Are you going to hire a marketing consultant? I suggest, be careful before hiring or not hiring!
I’m a marketing consultant with years of experience and many success stories. But I don’t suggest you hire me if you think that I’ll take the initiative to ensure the growth of your business.
A marketing consultant neither executes any marketing activity nor ensures any profit. His/her duties and responsibilities are literarily limited to advise you to take proper initiatives to bring your business in track. The jobs of a marketing consultant don’t go beyond researching, planning, and strategy building and to some extensive training. Based on the research and report, he/she can help you with planning and strategy papers. If you aren’t prepared to implement new initiatives following the paper, it’s worthless to hire a marketing consultant. Instead, you should hire a marketing freelancer.
Before hiring a marketing consultant, it’s wise to know the limitation and strengths of the professional.
I’m listing some prominent reasons why you shouldn’t or should hire a marketing consultant.
Marketing Consultants are Expensive
A well experienced and knowledgeable marketing consultant will charge you a hefty amount because of his/her experiences and knowledge. Most of the marketing consultants charge on an hourly basis. If you don’t have any prior preparation, hiring a consultant may generate a budgetary disturbance. If a part of your budgetary planning isn’t earmarked as consulting fees, it’ll difficult to adjust your budget.
Before hiring a marketing consultant, you should have some sort of brainstorming and planning.
After proper brainstorming, if you think that you really need a marketing consultant to guide you throughout your marketing needs, be prepared with budgetary allocation. Never forget to earmark a portion of your budget for consulting services. Be ensured that the amount you’re going to spend on a consultant can be adjusted through improving ROI.
Marketing Consultants Can’t Do Any Miracle
If you aren’t prepared to take your business to height, no marketing consultant can help you. They are for suggesting some changes in your marketing policy through rigorous research and planning. If your quality and pricing policies are not suitable for your customers, no marketing adjustment will work for you.
I suggest you be careful about your quality, pricing, and offer aspects before hiring a marketing consultant. Your marketing consultant might advise you to improve these aspects. Be prepared to welcome his/her advice if those are acceptable based on research and data.
As I’ve been observing, many startup entrepreneurs believe that their products are of high quality and their pricing policies are reasonable. Mostly, they are overconfident on the quality and pricing of their products/services. In such a case, no consultant can help entrepreneurs. Marketing consultants are not only to advise on your marketing approach, but they have to also see the strengths and weaknesses of all other aspects. Only if your products are salable, a marketing consultant can play his/her role.
Marketing Consultants are Not to Do Marketing Activities
Many start-ups and small businesses assume that their marketing consultant will do all marketing activities for them. It’s a big illusion.
Marketing consultants are to suggest, not to execute. In a few cases, if the marketing consultant has a team, he/she can direct the team to execute the marketing activities on behalf of you.
Before hiring a marketing consultant, be confirmed that the suggestions received from him/her can be executed properly. You should either have your marketing executives or hire a marketing agency to implement the suggestions.
Marketing Consultants are Independent
Having a wide range of knowledge of marketing activities, most of the marketing consultants love to work independently. Your choicest marketing consultant mightn’t agree to work within your organizational setup. He/she will love to work freely for your business. Any type of pressure from you or your establishment might hamper his/her productiveness.
It’s worth advisable that if you’re looking for a consultant to work in your office, you should better not hire a consultant.
Marketing Consultants Need Access to Your Business Information
Before planning and strategy building, a marketing consultant does thorough research of your present stand, competition, customer base, and future perspectives. In order to be able to do so, he/she will require some first-hand information from your internal sources. Such information includes your annual turn over, growth graph, customer database, budgetary aspect of marketing, your investment capacity for marketing activities. If you don’t want to share such information with your consultant, he/she can’t help you. You should better not hire a consultant.
(If you’re decisive to hire a consultant, make a legal agreement with him/her to ensure that your data won’t be shared with any third party.)
Marketing Consultants Need Access to Your Marketing Channels
Along with firsthand data, a marketing consultant also needs to access your marketing channels such as your website’s admin panel, Google Ads account, Facebook business page, LinkedIn company account to estimate your real marketing need. In order to make him/her ability to work for your company, you should properly authorize him/her to access your online marketing accounts. You can make a legal agreement with your consultant so that the authorization won’t be misused. If you aren’t prepared to share these accounts with your consultant, it should better not to hire.
Marketing Consultants are Strategists
While it’s all about adopting a clear and effective strategy, a marketing consultant with adequate knowledge and experience can help you in expanding your business. But, if you decide your strategies yourself, there’s no need for a marketing consultant to come in your way.
Never hire a marketing consultant if all the policy matters of strategical marketing are vested with you. In such a case, no way a marketing consultant can help you. It can be further proved as wastage of money
I suggest you to either prepare your own strategies or hire a consultant for the same. Never go in between the two.
No Marketing Consultant can Guaranty a Sure Gain
Doing business is a challenging choice. You can never know the future stand of you while you’re in business. You can predict on the basis of data, but the prediction may not work. The same is the case for a marketing consultant. With his/her vast knowledge and years of experience, he/she can build the most feasible marketing strategy in order to help you in better ROI generation. But believe me, no marketing consultant can guaranty a sure gain. Even if he/she comes out with a very solid and unique strategy for your business, it may fail. It may fail because the ultimate success depends upon the degree of implementation of the strategy.
Next Thing to Do
It’s a difficult decision to hire or not hire a marketing consultant. Especially, if you’re thinking of hiring a consultant for the first time, it’ll be more difficult for you in taking the right decision. If over simplified, the difficulties can be divided into three categories, such as –
- Whether to hire or not hire,
- When to hire and
- How to hire.
In order to overcome such difficult situations, spend some time with few marketing consultants as initial meet before hiring. Talk to them frankly. If you’re wise enough, you’ll get an unspoken answer.