Marketing consultants vary from one to another, just like any other profession, however there is a cadence that all marketing consultants should follow.
Formally, I’ve been a marketing consultant for 21 years working in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, New York and Atlanta. During that time, I have had the opportunity to not only consult to hundreds of small and medium-sized businesses but also Fortune 100 companies, and surprisingly there is a lot of similarities.
What can you expect from a competent marketing consultant:
Ability to create a marketing strategy aligned to your business goals
If a marketing consultant is coming into your business and their only discussion is one or two areas of marketing, you must consider that perhaps they don’t have enough experience in marketing to understand that an omnichannel approach is the only way to build a sustainable marketing strategy.
A strong marketing consultant would have at least 10 years’ experience in marketing with successes and failures under their belt.
Whether they do marketing strategies the old fashion way or they use Robotic Marketer, it is important that they understand all the different facets of the marketing mix, and how they relate to connecting your brand with your audience.
Branding is a strength
Many marketing consultants fail to truly understand the value of brand leaving this side of the “business” to their advertising counterparts. To do marketing, you really need to understand the company’s brand; personality, values, voice, attributes, benefits and so on.
Branding is very important to differentiating your company from your competitors. At Marketing Eye, we focus on being an outsourced marketing department. Our brand personality is professional, inquisitive, forward thinking and reliable. Our voice is authoritive, knowledgeable, visionary and global.
To understand your brand is important to how you communicate your value proposition and connect with your audience.
A marketing consultant needs to know how to strengthen your brand in the market and ensure that you are consistent with all brand messaging and placement.
Reaching your customers and prospects is hard when you are doing it manually. By automating this process you will be able to reach more customers, more often with less effort in a way that they want to be communicated with. Having the right technology suite is imperative and ensuring that it is integrated, providing you with the right data to feed your sales team, will change your outcomes.
Always start with:
CRM: We use Salesforce but there are many CRM tools that are effective. Salesforce is the most commonly utilised CRM tool in the world, but not necessarily the best. It’s a bit old fashion in many ways and clunky, so find one that is easy for you to use. Other suggested CRM technologies include Insightly, ZohoCRM, SAP CRM, Oracle Sales Cloud (SMB), Netsuite CRM, Base CRM, Hubspot.
Email marketing platform: We use Mailchimp, Constant Contact and FutureMail, however there may be email marketing platforms that are integrated into your CRM or Marketing Automation software that is more effective for your business.
Scheduling Tools: We schedule all social media through Hootsuite and Buffer. Most scheduling tools do the same thing and are usually free to use.
Google Analytics: Key to understanding the traffic on your website and how to improve your search engine optimisation, Google Analytics is very important to any company with a website. If your marketing consultant cannot read Google Analytics, then fire them fast!
SEO Tools: There are so many to use with our preferred SEO Tool deriving from Robotic Marketer technology, but others that are awesome include SEMrush, SpyFu, Screaming Frog, MOZ, Yoast and Alexa.
For the past 16 years, Christina Kortesis has been a marketing consultant with Marketing Eye Melbourne. She epitomizes the way marketing consultants should interact with their clients.
Each week Christina contacts or meets with her clients and talks through the marketing activities for that week, analytics and deliverables. It gives the marketing consultant an opportunity to discuss freely all marketing activities and how they align to the company’s business plan. It also gives the client an ability to update the marketing consultant on the business and how the marketing efforts are affecting sales.
Reporting on marketing activities with analytics is essential to any marketing campaign. Marketing Eye’s marketing consultants use our own in-house data analytics program as well as Google Analytics and Alexa.
Sharing of ideas and campaigns
Just because someone else did it doesn’t mean that you can’t do it too! Part of Marketing Eye’s process is to constantly encourage marketers to keep up-to-date with the latest marketing campaigns. Sharing successful campaigns undertaken by other agencies inspires ideas.
Clients are everything. Without them, marketing consultants don’t have a job. Ensuring that the door is always open for feedback is essential to creating great relationships but also better marketing results.
Being a marketing consultant means that you have accomplished enough to be able to provide expert advice to your clients. You also know what tools you have access to that enables a better outcome.
Over the years, I have been dumb-founded by what former employees have written on their LinkedIn profiles about what they did while working at Marketing Eye.
The first one that had me gob-smacked was a French assistant, who wrote that she had developed and managed the Marketing Eye brand, building the company’s marketing strategy and executing it.
In reality, she was a personal assistant, who had poor English and was struggling to do any task at all from an administrative perspective. She didn’t write anything, had no contact at all with design or branding but was excellent at organizing my dinner appointments, assisting me with my wardrobe and in general being a great personal assistant, albeit one that could not write on an email on my behalf because of the poor English factor. She worked for me for a few months only which I did it as a favour for her boyfriend who was a good friend at the time. In the end, I had to tell him, that her English was so bad, I couldn’t afford the luxury of her impeccable taste in clothing, makeup and picking restaurants at that stage of my life.
From one to another, they are completely different. Some have great skills in strategy, others in tactical development and execution of marketing plans. Some are great at communicating but not fully across social media or what role advertising plays in the digital age.
In the past year, I have travelled the world talking to marketers and each one has something different to offer. They all have honed their skills in one area or another.
I first started my involvement in the marketing industry 21 years ago at an advertising agency in Queensland. I remember watching the owner of the business operate and being completely fascinated by his skills and creativity. He had started his career as a window dresser for David Jones and way back in the early nineties was making more than a million dollars profit out of 5 man agency. Incredible.
An action packed weekend, filled with laughter, good friends, great food and a few bottles of french Bordeaux, it is fair to say, I am ready to get my teeth sunk in to the week ahead.
While it may seem all fun and games, it isn't always and is definately dependent on how you look at it.
What pb Human Capital said about Marketing Eye's development of their company website:
"We first heard about Marketing Eye some years ago, and were consistently impressed by the quality of Mellissah's blogs, her marketing & design ideas and forever upbeat attitude. When we wanted a new and updated website, we made sure we spoke to her. To be honest though, we still did our due diligence and met with three firms before making our decision.
Mellissah is exactly the same in person as her social persona. She's great! She blew us away with her ideas for our website which fit neatly into our social networking strategy, our ideal brand image, and the look and feel of the company as we really are. When you couple that with the price (which was amazing, but not our only criterion), we simply had to use Marketing Eye.
The process was seamless, we had an incredibly fast turnaround, and the result was everything we'd hoped for. We're stunned. The website is excellent. It's exactly what we had conceptualised. I would absolutely recommend Marketing Eye to any business - small or large - that needed an expert look at their design and marketing strategy."
Truth be known, I don't think I am very smart at all, but collectively with the talents of my team at Marketing Eye, we help small businesses grow and most of our work is pretty awesome (if you ask me!).