IN THE MARKET FOR MARKETING CONSULTING SERVICES?
There is no shortage of reasons why you may be looking into hiring a marketing consultant. Whether your organization is experiencing a hiring freeze, a specialized skills gap in your department or organization, a sudden departure of a top performer, or maybe your company just needs a fresh perspective on your marketing efforts from an expert – working with a marketing consultant can help ensure your business goals remain on track.
Depending on your needs, marketing consulting services can connect you with a generalist who can help you with big-picture marketing strategy or a consultant who can hone in on more specialized areas of focus, such as content strategy, executive communications, paid advertising, email marketing, social media, or branding.
If you’re considering bringing on a marketing consultant, here are six tips to consider:
DETERMINE WHAT YOU NEED FROM A MARKETING CONSULTANT
Marketing consulting services can offer help in an array of focus areas. Saying you need a marketing consultant is similar to saying you need to go to the doctor. Do you need a general check-up and some actionable advice? Or do you need a highly specific marketing issue addressed? In this case, think of what marketing pain points you need assistance with. Is it your overall marketing strategy or a highly focused need around your content marketing plan, for example. Once you know what you need, consider your desired timeframe and end goal.
Establishing clear parameters can help in your search for a marketing consultant as well as when finalizing the project.
WHAT DO YOU EXPECT OF YOUR MARKETING CONSULTANT
Expanding upon the points above, it’s important to outline the expectations you have in mind for the marketing consultant to ensure they can deliver what you need. Is there a key performance indicator you will be relying on them to help you meet? For example, if they’re coming in to develop your social media strategy, are you looking at streamlining your brand messaging across multiple platforms? Or are you trying to target a new audience on a specific platform to help expand your overall reach?
You will likely want to talk through these expectations and goals with marketing consultant candidates to make sure that you are aligned in your goals and on the same page before moving forward.
LOOK FOR EXPERIENCE BACKED WITH A STRONG REPUTATION
Once you start your search, you might find that you are feeling overwhelmed with potential options. But experience and reputation in the industry should take precedence when narrowing down your pool of candidates. Your marketing consultant should understand your specific niche within the industry and ideally have experience implementing successful marketing strategies for brands like yours.
Once you’ve identified your top marketing consultant picks, it’s time to start reaching out so you can learn more about their full range of service offerings.
In search of marketing consulting services?
ASK FOR CASE STUDIES FROM THE MARKETING CONSULTANT
Beyond providing insights into their process, potential marketing consultant candidates should be able to provide real-world examples of how they were able to successfully implement a strategy that led to meaningful bottom-line results.
If you’re looking for a consultant with expertise in brand management, for example, you should ask them to share past strategies that contributed to building awareness around a specific brand or protecting the overall health of a client’s brand. These case studies should line up with your needs and expectations.
And make sure to ask for multiple references that you can follow up with to learn more about the strengths of a marketing consultant candidate.
REVIEW THE MARKETING CONSULTANT CANDIDATE’S PORTFOLIO
In addition to talking to your candidates and their referrals, closely review their actual work and get a feel for the depth and breadth of their capabilities. Depending on their expertise, not all marketing consultant candidates will have a designated portfolio, but it’s important to ask for examples of their work whether that be writing samples, social-media and/or email marketing campaign launches, or a branding strategy kick-off presentation, just to name a few.
If you see work that impresses you, ask questions about the context behind it and most importantly, how it helped the client move business forward.
PAY ATTENTION TO THE QUESTIONS ASKED OF YOU
While we’ve unpacked a lot of information to help you navigate your search for a marketing consultant, it’s also wise to note what questions each potential consultant asks you.
These questions can provide a lot of insight into the dedication and interest the consultant has in both your business and your organization's objectives. Some things to consider might be, did the marketing consultant candidate ask insightful follow-up questions that indicate they did their research on your company and actively listened to both the needs and primary marketing pain points you addressed?
For a marketing consultant to achieve success, they must dedicate time to learn everything they can about their clients, their short and long-term goals, and their core objectives. The relationship is a two-way investment, your investment in their work and their investment in your success, so it is critical to look for a marketing consultant that can demonstrate a commitment to your specific needs early on.
HOW SIMPLICITY CAN HELP
Simplicity has years of experience matching clients with experts who have a proven track record in the Digital Marketing, Project and Program Management, and Communications spaces.
We have access to a wide pool of strategic consultants who thrive on driving impact through project-based work. These experts are available to tackle your most complex marketing challenges and pressing projects.
When you partner with Simplicity, we will first work with you to identify your organization’s needs and then help you outline the project so that we can determine the skillset and experience you need to meet your goals. From there we will make a shortlist of consultants that will best suit your needs based on your project and budget. Next, you pick your top consultant candidates, and we will set up a working session where you can get a feel for their thought process, strategic approach, and working style. Finally, we work with you to select the right fit for your organization.
We like to say matchmaking is our superpower, but we don’t stop there. Once you select a candidate, our team ensures you get to remain the client; you don’t also have to be a coach. As a leader, your managerial plate is likely full. We manage our consultants to ensure that your business needs are being met. You’ll work with one of our dedicated client success managers to ensure satisfaction from the consulting engagement kickoff through the delivery of the final products.