Every business knows that having an effective marketing strategy is critical to their success and continued existence. After all, the best product or service in the world doesn't matter if people don't know about and buy it. At the end of day, businesses have three choices to address this crucial task:
1) learn marketing themselves
2) hire a full-time employee
3) hire an expert/consultant
Many small business owners, especially one-man shows, tend to try to do everything in-house. The big problem with that is that keeping up with constantly-evolving marketing trends is a full-time job, and literally can't be squeezed in with operations, product development, and other business tasks.
Full-time employees come with a large price tag and an even larger overall commitment from you. That leaves marketing experts as your likely best option to help your business, sales, and marketing.
A marketing consultant is someone who specializes in customer acquisition, engagement, and retention through means of branding, advertising, content, and any other ways of getting your message out. A good marketing consultant ultimately saves you time, and improves your sales.
Here are a few reasons why you should hire a marketing consultant to help grow your business:
8) To Save Time
Get your valuable time back
If you're like most businesses and entrepreneurs, then the two resources you have the least of are time and money. For tons of reasons we won't cover here, time is infinitely more valuable.
Whether you need to hit a project deadline, you want to avoid trial & error, or you need it done right the first time, a marketing expert saves your valuable time by shortening your project times and freeing you up to focus on the other things you need to do, and that you're best at.
Consultants are also generally well networked. This is great news for you, since their network equates to more saved time for you in terms of additional hiring, and even introductions to new clients.
At the end of the day, marketing consultants cut your growth time from years down to weeks.
Even if you can do the tasks better, hire ... free your time to focus on bigger things.
7) To Save Money
Hiring marketing help may seem like an expense, until you consider the alternatives. If you need marketing help, then your main alternative options include 1) hiring an employee or agency, or 2) learn it yourself through marketing trial and error, aka a guessing game of spending until something sticks.
In addition to higher ROI on salaries, marketing experts take much of the guessing game out of your most significant and important expense; your marketing tactics. Their expertise allows for you to spend your marketing dollars on ads, content, your website, and more much more effectively.
Businesses hesitate to hire marketing consultants but don't bat an eye dropping up to $1,000 or more per month on business software. Software is ultimately just a tool, and a marketing expert's advice can change your use of that tool from a kid with a knife, to a professional chef.
The funny thing is that businesses are most hesitant to hire outside help when "business is slow", yet that's the exact problem that marketing expert's are trained to solve.
6) Advantages Over Employees
Speaking of employees and agencies, on-call marketing experts provide many important benefits over traditional hiring. Most importantly, they allow for no long-term commitment. That means no benefits, no 401K, no mountain of paperwork, and of course, hire and keep only when needed.
With traditional employees, you need to find tasks to fill their day, even if nothing really needs to get done at that moment. Marketing consultants arrive when you need them, assist you with the tasks you need them for, and then you can send them on their merry way when no longer needed.
Additionally, consultants don't require office space or a desk, they don't require training, and they ultimately provide you with long-term benefits for a short-term salary. Yes, these experts will cost more per hour, but their ROI is much higher and saves you much more, in the long term. Everyone wins.
Given they are for-hire contractors, consultants are necessarily incentivized to get you results. Unlike employees, which simply take orders in hoped of not being fired, marketing experts go above and beyond to make sure that your problems are solved and your business and projects succeed.
5) A Fresh, Objective Perspective
Only an outsider can see the big picture
Experts provide you and your business with many advantages with their experienced opinions, ideas, views, and advice. Every business has times when ideas, innovation, and likely sales hit a wall.
Marketing experts bring their experience and ideas from outside industries, their community, professional conferences, tons of marketing books, and much more (if they're good). This means that they rarely suffer from a lack of ideas and strategies to ignite or re-ignite marketing and sales.
Like your child, it's easy to love your own, but even easier to be blind to their flaws. That gives your consultant's objective and unfamiliar eyes more value. They will tell the truth when other's won't.
Their objective, outside opinion can also be useful to build consensus and make unpopular decisions, while avoiding office politics, hurt feelings, and entrenched bureaucracy.
4) For Specialized Expertise
Although they should do so earlier, businesses tend to seek out marketing consultants when their sales need a kick-start or have a problem. Given that no business survives without sales, that makes marketing the undisputed most important part of every business on Earth (in my opinion, at least).
Marketing consultants are constantly learning, attending events, networking, reading, and more to improve their knowledge , ideas, and effectiveness. As a cherry on top, they do practically all of this at their own expense, which gives them another advantage over full-time employees.
Bottom line, they know things you don't, and it's not worth your time to learn everything yourself. In some cases, they can even train or update you or your your staff on many facets of marketing. Some of the many facets include automation, copywriting, SEO, partnerships, engagement, and much more.
An intelligent person hires people more intelligent than they are.
3) Develop Your Message & Strategy
Vision, strategy, and tactics are all different
As mentioned above, marketing is hands-down the most important part of any business. No matter how great your product or service is, it means nothing if people don't know and hear about it.
Which is why is makes sense to recruit help to develop your message, strategy, and tactics. Even if you are familiar with marketing, marketing is a full time occupation and there is no way you can do your own job, as well as stay up-to-date with the latest in content, social, email, advertising, and more.
Consultants are able to zoom out of your day-to-day and see the big picture, which allows them to help with your storytelling, expansion planning, and broadening or narrowing of your opportunities.
2) To Identify + Solve Problems
You did your research, you surveyed your market/customers, and you launched the product they said they wanted. Then crickets. You increase and get creative with your advertising, and still nothing.
This is a common situation for businesses, when they seem to do everything right, or even continue what has been working, when invisible problems drop sales and market response to zero.
This a frustrating situation because businesses are willing to make changes but simply can't find where the problems lie. Marketers excel at identifying and solving marketing and sales problems.
Whether you know or don't know where your business could use their help, they can audit and review your strategy to fix your branding, customer communication, sales funnel, website, and more.
Just remember that they are not magicians who automatically make sales rain from the skies, and you will have to implement their advice and invest in other parts of your business.
1) To Compete
Shake and bake
No matter how unique or great your product or service is, it is a fact of business life that you have or will soon have competition. Another fact is that if you stand still, they will catch up, surpass you, and maybe even leave your business in the dust. Consultants help to push and keep your business on top.
Whether your offering is truly unique or a commodity, differentiation is crucial to your business. You can establish your unique position in the marketplace and in the mind of your customers with your story, product quality, marketing tactics, and any other creative ways you can come up with.
Not to sound negative or alarmist, but another huge reason to hire outside marketing help is because your competitors are already doing it. Like it or not, the business which works harder to set themselves apart and develop their sales system is often the one who gets ahead and wins.
Your competition won't quit.