Every day, the best B2B marketing consulting firms challenge themselves to do great work because they care about getting clients the results they deserve.
At the same time, many consultants have been in situations where things have gone awry. Luckily, we have the experience to know how to avoid challenges and set up your B2B marketing consulting engagement for success. If you’re in the market for a new firm, follow these tips to make sure it’s a winning relationship.
Give Access to Your Business
You’ve worked hard to get the ingredients just right in your business plan. And you won’t give away the secret sauce to just anyone. We get it. It’s difficult to trust a new vendor with your business secrets, and you might fear getting taken advantage of if you give away details too soon.
But a marketing consulting firm is part of your marketing team. As such, it’s important to choose a team you trust to share information like:
- Overall marketing budget
- Existing business plans
- Go-to-market strategies
Without this crucial information, marketing consultants are unable to effectively guide your marketing program.
This is especially true when budgets are not disclosed. Without a dollar value, your consultant must guess how much you might be willing to spend.
If you are unsure of how much to allocate for your marketing budget, a good consultant can help you decide based on a thorough assessment of marketing materials, competitive audit, and strategic marketing plan.
#2: Set Reasonable Expectations
If you were to hire a new marketing manager to start internally, would you assume hundreds of new leads to pour in within the first month? While this is something we all would love, it’s not typically realistic.
Many clients break off engagements with good consultants because they did not get enough sales-qualified leads into the pipeline within the first few months. The right B2B marketing consulting firm can set expectations with you in the beginning to help you understand how soon to expect predictable returns.
Your marketing consultant will likely find some quick wins at the beginning of your engagement. However, depending on the business model and budget, a predictable lead generation engine may not be possible until year two.
#3: Show Up to Regular Meeting Times
After a year spent in Zoom calls, we could all use a break sometimes. The occasional cancelation is to be expected when it comes to meeting with an outside vendor like your B2B marketing consulting firm.
However, repeated cancelations can mean a lack of communication that harshens relationships. Clients may not have a clear explanation when things go awry. This can lead the client to think the consultant isn’t taking lead generation seriously.
Make time for your consultant. And make sure they’re making time for you. The relationship goes both ways!
#4: Don’t Give Up too Soon
Your consultant has set up a new marketing campaign and you’re ready to see the inquiries roll in.
After some initial interest, you hit a snag. You’re frustrated when there are fewer qualified leads than expected.
Is it time to pull the plug on your marketing program? Before making any drastic decisions, consider this:
- Marketing is not a hard science, per se. Although there is a scientific aspect, it involves testing, retesting, and shifting your hypothesis.
- Slight changes to wording, design, and distribution have been known to make a major impact on campaign results
- Converting leads takes time. 47% of B2B buyers look at 4-5 pieces of content before speaking with a salesperson.
If your marketing consultant does not develop a strategy to change course or modify the campaign, it may be time to rethink the relationship. However, if your consultant is aware of the discrepancy and stays in communication about potential changes, this is someone who truly cares about your results.
It’s worth it to stick around and find out what does work for your audience to inform the success of future marketing programs.
#5: Keep Things Organized
A sophisticated marketing consultancy or agency uses a combination of a solid project management system, file organization, and internal communication/meetings to stay organized.
As a B2B marketing consulting firm, we don’t expect our clients to use our same systems and processes. However, if only one side is tracking and adhering to deadlines, it can cause problems at crunch time for launching a new campaign.
If this becomes a frequent problem, maybe it’s time to think about ditching the jammed inbox method of project management. There are several project management and task management tools you can employ to keep everyone on track when questions arise or information is needed from your marketing team. And your consultant can help you find the right fit.
All in all, it’s up to your marketing consultancy to set expectations around your marketing program in the short- and long-term.
Learn what you can expect with our strategic marketing consultants—and how you can go from cost center to profit center marketing.