This question is often rephrased as “Why did I hire a Marketing Consultant!” when the eagerly anticipated exponential revenue growth has failed to appear. It doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a good idea, just that the wrong choice was made.
“I need an independent, experienced, point of view”.
“I need another pair of hands to deliver what I know we need to do but haven’t the time or expertise to drive through”.
“I need both”.
In essence this, small or large scale, describes the common need. Its not unlike the role of a sports coach. Its not that the rugger team or tennis star don’t know how to play their game. It is that they recognise a need to improve if they are to reach their potential and it won’t come from doing the same old thing.
A coach or consultant will have experience with many different players or types of business and will have developed the skills to draw the best from their charges. So immediately there is the benefit of being able to access a pool of experience gained across a spectrum of business types. The good consultant will blend this with their key marketing skills and an ability to empathise with the client and work with them to create solutions of which the client can feel he or she has ownership. In my opinion this has to be a collaborative rather than prescriptive process if the development of marketing strategy and business orientation are to be sustainable.
The marketing consultant will be able to help with a range of issues from building a marketing strategy from scratch, proposing budgets, developing a brand proposition to managing its implementation, creative direction and providing their own input. The value to the client comes not just from this breadth of experience and expertise but also access to the network of professional providers, graphic designers, social media experts, web developers, printers, photographers and so on which the professional consultant will have built up to complement their own skills and create the ‘virtual’ team needed to implement today’s complete marketing activity plan.
So the real value of a Marketing consultant is as both a ‘team’ performance enhancer and outsourced ‘team’ member to drive programmes through. As with any working relationship it is important to choose a marketing consultant with the right chemistry for you. Do that and your business will be well on its way to achieving its potential.