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  • Writer's pictureNat Sharp

Why I love being a marketing consultant

Updated: Feb 3


Seven reasons I love my marketing consultant job

For those that know me, I've always been highly passionate and dedicated to marketing, with a career spanning over two decades. I knew from school age that I wanted a career in marketing securing work placements at school and university and writing dissertations on various marketing topics.

I've seen marketing from all sides, in large corporates like British Airways and Vodafone where you're one of a few hundred people in marketing, to start up's and not for profit organisations, where resources are tight, as well as in advertising agencies leading brand and marketing campaigns for dozens of global businesses.

But since setting up Sharp Thinking and being a marketing consultant working with small business owners, my passion for the industry has grown deeper. A typical week is based around meetings with clients (often on Zoom), doing market research, undertaking analysis and writing reports and presentations, as well as running training sessions. The rewards, in my opinion, are greater and the work brings tremendous job satisfaction.

Here are seven reasons why:

1. The blend of creativity and analytics

There are so many preconceptions of marketing and many involve referring to marketing as the colouring in team. For anyone working with a marketing professional, this is absolutely not the case. And as someone that worked in advertising agencies for over ten years surrounded by so much creative talent and is married to a creative professional, you always leave the creative execution to the experts. This doesn't mean that you don't get to be creative though. Every day I need to come up with promotional ideas for clients and new brand positionings and of course, there is so much content creation involved in marketing these days, particularly blog writing. There is a real art and flair though to creative writing so I do use experts when necessary.

Marketing is as much about analytics as it is creativity. I typically spend half of my time analysing data provided by a business and drawing conclusions. This could be financial or sales data, or market research. Anyone that has worked with me will tell you I’ve always had a fondness for graphs, so whatever the project I’ll try to find a way to put data into charts for clients to make it easier to digest and more presentable (and I do love a graph!).

2. Business variety

As a marketing consultant, you get to work with dozens of businesses a year. This means you never become fatigued by doing the same thing. Every day and week is different. Each business is unique but everything you’ve learned is transferrable allowing you to adapt and be versatile from business to business and sector to sector. It means you become efficient and fast at undertaking reviews and creating strategy and plans so clients don't have to wait for months and months for a new marketing plan.

3. Mentoring talented passionate individuals

I love to mentor talented entrepreneurs and see them apply what they've learned. This brings a huge sense of achievement. It is a real honour to work with highly motivated and talented individuals that are keen to learn and are willing to put in the hard work and dedication it requires. This is one of the reasons I’m a business mentor for The Kent Foundation who work with fresh young talent from across Kent. It is so rewarding to meet young new business owners and see their business grow and flourish.

4. You can give your honest opinion

There is no holding back as a marketing consultant. Clients are paying for your professional opinion and this is an important part of undertaking a marketing review. My job is to critique the marketing of a business, and tell the owner of the business what is working and what isn't. This is much harder when you work in a business. A marketing consultant should act as someone impartial and can look at things objectively. There is no induction period - you need to get up to speed quickly, asking as many questions as needed to arrive at conclusions and then make recommendations.

5. Learning new things

I love to learn. In marketing, you can never stand still and become complacent thinking you know it all. Trends change all the time, as does technology. The world of martech has become big big business in the last few years so you have to keep up.

As a marketing consultant, it is absolutely essential you’re aware of the latest developments and industry trends. I read articles every day about marketing as well as wider business issues to be able to advise clients and understand the impact it could have on their marketing, whether this be messaging, targeting or channel selection. Marketing is a strategic business function and it impacts mosts areas of the business so it is paramount a consultant is aware of the wider business landscape and then apply this to a business.

6. Motivated by results

Although marketing can be seen as the more ‘fluffy’ side of the business. The reality is very different. I love the measurability of marketing and am very numbers-driven. I find it extremely motivating to improve the business performance of an organisation, whether that be to improve sales conversion rates or double website traffic. Often businesses contact me, because they have no idea how their marketing is performing as it isn't being measured, so this is a large part of my role.

7. Whilst giving flexibility and freedom

And lastly being a marketing consultant gives you flexibility and freedom, allowing you to decide the type of business you want to work with. I ensure there is a good chemistry and fit with a new client. Sharp Thinking has also allowed me to to work flexibly from home to fit around my family.

So if anyone is wondering what life is like and whether to be a marketing consultant, then I hope this has given you some reasons to explore the profession. Of course, I will always advocate it, and say you won't regret it.

Learn more about what is a marketing consultant and what skills are needed to be a marketing consultant.

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