How to Hire a Marketing Consultant

Whether you are running a small business, a startup or you are managing the marketing division at a larger company, you may find yourself needing the services of a marketing consultant. And in some cases, you may be lucky enough to already have some recommendations from colleagues or business advisers you trust. But if you do not know a consultant in your area off-hand, you will need to spend some time finding the right person. Here are the four steps involved in hiring a marketing consultant.

Understand Your Needs

The first thing you have to do is understand why you need to hire a consultant. Unless you want them to go through every aspect of your marketing campaign, you should have some specifics in mind. Perhaps you need them to figure out why you are converting enough visitors to your website or social media pages. Or maybe you need their help in identifying the marketing channels that will provide you with the best return on investment. In either case, if you have a goal in mind, it can be easier to get the appropriate services from a marketing consultant.

Set Aside a Budget

Figure out how much you are willing to spend on a consultant’s services before you hire them. When you have a ballpark budget in mind, and you hear of a consultant’s rates, it will help you figure out how much work you want them to do for you. If you go in without a budget in mind, you could end up overspending by a lot, especially if the consultant does some comprehensive marketing work for your company. And when you are running a small business or a startup, every dollar needs to get spent in the most productive way possible.

Identify Possible Consultants

Take a look at some of the consultants in your area. Assess their websites, identify the services they offer, look at customer reviews of people who have used their services, and try to see if they have a list of the companies or individuals who have hired them in the past. If you are lucky, you may be able to talk with some business contacts about specific consultants to get a sense for whether or not they are the right fit for your company. If someone has a positive or negative experience to report, it will help in your final decision.

Interview Consultants and Make a Final Decision

When you have narrowed your search down to two or three consultants, or consulting companies, you are ready to conduct an initial interview or consultation. During the interview, make sure to speak in detail about what you want from them. Identify the areas of your marketing campaign that need work, show them some data and see what they have to say. In most cases, the conversation you have when you first meet a consultant will tell you whether they are the right fit for a project. And then you can make a final decision about who to hire, based on the consultation and their rates.

Why Hire a Marketing Consultant?

It is never easy being told that what you are doing is incorrect, especially in a business setting. However, the marketing for a company or a particular product is far too important to let egos get in the way. Sometimes companies need to hire outside marketing consultants, in order to help them figure out where they have gone wrong with their marketing strategy. With that in mind, we are going to take a look at four reasons why it makes a lot of sense to hire a marketing consultant to assist your business.

Strategy –

When a company first opens its doors, there is a tendency for their marketing campaign to lack strategy and a real direction. Instead, they employ a “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks” strategy. And such strategies cost too much money and do not produce enough results. It is important to hire a consultant, who can help you develop a strategy to narrow the focus of all your marketing efforts. They can also help point you in the direction of the marketing channels that will give you the most success. In terms of the services they provide, hiring a consultant is a net benefit for all businesses, not a cost.

Less Objectives –

Even if a coherent strategy is in place, there may be so many mini-objectives laid out by a marketing team that they can get overwhelmed with everything that needs to get accomplished. A consultant can help you figure out what objectives are more important than others, and which ones are going to give you the most success moving forward. The priority objectives you have at a particular time should be as small as possible, to ensure proper focus is given to each of these objectives. Having a haphazard marketing process is never a good idea.

Conversion Issues –

When we are dealing with online marketing, far too many businesses will put their focus on getting as much traffic as possible. Now traffic to a website, social media page or online video is very important, but it is not the most crucial metric. The most important metric is conversion. And a highly qualified consultant can help you figure that out. They will point out why you are not converting as many customers as you should, and they will ensure your conversion rate gets to a point where you are using your resources in the most effective way possible.

Focus Resources –

Not every business has an unlimited amount of money to market their goods or services. When a business is starting up, or when they are facing years of minimal profits, they will need to market on as tight a budget as possible. And it is easy to think of hiring a consultant as another expense. But a consultant can help you focus the resources you have in the right direction. They can point out the marketing channels with the best cost-effectiveness and return on investment, which can make a huge difference to a smaller company.