Many businesses choose to cut back on marketing spend during a recession as a quick measure to save money. Given that most marketing initiatives take time to show a tangible return on investment this knee-jerk reaction can be partly forgiven. However, this is a very short-term view and smart businesses know that effective marketing is the key to business success and that it must be sustained during both good and bad economic times.
Investing in an experienced marketing consultant can give organisations the help they need to promote their products and services more effectively and has a number of benefits.
Ten reasons why a business should employ a marketing consultant:
- External perspective – when you are entrenched in your business and concerned with its day-to-day operation it can be hard to see how your business is perceived by the external market. Your brand might make total sense to you, after all you live and breathe it, but do those outside of your business understand it and know what you are offering? A marketing consultant can provide this external perspective and help you communicate and align your brand to those potential clients you are trying to reach.
- See the wood for the trees – an external marketing consultant brings a viewpoint not already within your organisation. They are not constrained by the internal politics or bogged down in the day-to-day and as such can help your business to set clear objectives and define your strategy. Your business will be more successful as a result.
- Affordable expertise – a marketing consultant can supply specific skills that might not be viable or affordable to your business as a full-time resource. Smaller businesses, which might not be able to afford a senior level marketer could employ an in-house junior marketer to manage the day-to-day tasks and use an external marketing consultant to provide the missing strategic expertise on a freelance basis.
- Unlock time – using an experienced marketing consultant to handle your marketing requirements will free up your time to concentrate on other parts of the business. A marketing professional is also likely to be more efficient and productive with this time as it is their area of expertise.
- Avoid the trial and error – an experienced marketing consultant will have worked on a number of different marketing initiatives and will probably have a very good understanding of what works for your industry and what doesn’t. Tapping into this wealth of experience will prevent you from wasting time and money on marketing exercises which are unlikely to benefit your business
- Scale up and down as needed – one of the great advantages of using an external marketing consultant is that you can be more flexible with the level of support you buy in. You can opt for more assistance during a busy time and cut back when your marketing requirements are slightly less . This level of flexibility is unlikely to be possible with a permanent member of staff.
- Critical friend – a marketing consultant will ask those hard questions that others in your business may not want to ask and will challenge your marketing and business decisions. Challenging the status quo can result in positive and more productive ways of doing things. Your marketing consultant will always have the best interests of your business at heart.
- Access to a broad spectrum of useful business contacts – most marketing consultants are frenetic networkers (it’s a great way to win new business) and as such will have many relevant business contacts which you can gain access to through your relationship with the consultant. This in itself might open up new opportunities to your business.
- A mentor for your marketing juniors – an experienced external marketing professional can provide support and guidance to your existing junior team and may help substantially in increasing the knowledge level of someone new or inexperienced in marketing.
- Save money – can you be sure that your current marketing expenditure is directed in the right way or is effective? An experienced marketing professional will review your existing marketing activity and might be able to suggest alternative activities which could produce a greater return on investment and/or cost less to implement.