A good marketing strategy correctly identifies the specific target audience and understands consumer needs. From there, DAP creates and implements the right marketing methods to put your business in front of customers and ahead of your competitors. Remember that a marketing strategy is a long-term approach; quick solutions don’t elicit the long-term results you need.
Your marketing strategy consultant will provide you with a competitive advantage by strategically communicating your brand’s value proposition. If consumers know that your product or service is superior, they will continue purchasing from your company. Building these relationships is a process–your marketing strategy consultant lays the groundwork for your long-term relationship with current and prospective clients.
Before executing a plan, marketing professionals will analyze your target audience and your competition to determine your company’s position in the market. In short, a strategy defines the “what” in your marketing roadmap. Asking what you want to achieve is the key to crafting a cohesive plan to follow throughout the marketing process. A marketing strategy consultant takes four steps into consideration when creating a strategy:
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to connecting with your target market. Many current and potential customers fall into different groups based on their demographics and needs. A consultant will identify these groups through market research and compile the results in a comprehensive report. This information is vital for addressing your customer’s expectations.
When your marketing strategy consultant has all the market information needed, they determine how to target the market segments that will benefit your business the most. They will ask pointed questions: “What service will meet your consumers’ needs?” and “What do they expect from you as a brand?” A consultant will focus on making your marketing strategy reflect that your brand’s strengths meet – and exceed – your consumers’ expectations.
Advertising is telling your consumers why they should purchase your product or service. After your marketing strategy consultant designs your plan and narrows your target segment, they use a number of online and offline marketing tactics to promote your brand.
Data speaks volumes about how a campaign is performing. Marketing experts typically analyze metrics such as KPIs to evaluate the increase in click-through and conversion rates, as well as overall website traffic. Having a marketing strategy consultant monitor your campaign’s performance is valuable because they can identify any areas that require improvement.
- Why do firms use a consultant?
You’re focused on production, pricing, meeting your customers’ needs–you don’t have time or resources to create a marketing plan. Many businesses have the same issue. It can be difficult to figure out where to start. A marketing strategy consultant removes that uncertainty. They offer a wide range of valuable expertise and present solutions that will help your business reach its full potential. There are additional resons to hire a consultant for other reasons, too.
- You’re struggling to gain visibility in your market
If your business isn’t getting enough high-quality leads or closing enough sales, then it might be time to consider hiring a marketing strategy consultant. They will do a full audit of all your marketing efforts and identify the areas where you can enhance your brand message. They can also help you overhaul your products or services if necessary, and they can offer advice on pricing.
- You’re unsure about opening a marketing department
Perhaps you’re new to marketing or you don’t have a large budget. Either way, hiring a consultant can help you. Ad agencies have strong track records, but they often charge higher premiums to cover salaries and overhead. Working with a consultant gives you the same–or better–expert advice far more cost-effectively, so you can decide which direction to take your business. An experienced marketing strategy consultant will set up an effective marketing plan and outline specific business goals to improve your sales.
- Your business needs a specialized skill
If your business has been operating for a while, you might not need to start your marketing from the ground up. In certain cases, you could require a specific set of skills to improve sales, such as SEO or website design. A marketing strategy consultant has industry-specific experience. They will not only put together a customized marketing plan, they will advise you on newer marketing techniques that could have a greater impact on your business.
- You need a second opinion
Successful businesses always take feedback into account to improve their products and service. An experienced marketing strategy consultant will identify any weaknesses and areas of improvement in your brand execution. This will make better connections with your audience and make your marketing campaigns more effective.
Working with a consultant can give you invaluable insight into how your website is resonating with internet users. With a consultant’s expertise and industry knowledge, you can put – and keep – your business at the forefront of search engines and social media.
- What is a marketing plan?
A marketing plan is an essential document that outlines an advertising strategy for a business. Its purpose is to drive customer and revenue generation. Marketing plans are useful because they go through every single detail of market segmentation and public relations campaigns. They also identify milestones for review.
A marketing strategy consultant focuses on the value proposition of a business. They think about how your brand solves customers’ problems and why they should buy from you and not a competitor. A marketing plan identifies your target market through market research and marketing channel decisions. For instance, a consultant will determine if your brand will get better visibility through social media or online ads, and why.
Marketing plans are extremely flexible because they can be tailored to all markets for any goal and support pricing decisions. Marketing strategy consultants also measure metrics based on the quarterly and annual milestones set out in the marketing plan. For example, if digital ads are performing well, the plan can be adjusted to increase your digital marketing budget.
Sometimes a bit of confusion surrounds the difference between a marketing plan and a business plan. Although the two have some similarities, the main difference is that a business plan covers more ground. Business plans include a general marketing plan to give stakeholders a holistic view of the company’s mission.
A marketing plan focuses more on market research and identifies which techniques will best resonate with your target market to generate more leads and conversions. Businesses need the advertising strategy provided by a well written market plan to sell their products or services. It keeps them on track with new trends for reaching consumers.
- How much do marketing strategy consultants cost?
Now that you’ve decided to hire a marketing strategy consultant, you’re probably wondering how much they charge. Every consultant charges different fees depending on experience, education, and the number of hours they expect to spend on your marketing campaigns. In general, consultants charge using three common payment structures:
- Hourly or daily rates
This is probably the most popular billing method because it provides flexibility to both the client and the consultant. It’s easy to track the hours worked and gives the client an opportunity to see if the working relationship is a good fit prior to investing more funds. The entire process is transparent. It rarely results in confusion between the parties.
- Flat fee
Paying a flat fee upfront means that as a client, you only pay once and aren’t subject to any hidden costs. A flat fee refers to a fixed charge that a client pays instead of a commission based on percentage.
- Results based fee
This payment method favors the client because they pay only if they see the results agreed upon in the contract. The results fee can be totally or partially results-based, with the latter favoring the consultant a bit more. For example, a result-based fee will pay the consultant 10% of your total sales growth. If you were to negotiate a partial results-based fee, the consultant would first receive a lump sum payment with the remainder paid when a specific target is met.
Alternatively, new companies like startups might also offer shares in lieu of a consultancy fee; however, consultants might still request additional payment using one of the above described structures.
How consultants structure their costs
If your consultant works at an agency, there is a high chance that an overhead fee will be attached. Consultants will also price their services depending on their experience and level of education. For instance, a pre-MBA consultant can charge up to $400 per hour, whereas those at a partner-level can charge as much as $1,200 per hour.
Hiring the right consultant for your business means understanding their values and areas of expertise. Some professionals offer a free trial for their services, so companies can test the waters prior to making an investment.
- What qualities should I look for in a marketing strategy consultant?
Companies need experienced marketing professionals to execute strategies that increase their online visibility. It’s a competitive industry that requires sound decision making in multiple areas and the correct allocation of resources. A good marketing consultant has the ability to evaluate your business and identify areas that are holding you back. A good marketing strategy consultant should also have the following qualities:
- Understanding value
A skilled consultant easily recognizes the value of great content and how to best employ it for growth, in a cost-effective way. Through in-depth market research, they have a clear understanding of who your target market is and how to engage with them.
- Willing to learn and be adaptable
An experienced consultant certainly has extensive market knowledge, but with the marketing industry rapidly changing, they need to keep up with new trends. This could mean learning how to engage popular social media platforms to their best effect or using the latest PR tactics. Adapting to new information and having the ability to come to new conclusions is one of the most important aspects of marketing.
- A creative thinker
The success of a marketing campaign completely depends on a consultant’s ability to creatively and flexibly respond to your firm’s needs. Although problems often have multiple solutions, it takes an excellent marketer to develop a strategy that can easily gain traction.
Aside from solving obvious problems, a good marketing consultant will work with businesses to create their story in an appealing and compelling way that will draw in customers.
- Goal oriented
Last but not least, marketing consultants revolve their strategies around key performance indicators (KPIs), measurable values that reflect how effectively a business is reaching its goals. A consultant will apply relevant KPIs for your business and use them to measure performance as frequently as needed.
- Is strategy consulting dying?
Absolutely not. Marketing consultants bring value to companies, and owners understand this. The digital marketing world is constantly evolving, making specialists even more important for helping companies keep up with new industry developments and consumer behavior.
Business owners have many balls to juggle, and sometimes they don’t have the resources to test and learn new strategies. By bringing on a marketing strategy consultant, you can be sure your brand is visible on the most appropriate digital platforms to reach your target audience.