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  • Writer's pictureNat Sharp

What is a marketing consultant?

Updated: Oct 16, 2021

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What is the job role of a freelance marketing consultant?

A marketing consultant is a freelance or outsourced resource you can use for your business as and when you require. Most marketing consultants work remotely, but they can be based on site if required. They can work on a temporary, project or ongoing basis dependent upon the requirements.

What is a typical job description?

There is no set job description.

A marketing consultant may have a particular specialism. For example, in digital marketing or work exclusively across one sector. Be sure to ask them before engaging their services.

A marketing consultant is usually employed for creating marketing strategy for a business. They may be required to identify a target market, develop a message that resonates and recommend the right channels to use. This being said, sometimes a business may need help executing the work, so the marketing consultant may need to be a doer as well. This is an important consideration when hiring a consultant – do you need them to be a thinker or doer or both? It may be cheaper to recruit someone more junior on an interim basis for any implementation.

A consultant can also be used to set up a marketing function within a business. This may include recruiting staff, identifying the marketing systems and processes required, well as developing any collateral requirements.

What is the difference between a marketing manager and a marketing consultant?

A marketing manager is a permanent resource that is employed by a business. A marketing consultant is freelance or external trained professional that is used to review, develop and implement marketing strategy.

How much does it cost?

Rates vary dependent upon their expertise, where they are based and the sector they operate in, but may range from £300 to £2,000 a day.

As a rule of thumb, consultant rates will be up to triple the actual wage of the position being covered.

The benefits of a consultant

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1. Free up your time

Running a business is time consuming enough, without the extra burden of marketing as well. A marketing consultant will free up your time, allowing you to focus on the areas that you are good at and enjoy.

2. Flexibility

A core advantage of using a freelancer, is the flexibility. You can switch on and off the resource when required. Although you'll pay a higher rate for their service, you’ll only pay for the services you use and of course won’t have staff overheads to worry about.

3. Quality

A high level of quality and professionalism should be brought to the table. Plus, you should have peace of mind that the job is being done to the highest standard.

4. Impartiality

A consultant shouldn’t have any preconceived ideas or be tied to any particular product, audience, or media. Sometimes it is easier for an outside person to ask questions that staff may be reluctant to ask. They could also obtain feedback from core stakeholders and even customers.

5. Accountability

Sometimes you need someone to hold you accountable – to pin you down on the numbers, processes and deadlines. There is no point engaging a consultant if you’re not able to offer this support back. They are likely to ask tough questions and will need your support and insight to glean this valuable data.

6. A mentor for your staff

You may have hired someone that needs some hand holding and guidance. A marketing consultant can ensure they have someone impartial to speak to, ensure they’re on the right track and give feedback and direction to allow them grow and flourish.

7. Access to specialists

A consultant should be well connected and have a myriad of the best people to use in the business. This could fast track much of the tendering and procurement process for you whether it be for search engine marketing or social media.

But wont it take a long time for them to get up to speed?

A good marketing consultant should be able to learn about your business quickly. They should be used to working with different businesses, so they know the right questions to ask to get under the skin of your business.

What should you look for?

Ideally a marketing consultant should have at least 10 years experience across a mix of businesses. This will ensure they can add value to your business as they’ve worked across a range of organisations and have learnings they can leverage. They should have a multitude of experience from marketing strategy and business planning, to Search Engine Optimisation to social media.

A good tip is to look at their Linked In profile and check out their career history to see if their previous roles and responsibilities match your requirements. Get a sense of their personal brand and what they are about. Plus, check out their reviews and ensure a mix of people over the years have given positive feedback.

If you think you want to work with a marketing consultant on a project or ongoing basis, then please do get in touch. I offer a 30 minute free consultation to all businesses. Need an idea of costs? Then please look at my pricing structure.

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