co.uk and several online startups.
Murray has helped startups and businesses achieve online success through a considered approach to marketing.