Marketing consulting refers to the branch of marketing that advises companies, designs marketing plans (including social media strategies), and builds up the companies’ brand image. Marketing consultants are becoming increasingly necessary for companies to hire as there are too many marketing channels to use and operate.
Marketing consultants can work in marketing agencies/consultancies or separately as independent consultants. With consultants at different professional levels, they allow for a great variety in prices, quality of services, and types of services offered by marketing consultants. That’s helpful since every company has different needs.
The primary factor is how to use their resources and marketing platforms to increase and maximize their customer reach and sales. Marketing consultants can also evaluate and analyze current ongoing marketing efforts and plans and give suggestions for improvement.
Generally, marketing consultants are considered highly professional, experienced advisors and strategists who can assist the marketing department in achieving the business goals that the company wants to achieve. Business goals can differ, but each consultant extensively analyses the data framework, integrates branding strategies, and brand image in the marketing plan. A marketing consultant makes a framework for marketing plans and strategies, optimizes the workforce channel.
Marketing consultants can prove to be extremely useful and is something an established company can utilize.
An explanation of the different types of marketing consultancy
Even though marketing consultancy is a term that has gained attraction in the past few years and has almost become a requirement due to the quickly changing marketing world, historically, marketing consultancy was managed by management consulting firms. It was a branch of IT consulting, and when the Internet Age began, it merged with sales to be named “marketing and sales consultation.” Today, it is considered extensive enough to have become its field.
Marketing has expanded to such an extent that distinct types of marketing consultations are also available. For example, social media or digital marketing consultancies primarily deals with a brand’s image and reach through different platforms on social media such as Facebook and Instagram. Email marketing consultancies create and circulate informational emails regarding a brand and its products.
Digital marketing has become an essential marketing function. Social media sites move away from the communication platforms they initially were to a more business-oriented approach. With paid advertisements and shop options available that allow audiences worldwide to view your products, advertising has never been easier.
However, like all markets, this form of marketing has quickly become more saturated and requires experts in digital marketing to gain the optimum results. This growth has resulted in digital marketing sub-branches consisting of experts in PPC, SEO, content, and more. Similarly, many other types of marketing exist, and consultants can provide greater insight into which will give benefits to increase brand awareness and reach for your type of business.
What are the benefits of hiring a marketing consultancy firm or individual?
Different types of companies have different needs when it comes to marketing. Some fare better when they increase their social media presence and increase a broad customer reach. At the same time, others prefer to target a specified market and remain exclusive. Thus, there are different demands for each brand and a need to maintain a consistent brand image.
This is where marketing consultancies, both agencies, and individuals, come into play.
These provide a much-needed third eye perspective to problems and blockages that companies face regarding their marketing, pitch solution-oriented ideas, and implement those that are approved. This method proves to be successful due to how consultancies experts are trained in precisely the form of marketing they implement.
Businesses can be of different sizes too, and, with their size, their needs also vary. Small businesses and startups, for example, generally cannot afford to hire large consultancies and thus work more frequently with individual experts, freelancers, or fresh graduates. They require the marketing consultant to develop or set up their marketing strategy, which focuses on establishing the brand in its target market, creates brand awareness, sets up and implements a marketing channel, other product development-related material, and more.
Larger businesses and brands have different needs since they already have specific marketing teams available in-house. What they look to gain while hiring marketing consultants is finding an expert who can give a third-person perspective, find loopholes or gaps in the marketing. This individual could also improve the existing marketing plan, work on the marketing vision, make new plans or strategies that improve the ROI and general marketing performance.
These consultants can also advise to restructure the marketing plan and department if necessary, bring in new perspectives and new forms of technology that will aid the marketing team to meet their goal.
We can see that every type of company can gain benefits while hiring a marketing consultant.
Which skills should be present in a marketing consultant?
Each role comes with specific responsibilities and certain skills needed to perform effectively. Marketing consultancy is no different since there is a need for a basic knowledge of many fields and expert-level knowledge of soft and technical marketing skills. When looking to hire a marketing consultant, businesses generally look at whether the consultant has the following skills in their repertoire:
- An understanding of the market
- An understanding of the client’s marketing goals
- An ability to strategize and develop marketing plans to meet these goals
- Mastering all essential marketing channels (SEO, Email Marketing, Video Marketing, PPC, etc.)
- An understanding of the newest technologies and an ability to implement them in the most effective ways
- Managing the brand or business expectations and performance (including KPIs)
Additionally, asides from these necessary skills, there are key responsibilities that come within the role of a marketing consultant. According to Harvard Business Review, consultancy is more than giving advice. Consultancy can also consist of a broad range of other activities.
For example, it is conducting extensive research, gathering insights into the market and the consumer, and solving internal and external marketing problems. A consultant can also aid in executing marketing plans, tracking the marketing, analyzing its results to train the present in-house team, and further optimizing marketing.
In conclusion, there are many benefits of hiring a marketing consultancy firm or individual. Although the initial cost may seem daunting, marketing experts soon generate a long-term profit more significant than the initial payout required to hire them. No matter the size of a business or brand, or whether there is an in-house marketing team present, a marketing consultant can significantly improve and optimize what is already present to enable a better outcome.