Hiring a marketing consultant can not only be beneficial to your business, but can define it. But what are the signs you need a marketing consultant or marketing consultancy?
Below, we have listed some of the most common circumstances that businesses find themselves in when they consider marketing consultancy support.
We believe the following to be clear signs that your business needs a marketing consultant or marketing consultancy.
The signs you need a marketing consultant or marketing consultancy likely fall into one of these three categories: planning, substance, and capacity.
Let’s take a look at each of these signs in greater detail.
One of the first signs you might need a marketing consultant or consultancy is being unsure of your direction. Most business leaders we speak with tell us that they need help with their marketing, as standard. Upon closer inspection, we discover that what they often mean is that they’ve tried numerous marketing strategies in the past, spent a great deal of money, and find themselves no closer to the answer or results they’re looking for.
In our experience, no one contacts a marketing consultant when things are going well for them. They contact us when they’re looking for a clear sense of direction. Or when they’ve grown tired of marketing fads that leave them feeling stranded in a money pit. This is a key sign you need a marketing consultant.
Online marketing advice that claims to guarantee quick-and-easy marketing success is very much like a get-rich-quick scheme. It is geared towards making you feel that there is a simple secret to marketing that is right under your nose; a hidden solution to your problems just waiting to be discovered, whether that’s by stuffing keywords into your content or committing your efforts to email marketing.
These “solutions” aren’t solutions at all, because they neglect an important truth about the nature of great marketing—it must be tailored to your unique business and your unique audience.
Whether you are trying to increase leads, sales, or both, your marketing strategy must be exactly that; your marketing strategy.
A marketing consultant or marketing consultancy gets under the skin of your business and devises a marketing strategy that is built for you and you alone.
If marketing hasn’t played a role in your business’ success, then your business’ long-term growth trajectory and potential is likely limited.
We have found that when a business has seen much of their success come from a single marketing route (i.e., an online or physical marketplace), they reach a sales “ceiling”. This ceiling might either be caused by capacity issues, limitations on the marketplace itself, or the competition.
If this is your experience and you are trying to transition your business from a one-trick pony to one that is relationship and brand-oriented, a marketing consultant can help you achieve this. They will support and advise you in devising a plan that is scalable, focused, and doesn’t put all your eggs in one basket.
This type of plan is sure to take into account your long-term growth trajectory. Therefore, it will help you achieve more in the future without compromising the successes of your present and past.
Marketing consultants and marketing consultancies can also benefit you by helping revive your trust in marketing. They are more transparent about their processes and data than marketing agencies. As a result, this can help you to understand why they make certain recommendations and what to realistically expect in terms of results.
Many of the business owners we speak to are actually doing a lot of marketing for their business. However, they lack insight into the following:
This is where a marketing strategy comes into play.
A marketing strategy enables businesses to really consider what they are trying to achieve. It provides a roadmap of how best to orient their marketing efforts to achieve their goals.
Most importantly, a marketing strategy limits your marketing activities to key areas that maximise the likelihood of success—honing in on the areas that will reap the most rewards for you and your business.
A focused marketing strategy increases return on investment significantly. It strips back the activities that are failing and reroutes your resources into the ones that are showing great potential.
A marketing consultancy or consultant can help you devise a marketing strategy rooted in data and a deep understanding of your business.
There are key differences between a marketing strategy and a marketing plan. A marketing strategy identifies what you need to do to achieve certain objectives, at a high level. A marketing plan, on the other hand, defines how to execute that strategy.
Marketing plans focus on specific areas, which is where a marketing specialist can provide assistance. For example, if you decide to focus your marketing efforts on social media, enlisting a marketing consultant who specialises in social media is likely to be advantageous.
At Murray Dare, for instance, we specialist in content marketing, email, and outreach. We are not experts in TikTok, nor do we ever plan to be.
A great marketing plan allows you to test out ideas and scale accordingly. It provides insights into which areas of your strategy are working and which need improvement.
If you find that your marketing plan is falling short of your expectations, don’t be discouraged. This is often par for the course, because great marketing is iterative by nature. The best marketing will use the latest data to improve your strategy and its execution.
If results are less impressive than you’d hoped, a marketing consultancy or consultant will conduct further analysis and help you make improvements.
If you’re a new business with a new product or service to bring to market, but are concerned about its viability, a marketing consultant can help you assess what your options are and how best to break through into your market.
Naturally, every new business faces a significant degree of risk. If your product or service misses the mark, your business could fail before it even has a chance to succeed.
A marketing consultant will help you mitigate this risk and determine whether your product or service stands a chance in the marketplace. They will also devise a tailored marketing strategy for your new product or service, setting it up for success.
Businesses often create marketing campaigns geared towards satisfying SEO algorithms, rather than the business’ actual audience. This type of content fails to connect with real people.
Put simply, if you don’t prove that you care about your audience, why should they care about you?
Great marketing creates and deepens connections, which requires you to truly understand who you’re speaking to.
Marketing consultants can help you create content that resonates with your audience, and will lead you away from simply mimicking what your competitors are doing. To stand out, your campaign and your content has to be unique; it can’t simply be more of the same.
In a market where trustworthiness is becoming increasingly elusive, learning how to connect with your audience is more important than ever.
Not everything about running a business is enjoyable. However, there is something to be said for the effect passion has on output and quality.
For SMEs, the passion for their service or product is a source of pride and the driving force behind the company. But passion also brings a level of credibility to your business that you wouldn’t otherwise have if you were indifferent to your service or product.
To that end, most businesses are very vocal about their enthusiasm for their product or service, because they understand that most consumers associate enthusiasm with quality, dedication, and diligence. After all, when you care about something, you aren’t likely to let it fall apart.
Yet, this passion often falls short when it comes to marketing.
It is hard to translate your passion into a concise and consistent marketing strategy. Especially when there are so many factors and considerations to getting it right.
If you are not a marketer, but need someone to pull out your passion and communicate it to your audience, then a marketing consultant or consultancy can help you achieve just that.
You aren’t getting any new leads or sales, or you aren’t managing to close on the leads you do get. Your pipeline is dwindling. Perhaps business feels like it has stalled entirely.
An effective marketing consultant or marketing consultancy will identify the root cause of the problem—then, they’ll devise a tailored marketing strategy to address it.
When you work with a marketing consultant, you are working with someone who makes understanding your business, and its obstacles to success, a priority. This allows them to implement solutions that are designed to work for not just any business, but your business.
Keep in mind, however, that a marketing consultant or marketing consultancy won’t coddle you as many marketing agencies will. If they find that the reason your marketing initiatives aren’t working is because your product or service is fundamentally flawed, they will be honest about this.
A great marketing consultant will have no interest in pocketing a quick buck by devising strategies bound for failure. If they think there is something wrong with the core of your business, they will tell you.
For many business owners, objectivity can be a challenge. They may simply be too close, too involved, and too biased in their opinions. It is all too easy, as a business leader, to get caught up in marketing trends, or to feel sure of a particular route that may not reap results.
Many businesses struggle to see their own weaknesses. And when you’ve invested so much time, money, and resources into a specific approach, abandoning it may not be a consideration—even if it should be.
Marketing consultants and marketing consultancies can provide an objective, outsider perspective. As an external professional, marketing consultants are unbiased and are often able to see a business’ weaknesses more clearly than business owners themselves.
This allows them to provide honest, unfiltered advice
Another of the key signs you need a marketing consultant is capacity. That is, you aren’t ready to commit to a full-time, in-house marketing professional.
Many businesses aren’t quite ready to pull the trigger on hiring a full-time, in-house marketing professional.
Committing to paying a full-time salary for the foreseeable future might feel like too great a risk. Particularly if you aren’t certain what to look for in a marketing professional.
Hiring a marketing consultant on retainer for short periods of time, hourly, or on a per project basis is a great way to test the waters before you choose to hire someone in-house. An experienced consultant will help you devise a solid and targeted marketing plan; an in-house marketing professional can later implement this plan if this is the route you choose to take.
Before choosing a marketing consultant, you should consider what specialist skills you require and how best to hire according to the direction you’re intending to scale into.
Let’s say that your business already has an in-house marketing function, but that there’s a specialist area of marketing your team doesn’t have experience in. This might be conversion optimisation, digital marketing, website analysis, or SEO, for example.
Perhaps you’ve identified an area of weakness in your team that needs improving upon, but you don’t have the time or resources to do so internally. In these cases, it may be time to hire a marketing specialist.
A specialist marketing consultant might specialise in an area of marketing, like marketing strategy or website design. Alternatively, they might specialise in a particular industry—such as healthcare marketing or food marketing.
Hiring a marketing consultant that specialises in your business’ area of weakness allows you to supplement your team. It negates the cost, the hassle and the need to hire an additional employee.
As this chapter has explained, there are numerous signs or reasons why your business might be in need of a marketing consultant’s support. Ultimately, whether or not a marketing consultant is right for you will depend on a few things:
Still not sure?
The next chapter will outline some of the key benefits of hiring a marketing consultant.