How to Hire a Marketing Consultant.
You want to grow your business. You’ve tried to do marketing in-house for quite some time – and it’s NOT gone as expected. Now it’s time to admit, with all the various types of activities that marketing requires, your organization just can’t focus on marketing AND your clients.
Let’s face it. Marketing has become so complicated, it requires experts to do it right.
This is the realization most business owners are finally coming to. And this realization is when most businesses actually put themselves on the path to having real success with their marketing.
The conclusion is: it’s time to hire a marketing consultant.
But how can you afford what you need? How do you find the right consultant for your business? And more importantly, if you find one, how can you be sure you are getting the most out of them to maximize your investment?
To answer these questions, you really owe it to yourself to develop a process for your marketing – and you owe it to your consultant as well. He/She needs to know how success will be measured, and to do that, the key is the old adage: Inspect what you expect.
Here are three steps to complete, even BEFORE you start the hiring process.
Step 1: Start Off By Developing Your Key Measurements
When evaluating the success of your marketing, the key is to first determine your expectations and if they are realistic. Most business owners evaluate marketing success on revenue, or the number of new clients. And this is where it all typically falls apart.
The reason is there are many things that must go into generating new revenue and generating new clients that are NOT related to marketing. Marketing should be thought of as what builds education, awareness and good-will toward your company and the problem(s) you solve for clients.
So if that’s the case, what needs to be put into place to make sure that is occurring?
Our recommendations for clients are:
- Determine your target persona – that is, determine who is your ideal client. Our recommendation is to think what problem(s) do you love to solve, what problem(s) do clients say you solve really well and what problem(s) do you make great income solving. Once that’s defined, you (and your consultant) can begin targeting your marketing toward those prospects.
- Review The Buyer’s Journey – in other words, determine the steps buyers take in making the decision if your solution is right for them. (See below for additional training opportunities in this subject). This will be important to your consultant as they look to help you develop your messaging and marketing tools.
- Now develop your metrics. Agree on the number of target persona prospects you need to begin attracting to meet your sales and revenue goals based on the volume of sales you need to meet your revenue goals. This will be based on your typical close rate and other factors. For example, if you need 15 new clients in the next 12 months and you typically have to talk to 60 to get to do 30 proposals to get 15 clients, then the goal is to have marketing help you get 60 conversations. Break this up into monthly goals to see early if you are making good progress. In this case, you need to get 5 conversations per month to reach your goal.
Each situation is unique across all businesses, so you might want to involve the marketing consultant in helping you with these steps if you are not comfortable doing it on your own.
Step 2: Challenge and Expect Your Consultant to Solve Problems – Not Just Complete Tasks
As I stated earlier, when it comes to many different business types, not one way works for each business, so a good marketing consultant has to have the ability and leeway to creatively solve problems to help you reach your objectives.
Identify consultants that have shown this problem-solving ability. As I mentioned, don’t hire someone to complete marketing tasks for tasks sake. It needs to be driving to your marketing objectives and that requires problem solving.
When interviewing a consultant, ask them these questions:
- Tell me a time when you created a plan that didn’t work and what did you change to fix it?
- How do you measure whether what you are doing is working or not, and if it’s not, how do you fix it?
Step 3: Develop a Reporting System and Expect to Receive Consistent Metrics to Review
Moving the needle in the right direction is key to having success with your marketing so it’s imperative that you monitor these key performance indicators on a regular basis. At MEMO for our clients we do this monthly, but it certainly may be necessary to review some metrics more often.
Develop a spreadsheet of metrics for your consultant to fill-in each month and meet about these factors monthly if possible. This will make sure you are optimizing your dollars.
One thing’s for sure, give the consultant time to get momentum. Marketing is a long-term play. It takes time to develop messaging and make progress on your key measurements
Have more questions about this? We’d love to help!
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