In recent years, the roles of a Marketing Consultant has become a very important one. Brands and businesses are looking for the best marketing consultants for a number of reasons. However, before we begin the article, it is better if we look at defining what a marketing consultant is-
‘A Marketing Consultant is an executive that possesses strong marketing and communication skills. He or she ideally has a degree in MBA or an advanced degree in specialized marketing courses. A Marketing Consultant helps an organization identifies areas of improvement, growth, and opportunities.’
In this article, we will be looking to cover the following major areas-
- Why Brands are looking to hire a Marketing Consultant
- What are the main roles and goals of a Marketing Consultant
- What kind of experiences and skills do you need to have to be one
- A-List of the main SOWs that concern this job profile
- What is it like to be a Marketing Consultant
The average salary of a Marketing Consultant ranges between $40000 USD to well over a $100000 USD Mark! If you want to be one, let us get right to it.
Why Brands Hire a Marketing Consultant?
No brand can afford to ignore concentrating on Marketing. This has made the role of a Marketing Consultant an important one. However, it is vital to note that a ‘consultant’ is different from your regular marketing role.
A consultant is not a full-time employee of the company. He or she is brought as an outside asset, in specific requirements. This not only makes the profile a challenging one but also very beneficial in terms of monetary compensation.
Most businesses hire a Marketing Consultant for the following reasons-
i. When they are about to launch a New Product/Service-
In more than fifty percent of the cases, a consultant comes on board to help a brand launch a new product or service. From doing a survey of the existing market to helping a brand set the right tone and communication, there are diverse functionalities.
ii. When a brand is looking to expand into a new area or domain-
Imagine a brand based in the USA looking to set up new offices and operations in a different country. In such a scenario, a marketing consultant can help a brand explore the new market. They can also point out the pros and cons of expanding into a new country or region.
iii. When a Brand needs to streamline its operations-
Every brand wants to give itself a critical internal overhaul after regular periods. Getting an outside view of the same helps in gaining newer insights and a fresh perspective. Most businesses look to hire a marketing consultant to streamline their marketing operations.
iv. Businesses looking to go for complete Rebranding-
Brands want to keep reinventing themselves. This might include cosmetic makeovers like logo redesign, changes in color schemes, and so on. However, this might also involve a bigger exercise. For example, a completely new approach including advertising and marketing.
v. Actualising the potential of Data-
As we all know, data is the new oil and brands want to make the most of it. This is where a marketing consultant can step in and align the operations according to the relevant data. More often than not, the job of a consultant becomes one who shows the way.
Read more: Personal Branding: The Ultimate Guide
What are the major Roles and Responsibilities of a Marketing Consultant?
If we were to define the same in a single line, I would put it in the following manner-
A marketing consultant is an external advisor, who is hired by an organization. He or she is tasked with the job of creating, innovating, and executing new marketing strategies on behalf of the brand.
In simple terms, a marketing consultant helps a brand reach newer audiences. The task is to reach as many new people and expand the revenue shares of the company. A consultant does not need to overhaul the existing marketing set up of a company completely.
Most marketing consultants are now looking to the digital to help traditional businesses set up their digital footprints. For example, taking the plunge to social media, content marketing, influencer integrations are some areas where consultants are rapidly stepping up.
Many businesses are also looking for marketing consultants to evolve their businesses. In other words, the use of software, ERPs, processes consultants often integrates best practices. This is another standard area, where consultants provide their expertise.
What kind of Skills and Experience does a Marketing Consultant have?
Many people are of the opinion that such a role does not necessarily require a College Degree. They point out that having a good-enough experience and being innovative will suffice. However, that is definitely not the case.
- If you are looking to become a Marketing Consultant, you will need a College Degree, period! You would ideally want to complete your graduation in a Marketing Course. People who have a degree in MBA or even Communications stand a good chance of becoming a Marketing Consultant. Whoever says that a college degree is optional, is not guiding you in the right manner.
- Besides the formal qualification, experience matters a lot. Like creative people, consultants also need to have a good portfolio of brands they have worked with. Interview any marketing consultant, and the first thing that they are going to show you are successful case studies.
- This is very important when it comes to this profile. It should also be borne in mind that the normal responsibility of a consultant is different from that of an agency. In other words, a marketing consultant is an all-round one-man show. You do a lot more, assume diverse roles, and bring in different expertise.
On the other hand, a marketing agency means a different set of people. The roles and responsibilities are divided.
Marketing Consultant Scope of Work (SoW)
Amateurs make the mistake of assuming that roles, responsibilities, and SoWs mean the same thing. This is definitely not the case. The scope of work for a Marketing Consultant depends on why he or she has been brought into an organization.
The best marketing consultants do not begin a new assignment without a proper and well-defined SoW in place. The best consultants charge astronomical fees from clients. This means that every hour they work needs to be utilized to the scope of work in place.
For example, if a marketing consultant has at his or her SoW to work on streamlining marketing processes, he or she is not going to look at increasing sales through digital marketing.
Who can be a Marketing Consultant (Background)-
Many people ask me how they can make the transition to become a marketing consultant. While there are no hard and fast rules as to who or who cannot make the transition, below and some of the profiles that might find assuming the mantle of a marketing consultant easier.
1. If you have experience of working in mainstream marketing-
Almost eighty percent of people who are now marketing consultants started as mere marketers. They were part of large and diverse marketing teams. After having gained prior experience and being exposed to multiple scenarios, they take the plunge.
Some brands have preferences when it comes to consultants. They always specifically look for people who have worked in companies. In addition, they have led or managed marketing campaigns.
2. If you have experience of working in advertising or branding-
Professionals who have worked as senior Creative Directors or Branding Heads also become marketing consultants. Advertising is a field, which combines branding, marketing, and sales. It is not only highly challenging but also exposes you to several important elements.
People who are from an advertising background are very good when it comes to consumer research. They are also the preferred choice for brands when they are looking to reinvent themselves creatively.
3. If you have prior experience as a copywriter-
This might sound strange to some, but copywriters possess a skill set, which most people do not. They are not only professionals who work on the front lines of a brand but are the ones who do the most amount of research.
Ask any copywriter how many case studies and competitor references he has to see before making a pitch deck, and you will see that his or her knowledge far exceeds that of even the Creative Head. The best copywriters are now some of the most sought after consultants in Fortune 500 companies.
In the last few years, the discipline of marketing has evolved. It has not only become more challenging but also diverse. The challenges presented by digital media and social media has not only increased the scope of the discipline, but also improved opportunities.
Marketing consultants are some of the highest-paid professionals in the corporate world. From supercars to beach houses, a marketing consultant leads the dream life. However, it is not easy to reach the peak of the corporate world without stepping on the right steps.
Through this article, I have tried to give you a brief idea about Marketing Consultants. We have discussed their roles, responsibilities, and skills. In addition, we have pointed out who can make the transition to this domain.
If you have any more questions, please feel to write to us.