If you run a business you no doubt have found yourself in need of some business development, business growth, new clients or various degrees of business growth, which may have led you down a path of thinking a marketing consultant may be a viable solution for you. If this is the case, we have created a list of dos and don’t of hiring a marketing consultant for you that will help your decision-making process.
Success with B2B Marketing Consultants is as much about you as it is them.
First, you are communicating a situation that needs attention. The quality of that communication is super important.
Written, supported with artifacts, and organized into: past, (what got us here) present (situation challenge we’re keen to solve and why) and future (outcomes we want first and foremost)
Second, they will listen, process, and resolve where to place you in the marketing challenge landscape. They will ask questions and determine where exactly this is.
If you had an ear nose throat problem, you’d be seeking out an ear nose throat doctor.
The same rule applies.
B2B tech marketing is very different from Hotel Marketing. Similar to how pub marketing is not the same as mobile app marketing. Seek out the marketer type that fits the marketing challenge.
Marketing Consultant: as if it were a spectrum.
One end of the spectrum: Marketing Consultants have 10+ years of experience. They are strategic, can problem solve and resolve the best way to get you from A to B with the least amount of effort, time and resources. Have war wounds. They have done this at least 10x before. Also, they have forgotten more about marketing than you have learned.
The other end of the spectrum: Marketing Consultants with <10 years experience who are strong tactical, execution and maybe event specialized in a particular area. E.g., Facebook Ads. Tactics.
In willing to be that your marketing challenge requires a strategic solution that is then executed by someone in your org, also the consultant, equally a tactical marketing person will almost always be super keen on what you’re asking. They will respond immediately with yes, and happy to do that, and what do you want it to look like exactly? (Junior, tactical, execution-only)
A strategic person will ask questions all day about the situation. The problem here is that they will NOT be asking you to explain how you want the marketing done. They haven’t understood the situation enough to even go to a solution yet.
Your gut feeling is essential – stay tuned in to it.
And recognize the difference between what feels congruent for you – as opposed to what feels like the part of you that loves to hate, judge, resist, mock, marketing people.
Your gut is a great way to determine if the person in front of you is right (enough) for your business or not. My advice is not to ignore it.
When you have engaged the right person for the job do what they say FFS.
Listen to them. You hired them for their expertise, counsel, advice. Paying them to do a job and then not to listen, in addition, to taking action or in any way do what they advise says more about you than them. Do better is my two cents on the subject.
If you’re a smaller firm with 1 to 50 employees my rule of thumb is ONE at a time and in marketing especially. Focus and being specific is the key to greatness in marketing.