When is it time to hire a marketing consultant?
Managing your marketing needs on your own can be very challenging and it typically requires that someone in the organization take time out of their full-time position to moonlight as a marketing professional. The investment of time and energy is significant to keep up with marketing trends, modify your strategy as necessary and properly execute those marketing tactics. This may work for a while, but it’s not usually sustainable over the long run. Additionally, it’s unlikely that you have the time, experience or knowledge to effectively strategize and execute a marketing program that yields the results that you’re hoping for.
Some companies can get by with one marketing professional on staff depending on the size of the business. This may be a workable solution, however, you may be tempted to save on costs and hire someone that only has a few years of experience in the field, and lacks the breadth of experience that you require. The more seasoned marketing professional will increase your overhead.
Larger companies may have dedicated marketing departments or agencies to carry out all aspects of their marketing. As you can imagine, this requires a significant marketing budget and is reserved mostly for size-able companies with large revenues.
If none of these options seem like the right fit, perhaps it’s time to consider a marketing consultant.
Here are 8 signs that it’s time to hire a marketing consultant
1. Your marketing isn't working and you’re not seeing a return on your investment
The primary reason we budget for marketing is to see a positive and profitable gain from our investment. Sometimes the strategy or implementation isn’t resonating with the right people, or qualified leads, and as a result your spend doesn’t justify the return. If this is the case, your best option is to have a consultant conduct an audit of your existing marketing and develop a new marketing strategy that is effective in getting you the results that you need.
2. You don’t know about the latest marketing technology and trends
Marketing is constantly evolving and unless you are a marketing professional, you’re probably not investing much time in the changing trends and learning about new technologies that will keep you competitive. Marketing consultants are plugged in to various professional networks that keep them informed and educated on the rapidly changing landscape of marketing. They are constantly researching because it is their job. If you’re in the dark, it puts you at a major disadvantage of missing opportunities to grow your brand and revenue. It also leaves openings for your competition to surpass you.
3. You have no idea how to effectively use social media
The development and management of social media content is an art. There are so many factors that determine what type of content, messaging, topics and imagery should be used. In a well- rounded and effective social media calendar, each piece of content (or post) is carefully and thoughtfully crafted or curated to position your business. Each platform, from Facebook to Twitter has differences that need to be observed and content needs to be adjusted accordingly. A poorly run social media presence can hurt your credibility and therefore it is vital that you have someone that understands how to properly develop content, utilize the various platforms and review statistics to inform future content.
4. You have no expertise in marketing
If you have no expertise in marketing, it’s safe to say that it will be a struggle to properly or successfully promote your practice/business. There are so many areas of traditional and digital marketing that require a deep understanding and many years of practical application. You might not be aware of all of the options that are at your disposal. You may waste time and money trying to get up to speed in certain areas. If you truly want to grow your practice/business its best to leave marketing to the professionals.
5. Your business isn’t growing
If you’re not seeing an increase in revenue year over year and you’re not steadily growing, your marketing may be the problem. There are other areas that can prohibit growth such as poor leadership or lack of scalability, but if those things are in check, it’s time to change course with your marketing strategy. Bringing in a consultant is an ideal solution in this case because they can evaluate and make recommendations that will promote growth.
6. You don’t have the money or bandwidth to commit to a full time, on-staff marketing professional
Salaries for a marketing professional that has years of well-rounded experience and can handle the majority of your marketing needs will run between $45K on the low end, up to $100K and beyond. If you run a business, you know that this doesn’t account for the payroll taxes, insurance and general administrative costs of bringing on a new headcount. If cost prohibits you from moving forward on hiring, a marketing consultant is a great option.
7. You need a specialized marketing skill
At some point, you may realize that you need a specialized marketing skill to carry out your marketing plans and will need to bring in some outside help. This could be anything from content marketing, email marketing, social media advertising or UX design. A marketing consultant that possesses those skills and service offerings is probably the best way to go in this case.
8. You can't afford to work with a marketing agency
To hire a marketing agency, you should expect to spend a minimum of $4000 per month. If you are a small business or practice, this can be a steep price to pay to get your marketing needs met. Depending on the services that you need, a marketing consultant can be a lower cost alternative and many consultants work with clients on a monthly basis just as an agency does.