Find the Best Marketing Strategy Consultant (5 Easy Steps)
If you are unsure where to start when marketing your business or are unhappy with the results you are getting from your marketing, a San Diego marketing strategy consultant can help you develop a strong strategy that will boost your traffic and increase your profits.
Even a great marketing strategy will be ineffective if not executed properly, so you might consider hiring a well-respected marketing consultant for your company to help your business become more successful.
Here are the basic steps to finding a consultant:
- Define marketing goals.
- Research different consultants.
- Secure referrals from previous clients.
- Schedule interviews.
- Get everything in writing.
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1. Define Your Goals
Businesses and organizations should define marketing goals before seeking a marketing strategy consultant. For instance, a San Diego fitness center might want to increase brand awareness, attract more leads, or increase sales. With these goals in mind, do they need a marketing strategy or a marketing plan? A consultant can help them decide. However, as a general rule, businesses of all types do better with a marketing strategy and a plan for carrying out that strategy.
With specific goals set, businesses can better direct their consultant's efforts. Goal setting has its own set of steps. First, take a close look at what you have been doing and evaluate how well those actions have worked. Have you correctly identified your target audience? Which platforms are proving to be the most successful and why? What are your competitors doing? Do you see a niche that you could fill?
While completing your initial evaluation, make a list of the points you would like your consultant to address. What areas of your current strategy are not doing well? What are reasonable alternatives? The better you can describe what you want the consultant to do, the happier each of you will be with this partnership. Having a clear sense of goals to achieve will be a major help to any consultant you hire and will give you much better results.
The consultant should work out measurable goals with you and provide estimated timelines for achieving them. At this point you can also discuss the budget range for all of the work you are hoping to complete. You might discover you need to scale down somewhat to stay within budget, or maybe you are happily surprised to find you can do more. Also make sure you and the consultant have determined in advance what type of compensation is expected whether it is hourly, weekly, a percentage of increased sales, or some other method.
2. Research Different Consultants
Businesses must research and find a suitable marketing consultant by considering experience, industry expertise, and pricing factors. Look into different marketing strategy consultants to find the right fit.
One of the many ways to conduct research on the best marketing consultant is to ask your colleagues, contacts, and business partners for recommendations. Ask people who have experience with hiring a consultant for previous marketing projects. Another way is to search professional networks such as LinkedIn. Look for consultants with industry or marketing specialty expertise.
Once you have a list of marketing consultants, check their websites. Focus on their services, marketing approach, and expertise. Review prospects’ portfolios, case studies, and client testimonials. Knowing the projects they have previously worked on will give you an idea if they’ll fit your company’s needs.
Check the consultant for Google Ads or Analytics, HubSpot, or other professional marketing association certifications. These mean that they take time to improve their skills and knowledge in marketing. Also, examine their industry experience to see if they have worked with similar companies or industries.
From a consultant’s online profile, look for valuable insights and expertise from their blog posts, articles, whitepapers, or speaking engagements. These reveal a consultant’s dedication to helping their clients achieve marketing success.
3. Get Referrals from Past Clients
Once you have narrowed a list of potential consultants, ask for referrals from past clients. Speaking with them is a great way to get honest feedback about the consultant's work and whether it fits the business well.
For example, a San Diego real estate firm might prefer consultants who have experience working with property development agencies or landholding firms. They might contact the consultant’s previous clients to learn more about the candidate.
Request references from prospective marketing strategy consultants. A reputable consultant would be open to providing references to showcase their track record. As you consider references, check for confidentiality agreements. They should give consent to direct contact.
Have questions ready beforehand. Some questions to ask are:
- How did the consultant contribute to your marketing strategy?
- What specific results or improvements did you see as a result of their work?
- Why would you recommend (or not recommend) the consultant?
Other places to look for online reviews and ratings are Clutch, UpCity, or Google Business Profile (GBP). Once you have at least three prospects, it is time to schedule an interview. Conduct interviews face to face or online.
4. Conduct Effective Interviews With Potential Consultants
After finding potential consultants, business managers must schedule interviews to learn more about their experience, marketing approach, and rates. Interviews are vital in the hiring process.
Prepare interview questions to evaluate the consultant. Ask about their experience, past successes, methodologies, unique approaches, and even knowledge of local SEO.
Ask the consultant how they assess a company’s needs and their process in developing a marketing plan. Compare all consultants’ responses, communication styles, and ability to meet specific needs.
5. Get Everything in Writing
After choosing a consultant, put everything in writing, including the scope of work, timeline, and fees, to ensure clarity, protect both parties’ interests, and establish a solid foundation for the partnership. When putting everything in writing, be sure to:
- Set goals, deliverables, timelines, and other details for the marketing strategy consultant's work.
- Prepare a written contract or agreement that specifies the engagement's duration, payment terms, intellectual property rights, confidentiality, termination clauses, etc.
- Request a written proposal from the consultant outlining their approach, strategies, and pricing.
- Define both parties' roles and responsibilities in the written agreement.
- Add a confidentiality and non-disclosure agreement if the consultant can access sensitive information or trade secrets.
- State the payment terms, including the total fee, payment schedule, and additional expenses or reimbursements.
- Establish expectations for communication and reporting in writing.
- Include provisions for termination of the agreement, including circumstances under which either party can terminate the engagement.
- Before signing, ensure fair and legal terms by checking the documents and getting legal advice.
Finding the right marketing strategy consultant can be a daunting task, but it is worthwhile to take the time to find the right person for your business and marketing needs. By following these steps, companies can improve their chances of finding a consultant to help them achieve their marketing goals.
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