A marketing consultant is a marketing professional with expertise in strategies to engage customers and improve business opportunities, both through retaining existing clients and attracting new patrons.
In another way, it can be said that a marketing consultant is a very skilled professional who understands analysis, what motivates consumers and how to put strategies in place to improve business.
A marketing consultant, in contrast, is the person who helps a company decide how to best engage existing clients. Additionally, the marketing consultant will help to determine who else might be enticed to try the product or service and how to expand the client base.
A marketing consultant looks at the existing business model and then, using analytical tools, considers the market potential and develops a strategy to achieve larger goals.
Throughout the process the marketing consultant ensures adherence to the company’s mission and measures success, testing response and tracking results while implementing a comprehensive strategic marketing plan.
Why Need Marketing Consultant
In today’s digital era, the necessity of marketing consultant is endless. Some of the topics are described below. We need a marketing consultant for the following purpose:
- Want to build the business
- Need to set well-defined goals
- Require a solid strategic marketing plan with both short- and long-term goals
- Need help monitoring key metrics to measure success
- Are uncertain what key metrics would be (things such as daily foot traffic, lead to sale conversion ratios, website traffic, social media engagement, incoming calls or leads, profit margins)
- Want to improve relations and loyalty with existing clients
- Desire to expand into new markets and attract new customers
An experienced marketing consultant will be well worth the cost of assessing and improving the business.
Some typical responsibilities contracted to marketing consultants
- Identify new opportunities to engage with existing and new clients
- Evaluate existing marketing materials, social media and advertising, determining how successfully these target customers and generate sales
- Shape company branding, the identity of a company and how well it resonates with the desired demographic (is it professional? unique? recognizable?)
- Manage the brand if something happens to damage a company’s reputation – damage control so to speak
- Maximize lifetime customer value by getting former customers to return more often, perhaps with new product or service opportunities
- Improve client engagement through social media, creating innovative campaigns on various media that are integrated for optimal success and managing interactions with customers
- Coordinate content platforms such as website, blog and landing pages
- Write content mindful of Search Engine Optimization keywords to generate organic search engine rankings
- Manage email and social media marketing campaigns, online advertising, mobile and local marketing
- Track and review analytics and conversions to benchmark success and achieve optimal results
So, the roles of marketing consultants are quite diverse, which is why it helps to know which skills are best suited for the business.
What to Look For In a Marketing Consultant
Marketing consultants should be extremely good with people and able to demonstrate a depth of knowledge about consumer behaviors, communications, and marketing processes.
They are typically expert interviewers who can astutely analyze not only how a company is positioned within its niche but also what will drive consumers to purchase the products or services.
A good marketing consultant will have ideas about how to expand the business while staying on budget and work well with existing management and staff.
The best marketing consultants in the business are highly skilled in communications, psychology, and business.
They are innovators and creative personalities who are not intimidated by new technologies and trying different approaches to achieve the desired goals.
It goes without saying that successful marketing consultants are self-starters who drive the process to achieve measurable results.
By definition the marketing consultant should offer expertise in marketing strategy and process.
It is not unusual for marketing consultants to specialize in certain areas or industries such as travel, real estate, entertainment, etc. Here are some common types of marketing consultants:
- Small business advisor – Working with family or privately owned small businesses like spas or restaurants, these marketing consultants will help plan how to increase sales on limited budgets. They will look for opportunities to work with existing resources to build the business and retain customer loyalty.
- Online marketing consultants – These marketing professionals are focused on using the internet to market a business online. Often they specialize in pay per click (PPC) advertising or search engine optimization (SEO) to drive customers to their client sites. Clients range from small businesses to large corporations.
- Corporate branding consultants – When companies want to define a professional look or brand, and mission, a branding consultant is the person required for the job. This marketing consultant is experienced in ensuring a company has a defined presence in the market that identifies it as unique, from its logo and printed materials to letterhead, website, and signage.
- Social media consultants – This new frontier for marketing consultants helps with setting up and managing social media – everything from Facebook and Twitter to HotSuite and Pinterest. They will assist in the design of pages and registering of domain names for websites to writing blogs, Facebook posts, and Tweets that drive traffic to websites. Again, these consultants are hired by everyone from mothers starting small businesses to Fortune 500 corporations.
- Client acquisition consultants – If businesses rely on new clients to generate revenues, they hire consultants who specialize in drawing new business. Commonly hired by startups, travel agencies, hotels & resorts, lawyers, finance professionals or real estate agencies, these marketing professionals know how to attract fresh leads.
When hiring a marketing consultant, decide what it is needed actually and then find someone who has experience and skills in that area and preferably for the niche industry or service.
Digital marketing is an umbrella term that’s used to describe various forms of marketing that are done online.
This includes, but is not limited to, Web Design and Development, Geofencing, search engine optimization (also known as SEO), and Paid Media such as Google Adwords, Facebook/Instagram advertising, and (YouTube) video advertising.
Digital marketing allows businesses to leverage different online channels to better target their customers and prospective customers.
It brings together all of the latest marketing tools, technology, and trends, and utilizes them to help businesses of all shapes and sizes to effectively reach out to their customers and prospective customers.
Each channel is designed for different audiences and offer various targeting methods.
For example, Facebook advertising provides the ability to target people by demographics, psychographics, and online browsing behaviors.
Google AdWords, on the other hand, can be used to find potential customers that are actively seeking to buy NOW based on their search queries (search and shopping advertising) or to just generate awareness and interest (display and video ads).
The reality is that thanks to new technology, people now spend more time online than ever before.
The average person spends twice as much time online as they did 12 years ago, which means that the way people shop for products and services has changed.
The fact is that offline marketing is nowhere near as effective as it once was, which is why digital marketing has become such a popular option for many brands.
Effective marketing is about connecting with the audience at the right time and place – today that is online.
What is the role of a digital marketing consultant?
The basic definition of a digital marketing consultant is someone who is a highly-skilled professional with specialist training in online marketing, who knows how to target consumers in the right ways to see the results that a business needs.
There’s a common misconception in terms of what a marketing consultant does, a lot of people presume that they deal with every aspect of advertising, but that’s not the case.
What a marketing consultant does is work with businesses, from startups to large corporations, to determine how best to engage existing clients and prospective ones. A marketing consultant uses the company’s existing business model to consider what market potential there is, and then creates a marketing strategy that should work successfully for the brand, allowing them to achieve their goals.
In terms of what exactly a marketing consultant focuses on, that depends on the business and its needs.
Online businesses are mushrooming day by day searching for new customers and clients online, thereby the demand for working with a “digital marketing consultant” is increasing dramatically.
If we are dreaming to become a successful digital marketing consultant, we need to be well-versed and familiar with the following digital marketing trends:
• Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
• Social Media Marketing (SMM)
• Content Marketing Strategy
• Paid Marketing (Google Adwords, FB, Twitter, LinkedIn)
• Branding & Reputation management
• Youtube & Video Marketing
• Influencer marketing
• Local & International Marketing
• Email Marketing
• Digital Display Marketing (Ad Ops)
• Web Analytics and Reporting
• Mobile Marketing (App store optimization)
Well, these are just the raw material of powerful digital marketing trends. But we need to understand the recipe to cook the right plan of action for the digital marketing of any business then only we can become a proficient digital marketing consultant in 2020.
Below are some of the more typical responsibilities that marketing consultants can take on:
- Find new opportunities for the business to engage with existing customers and attract new ones.
- Perform an evaluation of existing marketing, such as social media, SEO, and email marketing, for instance, and use that to create more effective marketing methods.
- Improve company branding so that it resonates better with customers and prospective customers.
- Improve client engagement and communication, a great tool for this is social media campaigns that can involve various social media platforms. (paid and organic)
- Coordinate platforms for content, such as a blog and website landing pages, using SEO to ensure that all content is search engine friendly and ranks the pages and site highly in Google and other search engines.
- Manage marketing campaigns run via email, social media, mobile marketing, and local marketing.
- Use analytics to monitor success and ensure that optimal results are achieved. At the bare minimum, this would include Google Analytics, Google search console, and Heat map user tracking and recording.
The role of a marketing consultant is quite a diverse one, as they offer help in many different areas of marketing and business. They advise plan, and research, to ensure that a business is utilizing online marketing to reach their best customers/leads on the right platforms.
What skills are required to be a good marketing consultant?
Just like in every role, to be successful, there are certain things that a digital marketing consultant must have to succeed. Being a digital marketing consultant means understanding how the internet is a crucial marketing tool and how to use it effectively to market a brand.
It’s about knowing how each social media platform and digital channel connect with each other and how these connections can be used to effectively market a business. With that in mind, the question remains – what specific skills does a successful marketing consultant need?
An important part of being a marketing consultant is being able to analyze data and use analytics to determine how well a company’s marketing is going and to make actionable recommendations. To make this easier, a hybrid of technical and creative problem-solving skills are invaluable.
It’s also vital that digital marketing consultants are goals focused. This means knowing not only how to set achievable goals but also how to successfully measure success when it comes to meeting them. Businesses are always looking for results, which is why being able to set realistic goals is so important.
If a marketing consultant sets unrealistic goals, they won’t be able to meet them, which will leave their clients dissatisfied with the service that they have received. This is why setting S.M.A.R.T. goals is important.
When it comes to understanding strategy and tactics, the first thing that a marketing consultant needs to understand is that the two are not the same.
To be a sought-after marketing consultant, it’s important to be a good listener. This is because to get a proper insight into a business, its’ needs, and any problems that it is having; it’s crucial to be able to listen to what is being said beyond the words.
A good marketing consultant knows that listening and empathizing with the business’s problems is a vital skill.
Even businesses that are direct competitors will have unique differences that are not easy to spot right away. Only by spending the time to thoroughly understand a business can this be discovered.
An important part of the role of a marketing consultant is to collect data, organize that data, pull out insights, and come up with recommendations for the company that balances each area of marketing and prioritizes the most important aspects.
Lastly, to be successful, a marketing consultant needs to have leadership skills and be professional in the way that they work. When a marketing consultant is hired, the company expects them to be confident and professional in how they go about their work. No one wants to work with a marketing consultant that doesn’t approach their work in a professional and confident way, as this suggests that they have a lack of adequate knowledge and experience for the job.
Who needs the help of a digital marketing consultant & why?
There’s no doubt about it, digital marketing consultants can be incredibly useful for certain companies, but the question is how does one know when one needs their help and why?
Let’s start with who needs the help of a marketing consultant. This is something we have already discussed above – the people who require the help of marketing consultants are business owners.
Marketing consultants can help businesses of all shapes and sizes, from small startups to huge corporations; it’s just a case of finding the right strategy and tactics for each individual business’s needs.
Businesses that can benefit from working with a marketing consultant are companies that…
- Want to expand and grow their customer base.
- Need to set strong, well-defined online marketing goals.
- Want a strong marketing plan that focuses on both short-term and long-term goals.
- Need assistance measuring key analytics to improve chances of success.
- Want to improve relationships with customers and prospective customers
- Want to expand into new markets to connect with new customers.
- Want to intimately understand how their competition is marketing themselves online
in relation to their own positioning. (Competitive Intelligence)
For businesses, the help of a digital marketing consultant can allow them to expand their business and move into new markets, improving their success and boosting their revenue.
For businesses that don’t have the skills and knowledge to deal with their own digital marketing needs, working with a digital consultant can help them to ensure that they have a strong strategy in place with goals that are achievable to meet and will aid their progress in terms of meeting their long-term goals.
The internet is a crucial marketing tool in today’s technology-focused world, which is why it’s so important that businesses understand how a marketing consultant can help them to achieve their goals and take their business where they want it to go.
In today’s internet-obsessed world, online marketing has become a crucial tool for businesses, which is why the role of marketing consultants has never been more important. With many business owners not knowing how to effectively deal with their digital marketing needs themselves, marketing consulting is an incredibly important role.
Digital marketing can allow a business to engage more effectively with their customers, as well as reaching out to new prospective customers more easily, making it a popular marketing choice for companies of all shapes and sizes.
Last but not least, a digital marketing consultant spends an immense amount of time developing their craft so one can focus on what they love and are great at doing.
A strategy is the plan of action to reach a certain
goal, while tactics is a specific action that is part of the strategy.
To be a good marketing consultant, understanding this is crucial.
Give a person a coloring book and they can color between the lines (tactics).
But without lines (the strategy), it’s just a big mess.