When looking for your next stage of business growth, investing in your marketing should be a key element of your to-do list. But how do you know which route to go? Should you employ someone? Should you work with a marketing agency? Or should you work with a marketing consultant?
There are pros and cons with each of these routes, but for the purposes of this blog I wanted to give you the down-low on the benefits of hiring a marketing consultant for your business.
What are the key benefits from working with a marketing consultant?
- Variety of experience with different industries
- Breadth of marketing experience
- A higher level of expertise for your money
- Flexible arrangement
- Dealing with just one person
- They’ll usually have a network of trusted contacts
Before I go into some of the benefits in more detail, I felt it only right to start with when you may want to consider bringing a marketing consultant into your business.
When is the right time to hire a marketing consultant?
There are various circumstances where a business can benefit from hiring a marketing consultant, but some of the most common ones I tend to see are:
- Start-up businesses who need help in developing their brand, website & marketing strategy
- Established companies who need help to drive their next phase of growth
- Businesses where they are trying to break into new territories or industries
- Businesses whose marketing has become stale
- Businesses who need interim senior marketing resource.
The benefits of hiring a marketing consultant explained:
Variety of experience in different industries:
Time and time again when companies recruit for a new role, they typically demand industry experience. Don’t get me wrong, I get it…proven experience in your industry can be really helpful. The risk this runs is that you miss out on the fresh ideas that can come from someone with experience in a wide variety of industries.
A marketing consultant will typically have worked with companies of all shapes and sizes. It means that not only will they likely have some level of experience in your sector, but they will also be able to offer up new ideas and views that might help your business innovate. See a variety in industry experience as a benefit…because it certainly is. For instance, I have experience of working with tech and SaaS brands, agriculture, Ecology, Construction, IT, Financial Services, Consultancies, HR and Recruitment. Each of these industries have their nuances, but I see that the experience I’ve gained across all of these sectors allows me to be more innovative and come at things in a more holistic manner.
Breadth of marketing experience
A marketing consultant will likely have had a decent amount of experience in employed marketing roles before becoming a marketing consultant, and what this provides is usually breadth of experience across a variety of marketing skills and specialisms. It may also have seen them working with a variety of different sized businesses, who have different marketing challenges and often wildly different budgets. See this is as a positive – it means they will have experienced challenges of all types and be able to find solutions to most problems you throw at us.
A higher level of expertise for your money
Hiring a freelance marketing consultant can be a really cost-effective way of getting a senior marketer to help your business grow when compared to the associated costs of employing a member of staff.
Here are some of the aspects you save on when hiring an external consultant vs a permanent employee:
- Holidays and sick pay
- Pension contributions – When an employee now earns over £10,000 in the UK, employers have to contribute a minimum of 3% into your workplace pension
- Contribution to National Insurance and any applicable PAYE taxes
- Laptop, phone, stationery and desk space
- Cost and time of recruitment and training.
Flexible working arrangement
Unlike hiring an employee, hiring a freelance marketing consultant offers you flexibility in their time. It also gives you the opportunity for you to potentially use them for a one-off project, or on more of an ad hoc basis as your business requirements change. It also provides the chance to work with them for the short-term to see how things go, and to be able to see what value they can add to your company.
On the flip-side, I find that the best value is gained when I become an extended part of your team on an ongoing basis as it allows me to get more to grips with what your business does, and in-turn means that any marketing I undertake for you will likely be more effective. In this situation, it still affords you the flexibility to scale-up or reduce how much work we do together depending on how the business is performing and budgets you may or may not have available. This approach is particularly suited to SME’s and start-up’s as marketing requirements can often be slightly more changeable than when working with larger corporations.
Dealing with just one person
One of the biggest benefits of working with a marketing consultant is that you are dealing with just one person. It makes working together straight forward and means that one person is responsible for ensuring your business goals are realised with your marketing efforts.
Whilst in most cases, the marketing consultant will use specialists to support with certain aspects of your marketing; with them orchestrating everything it gives owners and directors back a highly valuable commodity – time.
Network of trusted contacts
The final benefit and arguably one of the most significant is that the freelance marketing consultant will most likely have a strong network of trusted designers, copywriters, SEO & PPC specialists, web designers and developers at their fingertips. Just as important is that they will have established working relationships with these specialists.
This is a great way to reduce the risk of getting your fingers burnt by poor workmanship on your marketing and will likely mean that you get better marketing outcomes whilst saving time and money on finding out the hard way whether freelancers or marketing agencies can deliver the goods.