Why should you hire a strategic marketing consultant?
There are several reasons to hire an experienced marketing consultant, which vary depending on the company type, business owner goals, business type, just to name a few. The most common reason for hiring a consultants is for their experience and marketing expertise.
For instance, some companies may hire a marketing consultant to conduct an in-depth analysis of their market and customers. Others may want a 3rd party to validate their marketing strategy and fine-tune it to attain better campaign performance.
Consultants like the experts at Profit Pro can enhance your marketing team or in some cases, Consultants can bring the leadership skills needed to lead the current team of marketing professionals. This article outlines eleven reasons why you may want to consider outside marketing consulting help.
1. Marketing consultants will help you develop marketing strategies and sales goals
Goals are a crucial component of any marketing strategy. They set out what needs to happen for your service or product to do well in the market.
Setting marketing business goals
A marketing consultant can help you set SMART marketing goals.
- Specific – Goals should precisely state what you want to achieve. For example, instead of setting a goal of increasing sales, go for a more precise objective, such as raising profits by 25% or increasing market share by 20%.
- Measurable – Have a way of measuring what you have achieved either qualitatively or quantitatively. For instance, a qualitative measure may be "reduce departmental overheads by 8% this year."
- Achievable – set goals that are within your budget and capacity. To make a goal achievable, you need a past analysis of what you have accomplished. This will help you know the leap you wish to take.
- Relevant – Set goals aligned to your business objectives.
- Time-bound – set goals you can realize within the timeframe you need them. This provides a sense of urgency. It also helps when it comes to determining whether or not the goals have been achieved successfully.
2. A Marketing consultant will provide smart, frequent research to develop brand awareness
We don't need to inform you that developing brand awareness is a difficult job, but a critical one, for that matter. After all, 81% of shoppers worldwide attest that they need to trust a brand before they can make a purchase.
If your target clients don't trust or know your brand, how will you boost your customer base or sales? Below are strategies marketing consultants use to promote brand awareness and help your business prosper.
Reviewing and documenting your brand perception and customer experience
Branding is the consistency of experience for your customer. When your customer does business with you, they always know what they are getting. Consistency of quality and the service they receive. Pre-recession, it was fun to develop a brand; in a recession, brands must treat it as mandatory.
Your brand strategy should be aimed at a targeted market as it will not sell to everyone. Aim to target your most profitable customer. Branding includes logos/ taglines, attitude, experience, and messages your customer receives from doing business with you.
In business, the lowest failure rate belongs to franchises. Why a franchise? It's because the brand, predictability, and quality are documented and replicated.
For example, no matter where McDonald's is, the cheeseburger will taste, look, and be delivered the same. It's more than the "golden arches." It is the whole experience, whether you are a fan of McDonald's or not; you always know what to anticipate.
Deviation from the brand strategy is what causes disappointed customers. McDonald's continues to post huge earnings year after year, just because of its consistency, predictability, and excellent branding.
The franchise concept is used in all industries, such as Aspen Dental, Roto Router, Mr. Electric, Aire Serv Heating and Air Conditioning, Lenscrafters, Doctor's Express, and Belle Tire.
Identifying what makes your business unique
What makes your business unique is what you do that differentiates you from others. It's what sets you apart from your competition, and in today's market, it will make all the difference between connecting with your target audiences or losing a customer. It is something you deliver or provide consistently. It is the core purpose of your brand.
Unique messages can relate to your philosophy, people, products, services, alliance, endorsements, community involvement, and shopping experience you provide to your customers.
Creating your competitive advantage
Why should I buy from you versus your competitors? Creating a competitive advantage is included in what makes you unique, but it is also a standard you set to exceed in your industry. It involves identifying what your customer expects from your industry and then establishing and documenting ways of exceeding that expectation.
Some idea starters may include faster, higher quality, lower price, better design, or more convenience.
3. A consultant will create a marketing plan with budget and show you the expected return on investment.
A budget is an educated guess that relates spending to activity to revenue.
The benefits of developing a marketing budget are:
- To control expenses and improve revenues
- To help assist in the coordination of marketing activities
- Sets the standard of performance that keeps marketing focused on results
- Allows tracking and change your marketing based on the success or failure of each tactic.
- Understand the value of a customer and the return on investment in acquiring them.
Return on Investment (ROI)
Return is the marginal net worth of a customer calculated as the average amount of the first sale, less direct costs, plus the number of purchases over the next year.
Example: If a first purchase is $1000, less cost of goods (40%) or $400, additional two purchases of $200 at 50% gross profit is $300, the first-year marginal net worth is $400 plus $300 equals $700.
Investment is the marketing cost of obtaining that customer. For example, a cost of $300 was incurred in marketing to sell one customer. Return on Investment in this example is $700 gross profit less cost of marketing $300 equals $400. $400 divided by a cost of $300 investment is 133% return on investment.
Return on Investment is the optimization of marketing spending to measure the profitability of marketing.
The formula for Return on Investment is:
ROI = (Gain from Investment (or Gross Profit) – Cost of Investment)
Cost of Investment
Huge profits can be created by applying ROI thinking long-term. Customer value is profit accumulated over the life of the relationship. Therefore, marketing strategy spending is seen as both an expense and an investment.
The expenses are those costs associated with attracting attention and the early lead generation efforts. These expenses are measured in terms of quantity (how many people responded to your message).
When you look at marketing as an investment, you are looking at the costs of taking a generated lead and then transforming it into a qualified sales lead – a lead ready to be handed to your salespeople. This is measured by the quality of the lead generated from your marketing system.
4. Your consultant will help you develop attention-getting messages
With nearly every business producing digital marketing content and campaigns, getting new customers narrows down to how much attention and interest you can attract.
A study conducted by researchers from the Technical University of Denmark shows that the collective attention span globally is reducing due to the amount of info being fed to the public. It is now down to around 8 seconds.
That's where attention-grabbing messages and the copywriting experience of a marketing consultant can make a big difference.
How to create a powerful marketing message to fill and generate qualified leads for more sales
Your marketing message must tell your audience what you do and persuade them that you're the best at what you do. That is to say; your message needs to be an attention grabber, followed by reasons your target audience would want, need, and benefit from your product/service and a way for them to contact you.
Your marketing consultant should help you develop two types of marketing messages. One message should be short and to the point – think of it as your "elevator pitch." It's is your response to someone who asks you, "So, what do you do?"
The second type is a more complete marketing message that will be included in all your marketing materials and promotions. To make your message compelling and persuasive, it should incorporate the following elements:
- Understand your target markets problems
- Explanation of why you are the best business to solve your target's problem
- Explanation of the benefits your target will receive from your services
- Case studies and example/testimonials of other satisfied customers with similar problems solved
- Highlight your unconditional guarantee, unique process, services, price, and financing options
5. A Marketing Consultant will help you select the best marketing channels
Once you have developed a great brand, it is time to spread the word about your company and its products/services.
According to Statista, better utilization of marketing channels can help to boost early engagement. However, a marketing channel needs to be keenly thought through for it to be effective.
The key is to send the right message using the best channel to reach your target audience on a budget you can afford. You want them to positively react to your marketing message and thus feel compelled to contact you.
Determining the variables in each marketing channel
The advertising avenues may vary in terms of cost and market range. Some may be less expensive but will only reach a few people. Other avenues may have an extensive reach but are pretty costly.
A marketing consultant can compile a list of your options and associated costs to help you disperse your advertising budget in a productive manner
How often do you want the promotional message to reach the audience?
This is particularly important when making decisions regarding market or segment timing.
Here are some marketing techniques top marketing consultant firms would advise you to use to get your message out:
- Inbound marketing centered web development
- Search engine optimization or SEO
- Call Center/Cold Calls/Surveys
- Television, Radio and Newspaper Ads
- Postcards/Direct Mail Signs/Vehicle Wraps
- Search engine marketing
- Content strategy
- Website/Internet Marketing
- Sales Letters
- Banners and Billboards
- Brochures and Flyers
- Charity Events
- Unique Business Cards
- Magazine Ads
- Referral Programs
- Word-of-Mouth System
- Social Media, Newsletters and E-books
- Email marketing
- Influencer marketing
- e Commerce
6. Your marketing consultant will advise on follow up nurturing tools and methods
Successful digital marketing relies heavily on the use of nurturing tools and technology. Your marketing consultant will review the tools you are using at the moment and recommend new ones that will be able to boost your effectiveness, efficiency, and results.
Rarely does your first email or call end in a sale, thus following up with the customer is critical. A business can spend a lot of money on advertising but still, lose money because they don't follow up and close.
Follow up is crucial to future sales
Naturally, the ultimate objective of follow-up after a sale presentation is to generate more sales.
If you spend $5000 in advertising and close 10% of those sales, you get one result. But if you follow up, you could, over time, increase those sales leads to a much better result.
As your consultant will advise you, nurturing will keep those qualified customers that are not ready to buy now, primed for buying in the future. Instead of giving up on those customers that don't buy now, you build a pipeline of interested customers that will buy in the future.
Through diligent, consistent nurturing, you will position your company in the customers top of mind awareness, so when they are ready to buy, they will come to you
Ideas for nurturing
Here is a list of ideas you can implement keep qualified customers in your nurturing system:
- Email marketing provides helpful information on a regular basis
- Always follow up requests for additional information with a telephone call.
- Quotes and proposals need to be followed by a telephone call.
- Newsletters about what is new or blogs that educate
- Telephone surveys or industry research
- Direct mail may be another tactic used to keep your customer informed about your products and services
- White papers that educate rather than sell
- Birthday cards or "just thinking of you" messages
7. A marketing consultant will process-map and document all your marketing efforts
Process mapping entails specifically highlighting all the steps in a marketing process. Basically, it is a map to steer you through your marketing processes, identifying the activities, data, and people involved.
Benefits of process-mapping your marketing efforts
- Ensures consistency
- It helps identify gaps before it costs the company customers and market share
- A training tool. Your employees will have a road map to follow
- Eliminates redundancies
- Is the foundation of your marketing system
Let's say you wish to create a map for a customer onboarding process. How do you go about it?
Maps of customer onboarding processes appear different depending on the industry and organization. A map of a typical onboarding process may begin with an email from a potential customer. An auto-responder may reply with basic info. A sales rep then follows up to further discuss your request.
If the customer is a perfect fit, the rep will schedule an appointment. Terms and conditions are negotiated, the client signs a contract. Any other necessary paperwork is done, and work begins.
8. A consultant will evaluate the profitability of your marketing channels and campaigns
"There are only two things in a business that make money — innovation and marketing. Everything else is cost." - Peter Drucker.
But, having multiple channels dedicated to your marketing efforts, how do you determine the profitability of each?
A profitable marketing channel can be defined in various ways. In its most basic form, a profitable marketing channel is one that generates profits for your company.
How much money do you make for every dollar you spend promoting a product? How have your marketing strategies evolved, and how effective have they been?
Usually, a positive ROI (profitability) occurs if effective marketing campaigns and channels are being applied. Contrary, a negative ROI means that your business is losing money, and a marketing consultant should help you reorganize your marketing strategies.
9. Your marketing consultant will help your business diversify by developing new services and products
By utilizing research, customer survey's and general customer demand, a business can uncover new products or services.
Research helps your marketing consultant understand what trends dictate the future of your industry and analyze which trends are essential to growing your business.
Also, by conducting surveys, your marketing consultant is able to uncover modifications that the customer wants to see, perhaps enhancing your products or services to a broader market.
Listening to your customer is crucial. If you are currently not providing what they want to buy, you can discover what new services and products to offer.
10. A consultant will help you expand your market reach
Expanding your market translates to selling more. In a struggling economy, you must move from areas that are shrinking or depressed and move into areas that want and can afford your product or services.
Your marketing consultant can advise you on how best to be more aggressive with marketing and advertising, with the aim of taking customers away from your competition. Internet marketing, new locations or affiliates are ways of expanding your market and sales.
11. A consultant will keep you up-to-date with marketing trends
There are countless developments in the marketing world that it's just difficult to stay up-to-date unless you hire a marketing consultant or professional.
Even if you're happy with your present marketing results, employing a consultant to keep up with emerging trends is a one of the best decisions you can make. Being one of the first to embrace new platforms gives you a leg up on the competition and demonstrates that you're on top of things.
Your marketing consultant can generate content tailored to new platforms, such as Snapchat, geo-filters, or short videos for Instagram stories. They are better positioned to offer fresh marketing strategies that you may not be aware of.
They can also offer guidance on new technologies like virtual reality. When used appropriately, such technology guarantees remarkable results. Maybe your new line of products could be promoted via an interactive VR experience. Or perhaps you could release an augmented reality smartphone app?
When it comes to marketing, staying current is crucial, and you don't have to do it alone. Always leverage on the experience or experience of a consultant.
Profit Pro Consultants Marketing System
When it comes to marketing, it is nearly impossible to come up with a decent winning approach without experienced professionals. With our extensive knowledge in building marketing strategies we help businesses stay ahead of the competition through innovative strategies using traditional marketing, digital channels and marketing automation.
Hiring a consultant to develop and implement plans, increase brand awareness, process-map your marketing efforts, create new products and services, and expand your market, is essential for success.
Schedule a consultation today and you will be amazed at how much a consultant will help your business.