If you are a business owner who has experienced recent growth in your business and you want to continue to increase your revenue this year, you may be looking into different experts and consultants to help guide you in how to best grow your business. One of those experts you may have heard of is a Marketing Consultant. But you may be wondering…
What is a Marketing Consultant?
A Marketing Consultant is a hired outside consultant who audits a business’s current marketing strategies and provides strategic recommendations based on their analysis of the data on how a business can improve their marketing efforts moving forward. The ultimate goal is to save the business money by eliminating marketing strategies that are not profitable and improve revenue through a new marketing plan that includes campaign ideas, updated software, new marketing platforms, and more.
What qualifications should a Marketing Consultant have?
A Marketing Consultant should have an extensive business and marketing background. Ideally they will also have a degree in marketing and years of experience growing revenue for other companies with proven results.
They should also have extensive knowledge of tech stacks, tools and trends, software, and automation a business can use to help improve their marketing efforts.
General knowledge of various digital marketing strategies, including SEO, paid ads, organic social media, email marketing, affiliate marketing, influencer marketing, lead generation, website design and development, website conversion rate optimization (CRO), increasing average order values (AOV) and customer lifetime value (CLV), email open rates, click-through rates (CTR) and more is expected.
An expert Marketing Consultant should also be up-to-date on the latest marketing trends, education, certifications, conferences, networking events, experts, podcasts, and more.
Whether you are using Shopify or Woo Commerce, if you have an online store and are trying to decide on the best CRM for your business, this article is for you.
What does a business need to establish with a Marketing Consultant before working with them?
Scope of work
When working with a Marketing Consultant, it is very important to establish the scope of their work. Marketing Consultants generally don’t implement the strategies they come up with for a business, so it’s important to understand the deliverables in your contract with them. They also may limit the areas of your business they audit and analyze, so you’ll want a clear outline of what channels of your business they will be evaluating and putting together a plan for.
How success will be measured
You’ll want a clear “source of truth” to measure the results of your Marketing Consultant’s plan for your business. Ask your Marketing Consultant how often results are measured and what is used to measure results. Oftentimes there are various reporting platforms being used and metrics being tracked, so it is important to establish these from the beginning so you know how results and success will be measured. It will also keep you, your consultant, and your marketing team accountable to staying on track with your business goals.
Marketing Consultant Fees
Make sure to establish what your Marketing Consultant’s fees are ahead of time. They can work on either an hourly, monthly, or annual basis.
You may be wondering:
How much do Marketing Consultants make?
Average hourly fees for a Marketing Consultant can range anywhere from $65 – $300 per hour, with the average falling between $100 and $175 per hour (according to Forum Info-Tech). Because of this, it may make a lot more sense to go with a monthly or annual contract.
Average monthly fees can be anywhere from $3,500 – $11,500, with most Marketing Consultants falling in the range of about $7,000 per month (according to Forum Info-Tech).
Annually, it can cost, on average, about $84,000 to work with a Marketing Consultant (according to Forum Info-Tech). And remember, they are not full-time and they are not employees of your business. They are outside consultants hired to improve your marketing strategies.
Most Marketing Consultants will want to establish a contract that spans at least six months to a year since it takes about that amount of time to really evaluate the business, implement a strategy, and measure results. I recommend going with this recommendation as it really does take time to put everything together and get data back from all that has been implemented.
What type of business would be a good fit for a Digital Marketing Consultant?
Because of the relatively large investment required, it is best for established brands making over 7-figures annually in revenue to work with a Marketing Consultant. For smaller brands, their budgets may be better spent in other areas. This is not only because of the larger financial investment, but also because larger brands tend to have access to resources they can easily use to implement the Marketing Consultant’s outlined plan for them. Smaller brands may not have the means to implement the plan effectively which would lead to less than desired results.
Before working with a Marketing Consultant, you need to make sure you are capable and committed to implementing the changes they will suggest. You need to make sure you have a budget set aside to purchase necessary software they recommend, produce creatives they suggest, run the ads and strategies they suggest, plan additional product launches, and similar.
If you don’t have an in-house marketing team, do you have the budget to hire an agency to help you implement the changes your Marketing Consultant is suggesting? I definitely would recommend budgeting for an additional $20,000 or more every month to implement their plan.
For all these reasons, I believe the types of businesses who can get the most value out of working with a Marketing Consultant are 7-figure + brands who have the budget, team, and resources to execute all the recommendations they will be receiving.
What are the responsibilities of a Marketing Consultant?
You may be asking yourself, “What does a Marketing Consultant do?” It’s a fair question.
A Marketing Consultant evaluates your business’s current marketing efforts by diving deep into your data and analytics. This is why they need extensive knowledge and experience working with reporting tools, various platforms, and analytics.
They help review your data and analytics and help develop a marketing strategy moving forward designed to help fix any issues or problems that are showing up in your current marketing strategy.
A digital Marketing Consultant can help grow your business with their wealth of knowledge in the marketing space. They consult on the marketing problems they see with your business by developing a strategy and some key performance indicators (KPIs) for you to set your business goals by. They also create measurable and timely goals and outline a strategy for your in-house marketing team or digital marketing agency to follow. Once that is done, your marketing team implements the plan under the guidance of your Marketing Consultant.
Is a Marketing Consultant the same thing as a marketing agency?
Well, yes and no, depending on the agency you are working with. Generally a Marketing Consultant is a different person than the person who is actually implementing the plan. The hands-on implementer tends to be your in-house marketing team or a digital marketing agency.
One of the huge benefits of working with my full service digital marketing agency, Karizma Marketing, is that we offer marketing consulting services for all of our clients. When you consider the average cost to hire a part-time Marketing Consultant for your business is about $7,000 per month and $84,000 per year (according to Forum Info-Tech), you can imagine the tremendous value we bring to the table for our clients. To be fair, we generally work with 7-figure + eCommerce brands that have a budget and resources allocated for our digital marketing services.
A Marketing Consultant can advise you on marketing strategies, get you on board with tech stacks, improve your email marketing, connect you with marketing software that will help your marketing efforts be more efficient, develop key performance indicators, review your analytics and share reports with you and your marketing team, develop a strategic high-level marketing strategy, and many other things. But usually, they aren’t the person actually implementing the plan.
That is the main difference between a Marketing Consultant and an ad agency. In my opinion, a really great ad agency will be proving marketing consulting as well for their clients.
What qualifications does someone need to be a Marketing Consultant?
Extensive business and marketing background
It takes years to develop this skill set. They should have an extensive business and marketing background. They should have knowledge of tech stacks, current tools and trends, marketing software and automation. They definitely need to have a knowledge of various marketing strategies, especially those that are in the digital marketing space.
Digital marketing experience
Most Marketing Consultants who companies need these days are usually ones that excel in the digital marketing space because that is where businesses easily get distribution and can expand their message to get more eyes on their business.
So Marketing Consultants need to have a general knowledge of SEO, paid ads, organic social media marketing, email marketing, affiliate marketing, influencer marketing, website design, website development, website conversion rate optimization, and similar.
They need to know how to increase your average order value and your customer lifetime value, increase your email open rates and click-through-rates, and increase your revenue generated by emails.
It’s not that they need to be an expert at all of those things but they definitely need to be qualified to look at all those analytics and create a marketing plan structured around where you are falling short.
If your Digital Marketing Consultant does not excel in all of those areas, you may want to look into a consulting agency where they have various experts in different areas who can come on board as a team for you and look at all those different areas of your business and put together a cohesive plan for you.
Ultimately, to get to your goals, you are going to want to be more omni-channel. You are going to want to get distribution on all sorts of different platforms and you need someone who can help understand what you are currently doing and if it is working or not. They need to have an excellent understanding of how businesses work.
Experience in your niche
If you are an eCommerce brand, you are going to need a consultant who specializes in the eCommerce industry and helps grow eCommerce brands. You don’t want to use a consultant who helps grow local businesses since that is a different skill set. You should seek out a Marketing Consultant who has worked with other businesses in your niche.
For example, if you have a brain tumor, you aren’t going to a pediatrician to help you, you are going to consult with a neurosurgeon. So you need an expert who helps solve the exact problem you are having with proven results in order to get the results you want. The key is that it has to be businesses that are in your similar space.
Up-to-date education and marketing certifications
You want someone who is up-to-date on the latest trends in the marketing industry. Ideally they will have a degree in marketing, additional marketing certifications, and some marketing courses under their belt.
They should be regularly attending marketing conferences and networking within their own industry. They should also have resources at their fingertips to help you. And they should have a wealth of knowledge and experience, as well as proven results, at growing businesses that are just like yours.
Is a Fractional CMO the same thing as a Marketing Consultant?
Kind of. Having a Marketing Consultant is kind of like having a Part-Time Chief Marketing Officer or a Fractional CMO, a term that has become more popular over the last few years.
A Fractional CMO is an outsourced marketing executive who performs all the functions of a Chief Marketing Officer for your company on a part-time basis with a much lower price tag. They oversee the marketing strategy to meet a company’s revenue goals.
A Fractional CMO has more day-to-day involvement with a company than a Marketing Consultant does and is more directly invested in the company, however a Marketing Consultant can perform a lot of the same marketing analysis and strategy as a Fractional CMO can.
What tools do Marketing Consultants use to measure results?
Every business working with a Marketing Consultant will need a way to measure progress. Some of the tools Marketing Consultants use to measure success are:
- Google Analytics
- eCommerce Platform Analytics (Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce,Magento, Square, Wix, and similar)
- Ad Platform Analytics (Facebook, Instagram, Google, TikTok, Pinterest, Snapchat, and similar)
- CRM Analytics (SalesForce, HubSpot, Klaviyo, and similar)
- Google Data Studio
- SEO Reporting Tools (Moz, SEMRush, AHRefs, and similar)
What are the benefits of working with a Marketing Consultant?
As smart business owners, we only want to spend money where we have to in our businesses. There are so many financial benefits to working with a truly genius Marketing Consultant that it often pays for itself over and over again if you have an excellent Marketing Consultant in place.
You save money
The first benefit is that you will actually save money when you work with a Marketing Consultant. I know it sounds backwards to hear “you have to spend money to make money” but couldn’t be more true when you are working with a consultant.
For example, if you have been running ads inefficiently or have a website that is not converting that you are sending paid traffic to, or haven’t been structuring your emails correctly, you’re losing money every day. Just one suggestion from an expert Marketing Consultant can bring in six-figures or more for a business.
How do I know? I personally have done it for clients.
One meeting. One suggestion. That will bring over 6-figures in revenue to a client from making a simple change to their email marketing strategy.
The second suggestion in the same meeting was to make a revenue-producing change to their blog.
Those two suggestions alone, if followed properly, will bring in additional revenue for this particular business, far more than my fees. That is the power of having a solid Marketing Consultant working for you.
Every single strategy your Marketing Consultant is bringing to you should be relevant, on-brand, should make sense, and should be proven to work. Not to say that new strategies can’t be tested, but perhaps you hold off on taking a leap on new strategies that haven’t yet been proven until you bring in more revenue.
You also save money when they audit your systems and find your weaknesses and where you are wasting money so they can help you patch the holes up and use your money more wisely.
You save time
You’ll also get so much time back. Think about all the times you’ve asked yourself:
- What tools do I use?
- How do I do this?
- How do I put together an email marketing campaign?
- How do I put together a content strategy?
- How do I read these analytics?
- What do I do about branding?
- How do I increase my average order value?
- How do I increase my customer lifetime value?
- How do I increase my email open rates?
- What am I doing wrong?
All of those things are just wasting your time. You are an expert at what you do, but you can’t be an expert at everything. Just because you are an expert at the product or service you provide does not mean you are an expert business owner or marketer. So it is really important to invest in experts to help your business grow.
You make more money
Another benefit of working with a Marketing Consultant is that you, hands down, should make more money. As long as you are working with a true expert, it is very difficult to not increase your revenue. As long as you have a product people want, a solid brand, an audience that is interested in you, a great product-to-market fit, there is no reason why a very experienced Marketing Consultant can’t grow your business.
You overcome tech barriers
You’ll also overcome tech barriers that are huge pain points for many business owners. Because many business owners don’t understand how to properly implement and manage software and automation tools, they never use them, which ends up costing them a lot of money in missed revenue opportunities.
As soon as you have a digital Marketing Consultant that works with tech stacks and marketing tools every day, you will have help overcoming your tech overwhelm. They will have a strategy for you, smart recommendations, and a plan for implementation.
You will also save time building automation with the tech tools they recommend. Automation is so powerful that it can turn a single employee into ten employees overnight. It helps businesses be more efficient so they can scale and grow.
You’ll build brand equity
An experienced Marketing Consultant should help you build brand equity. What is brand equity? It’s the reason people choose your brand over every other brand. A great consultant should know how to leverage your brand equity and build it over time with various marketing and promotion strategies for your business.
You’ll understand your business better
They will help you understand your analytics and data better for your business. We are not all wired to understand and read the language of data. And once you understand your numbers better, you can make smarter decisions for your business. You’ll start saving more money by knowing what marketing channels, platforms, genders, ages, email, offer, referral partner, and similar is actually generating revenue for you. You will learn what is making you money and what isn’t.
Once you can see what you have been doing for a long time isn’t working through your analytics or you did something in the past that worked very well and is reflected in your data, you are going to start making better decisions and growing your business. By saving that time and hiring a marketing expert, you get freed up to focus on other areas of your business.
You’ll expand the reach and awareness of your brand
A marketing expert should also help get more eyeballs on your business by getting you more distribution on more channels and platforms, such as Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google, Instagram, Facebook, and more.
They can help you get high quality backlinks from other websites or blog features on high traffic websites. A Marketing Consultant can help develop affiliate and referral marketing programs that extend your brand’s reach even further. Whenever you can increase your brand’s reach online, you have an opportunity to bring in more revenue, traffic, and leads.
You’ll have a way to measure your goals
A great Marketing Consultant will give you a way to measure your results and establish key metrics for your business once they analyze all your numbers. They then determine what realistic goals are good to shoot for and put together a way to measure results over time so that you can keep track of your progress. It’s almost like having a business coach, or life coach, or fitness coach. It’s someone who will keep you, your team, and your agency accountable and on track to do what they are suggesting you do.
You’ll have help planning all your promotions
A Marketing Consultant should help build out a content and promotion strategy for you. From my own experience with our ad agency clients, their biggest pain point is coming up with a promotion and marketing calendar. It is one of the biggest things my clients dread, so just knowing that they have someone consulting and helping establish a content and promotion plan that is proven to work, can really help ease stress and save time.
They can come up with promotions that add value to your business and customers, drive sales, and help develop you as a leading business online, while still protecting your brand equity. They also will come up with strategies to help nurture your return customers, thereby increasing your Customer Lifetime Value.
Increase your website conversion rate
A Marketing Consultant should also help increase your website conversion rates which directly relates to increasing your revenue and saving you money on paid ads. They should also be focusing on increasing your email list size and average order value through your website. It depends on what your goals are, and you should establish those ahead of time, so they can help you continue to grow your business with ease.
Want to know more about Marketing Consulting Services?
I love business and marketing consulting. It is one of my top passions. If ever you have a question, you can always reach out to me here or check out my ad agency, Karizma Marketing.
We provide corporate consulting, masterminds, education, marketing audits, and marketing services in the areas of email marketing, paid ads, social media management, SEO, website conversion rate optimization, tech stacks and software, setting up project management to run effective marketing campaigns, and more. Everything we do is based on real data, tools that work, the latest technology and trends that get you to your ultimate goal.
If you are an established brand, I encourage you to invest in a business Marketing Consultant if you haven’t already. Perhaps hire someone to come out and train your team for a few days if you can’t commit to a full six month or annual contract. You can also hire someone to do a complete marketing audit on your business. Everything can be customized. Most importantly, make sure whoever you hire as your Marketing Consultant has extensive digital marketing experience and proven results in your niche.
I hope this is helpful for you and I will look forward to connecting with you soon!
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CEO of Hawaii's largest Digital Marketing Agency, Karizma Marketing, Toccara Karizma is a Digital Marketing Consultant renowned for turning eCommerce businesses into 7 figure powerhouses. Follow Toccara to discover the best-kept industry secrets that will skyrocket your sales.