Choosing the right Marketing Consultant to work with can be a difficult decision, so I have written this blog to help you choose the right Marketing Consultant to work with by understanding more about them and what they can do for your company.
In the past you may have;
- been burnt by someone who promised everything and delivered nothing
- worked with someone who said they were doing one thing and did something else entirely or the complete opposite
- found that the person/company you had been working with has lied to you and not done anything for the budget you have paid them
- taken on someone who just didn’t get what you do and just marketed in the wrong way
Which has left you feeling a little sceptical and un-trusting of the people out there who call themselves “marketers”.
However, you may not have walked this journey yet, but want someone to help you from the start of your journey to ensure you’re off on the right foot.
How will I know if I need a Marketing Consultant?
You need a Marketing Consultant when you want to build your business by;
- improving relationships and loyalty with your current clients
- attracting new customers
- or want to expand into new markets
You may not know which goals should be set within the business and you may need help to set well-defined goals which in turn will require a solid strategy and marketing plan with both short- and long-term goals.
You’ll possibly need help monitoring key metrics to measure your success, as you may be uncertain which key metrics should be measured or are unsure about how your current marketing efforts are working for you.
What is the difference between a Marketing Strategy, Plan and Calendar?
A lot of people get mixed up with all three or do one instead of all of them.
The Strategy (is the what)
is a set of goals you would like to achieve in or with your business
A Plan (is the how)
is the actions you are going to take to achieve the goals you have set
A Calendar (is the when)
is the organisation of your plan and how you are going to execute it
Sometimes what we think we need, isn’t actually what we need.
Which is why you should speak with a Marketing Consultant to get some guidance on your thoughts and ideas.
What does a Marketing Consultant do?
The definition of a Marketing Consultant…
…is someone who assists marketing managers and directors in coming up with focused branding, positioning, and marketing tools for each product or service. Working within the client’s budget to produce effective promotional materials and advertising opportunities. Tracks sales and feedback and adjusts marketing strategies as necessary. (From Wikipedia)
A Marketing Consultants’ role is to come into your business, learn about you and your company quickly, along with what you would like to achieve with it and put a strategy, plan and/or calendar into place and help you implement it (if you require them to do so).
Some Marketing Consultants…
- will get hands-on within your business, depending on their skill set and how involved you would like them to be
- won’t do the work for you, but will find the right people and bring them together to enable the implementation to happen
The role of a Marketing Consultant is to:
- create a strategy, plan and calendar for you or your team to work from based on what the business goals are
- keep you on track and accountable to help you take action and achieve the results you want
- ensure you are implementing the plan and calendar by hitting the deadlines set
- be there for you when you need their support
- give you plenty of new ideas
- bounce your ideas off them to make sure they are in line with your strategy
- bring their experience to your table
Most marketing consultants will work with you for a set period of time or within a project you have and/or project manage your plan for you or with you (depending on the size of your team)
They should also tailor your strategy and plan just for you and your business.
There is something you really need to know…
…all marketers have not been made equally!
There is no blueprint or shortcut for every business to just put in place.
What do I mean by that?
Here are 3 things to think about, which will help you choose the right marketing consultant.
1. Which skill(s) do you need your Marketing Consultant to have?
Every single marketer has different skills, qualifications and experience within the field of marketing, which means their understanding of marketing isn’t the same. Also, the type of marketing they do and HOW they do it will be different.
Let me put this another way. Have you ever said something to someone, and they have replied in a way you didn’t expect or didn’t reply at all? This could be because their understanding of what you said was different to what you meant and or their understanding of it. Otherwise known as “Semantics“.
It happens to the best of us! Communication breaks down, which is where expectations and understanding goes out the window.
For example; a consultant who has spent a lot of time within the traditional side of marketing may not have as much experience within the digital arena. If they do have digital abilities, what kind do they have? Web, S.E.O., or Social?
If Web, where they an account manager (client facing), a designer (design and user focused) or developer (coding)? All of which have a very different skill set, each with their own merits.
Let’s go further into it…
There are Marketers who are;
- self-taught and started up their own business to help others based on work they have done for someone else
- tag it onto their current offering
- have all the qualifications but no hands-on experience or results to show for it
- haven’t got qualifications but started when the Internet was in its infancy and climbed there way up the ladder
- a mixture of all of the above
All of which could be really good and really bad at what they do.
Do you see where I’m going with this?
Please bear in mind, I’ve not written blog to poo poo how people have learnt or deliver marketing. I’ve written this so you can see we are not all bad people and that we are ALL different.
Stick with me, all will become apparent!
2. What kind of marketing help do you need?
Before thinking about working with a Marketing Consultant, you need to think about the type of work, help or support you are looking for, so you can identify the right person or company for the job.
Here is a list of a few marketing methods. Which do you need help with? (If it isn’t mentioned, jot it down on your note pad to save for later)
- Is it a strategy, plan and calendar that you need? Do you need to start from scratch or review what you have and go from there?
- Someone to do your social media for you (hands on) or show you how to do it better (deliver in-house social media training)?
- Do you need someone to keep you accountable and ensure you get everything done inline with your strategy and business goals?
- To work with your and “hold your hand” so to speak?
- Implementation? Want someone to implement everything for you? – some Marketing Consultants can do this, but probably via third parties and introductions (depending on their skill set) These type of Marketing Consultants know exactly where their skills and weaknesses lie and bring in the experts instead of trying to do everything themselves.
- A website review, rebuild or S.E.O (Search Engine Optimisation)?
- Look at your Ads on Facebook or Google
Obviously, depending on what kind of help you want depends on who you take on to work with.
It could be all of the above and more but the point of this is you for you realise WHAT kind of help you need before looking for a consultant to work with. When you know what you need, its easier for them to help you.
The marketing consultants who stand out will be the ones who have the particular skill set and experience you need!
What are you expecting from working with this Marketing Consultant?
The final thing to think about is your expectations. What do you expect from the marketing consultant, the marketing itself (when implemented), yourself with regards to how much you are going to commit?
You need to set those before your initial chat or meeting to ensure you know what you want from the new relationship you are about to make and that you are with the right person.
If you expect nothing from somebody you are never disappointed. ― Sylvia Plath
This is generally where the problems have occurred in the past. Expectations that were set (or assumed) and were not met. So, to help you choose the right person, set your expectations but bear in mind they may not be realistic and please don’t take that the wrong way.
Most things can be done, but they could take more time and potentially more budget, depending on which activity(s) we are talking about.
The biggest thing to you need to make sure is that you don’t assume certain things come as standard.
When setting expectations for yourself and others follow these steps;
- Make them clear for yourself. Know exactly what you want from the relationship you’re about to go into.
- Understand why you need these things. Why are they important to you? Is it a deal breaker if they cannot do X,Y or Z?
- Meet and discuss them with your team and the marketing consultant you are meeting
- Write them down and take them with you to your meeting
- Seek clarification to ensure they are accepted or not
- Get agreement and commitment from the people you are about to work with
The marketing consultant you choose should also do the same for you and should go through your expectations with you to make sure you’re all singing from the same sheet.
If your reason is because of working with someone in the past that didn’t work out, the reason why it hasn’t worked out is because your promises were not met.
Set them from the beginning so you have a base to work from.
Now you know when you need a Marketing Consultant, what they can do for you and your company and the difference between a strategy, a plan and a calendar answer these 3 questions to help you choose the perfect Marketing Consultant for you. It’s not an easy task but something you should do the research on, so you are in the right hands.
Here are the 3 steps again:
- What kind of marketing help? – Understand the type of help you require. List it out so you have a clear idea.
- Which skills do you need? – Ask the person or company involved the skill set(s) they have to ensure they fit in with the needs of your business
- What are you expecting? – Set your own expectations so you are clear on what you want from the people you will be working with
Clarity is something we search for daily. When you have it, its easier to move forward.
I hope this blog has helped you gain more clarity on choosing the marketing consultant for you.
How can Koogar help you and your company?
Most of the time we sit with potential clients who are looking for Social Media help or a Marketing Plan as they believe they are not utilising it as best they could. This could be for a number of reasons; for example; they haven’t got the time, are unsure of what to say or how to find the clients they are after.
They are also after brand awareness because no one in the local or surrounding areas know that they exist or they want more business.
Our clients want to be seen and found when they are needed by their perfect client.
ALL businesses are different and as I’ve mentioned before, there isn’t a blueprint out there that will help you get what you want however there are process and exercises that every business needs to go through to get the results they are after.
The way in which you complete those process and exercises are different for the type of business you have and the results you want.
Marketing doesn’t get you business, marketing gets you awareness.
It’s what you do with that awareness that then gets you the business!
Find out more about Koogar here.
We are more than happy to have a chat to see how we can help you.
This session is for Business Owners and Marketing Managers who want MORE from their marketing; digital and traditional with no strings attached.
The consultation will help us to find out about your business, your aims and people you want to target. We will then use this information to help you move forward with your current marketing strategy.