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How to choose the right marketing consultant

As a marketing consultant myself (it’s Sam here), I know how hard it can be to find the “right fit” client based on your skill set and experience in their chosen industry, but this week I am flipping the lens onto the client side of the equation and pinpointing the top 4 things you need to look for when choosing the right marketing resource for your business. Let’s jump in shall we…

Experience in your industry

The need to understand the big picture. Anyone can say they have marketing experience or that they’ve worked in a marketing role or run a business, but when it comes to choosing the right marketing professional to help your business grow, you really need to look for people with the right depth of industry experience or at the very least, with a similar business type as yours. Can they provide a referee in a similar business for you to talk too? Do your due diligence.

The right qualifications and education

Being a marketing consultant is not straight forward and not something that can be learnt over night. Not everyone has the type of strategic thinking that is needed. It requires you to critically analyse and think about a business and its marketplace and to develop strategies to grow its market presence through sales, service and brand awareness and known best practices.

This level of skill can only come from two things:

1) speciality training and years of experience in advising clients on strategic marketing planning; or

2) formal education (usually post graduate, masters or diploma level) in strategic marketing.

Or a combination of both 1 and 2. You can’t fake it… you need an expert marketer, not a rookie or imposter.

Runs on the board

Have they ever turned around a failing business? Have they dealt with a similar challenge as yours before? Have they actually achieved good outcomes for past clients before? How long have they been advising clients? These are all questions you need to consider when you are doing your due diligence on the best candidate to help you.

First let’s look at whether they have had any experience as a consultant. It is critical that they have experience working as a freelance consultant or marketing consultant in an agency. Why? Because without this experience it will be hard for the consultant to be objective and to not simply roll into a ‘yes’ employee frame of mind. Your marketing consultant needs to be able to have the tough conversations with you about what is not working and how it can be fixed, without experience in doing so you’re not going to get the best advice for your business.

The right fit

It’s critical that you can communicate effectively and can understand your marketing consultant. So, you need to choose the ‘right fit’ for your business. This will come down to all of the points above and your gut feel, but also the personality fit of the consultant vying for your business. Ask yourself if they really understand your challenges and believe that they can provide the solutions you need.  And if you are still not sure, get some references and talk to them about their experience with the consultant and make up your mind that way.

Hopefully this helps to provide a checklist or method of elimination when choosing the next marketing consultant, marketing professional or marketing agency to assist with your business goals. And if you want to talk to a marketing consultant at our agency, look no further than Sam Wardman, book a free consultation with her today and make your own mind up.