What Do Marketing Consulting Firms Do?
In the age of digital transformation, the field of marketing is fast evolving, bringing with it a brave new world of opportunities and challenges for businesses like yours. The good news is that there is a growing array of new platforms and apps you can tap to keep your customers engaged. The bad news is that your company may lack the internal resources to optimize them all – and the marketing practices you have relied on in the past may be losing their effectiveness.
To stay relevant and build brand affinity with today’s digital-first buyers, the services of a top marketing consulting firm can help.
So, what do marketing consulting firms do? And how can partnering with the right firm help drive growth and position your business for success?
Marketing Agencies vs. Marketing Consulting Firms
Traditional marketing agencies have their limitations when it comes to developing strategies. Often, they are simply there to provide creative, digital, and/or project management services and looking to you for direction. They may offer strategic thoughts and insight, but ultimately the services they provide for your company are selected from a menu of deliverables that you deem appropriate for your budget.
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And when asked for a marketing plan, many agencies offer up a standard, cookie-cutter list of deliverables they are staffed to provide. This approach is based on the premise that all companies need the same basic mix of formulaic marketing assets to succeed. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.
What Sets Marketing Consulting Firms Apart: Leading with Strategy
Every business, product, and industry is unique. To succeed in today’s fast-paced, highly competitive marketplace requires companies to accomplish three things:
- Differentiate themselves from the competition
- Reach customers where they spend their time, in person and across the digital landscape
- Speak to their values and preferences with personalized messages that resonate
What does a marketing consulting firm do to meet these goals? The most important service a marketing consulting firm brings to your company is as strategist. Unlike an agency, a marketing consulting firm’s services go beyond the prescriptive to consider both what your business does and what your customers expect. The right firm will take the time to truly understand your business model, conducting layers of research to uncover the key actionable insights you need to move forward with a sound, data-driven marketing plan.
The marketing consulting firm you select should also factor your own specific business objectives into the marketing strategy and plan. For example, do you need to drive awareness in a new market you are entering? Or are you looking to build long term growth? Is lead generation your top priority? Ultimately, your marketing strategy and plan will take different forms depending on your goals.
Taking Initiative on Marketing Strategies
When partnering with a marketing consulting firm, look for an organization that is proactive and that brings flexible thinking to the relationship. When advising on specific projects and campaigns, for example, the firm should provide more than one option, at more than one price point. And the firm should push back on existing marketing practices or proposed deliverables when they are not aligned well with the business goals you have established.
This kind of creative thinking shows diligence and that your marketing consulting firm is invested in your success – and not just there to spend your budget. It also reminds you that there is more than one way to approach each project and campaign, and that getting it done right is often better than getting it done faster or for less.
Keeping You Connected
The marketing consulting firm you select should also maintain close relationships with top marketing professionals across industries and disciplines. For example, at Marketri our internal staff comprises a wide range of professionals, from fractional chief marketing officers (CMOs) and VPs of marketing to account managers, creative specialists, practitioners, and administrators. We also have established relationships with P.R. firms, external fractional CMOs and a full range of talented freelancers, ranging from video production teams and creative directors to writers, graphic designers, social media experts, and more.
All our team members are highly skilled and bring to our community of clients a proven record of success. And because we dedicate their talent and expertise to your business in the exact amounts of time needed for each campaign or project, your company receives all the benefits of a senior-level team – without the expenses and organizational challenges involved in assembling that team internally.
Investing in a Marketing Consulting Firm
For the middle market, engaging with a marketing consulting firm is a flexible investment that starts at around $6,000 a month – although the most successful companies tend to invest $10,000-15,000 a month or more. Ultimately, an investment in marketing is an investment in your business success. And continuing with the status quo may come with opportunity costs.
If you find that your growth has stalled or your current marketing approach is not producing the results you would like to see, consider bringing a marketing consulting firm on board. With the right partner by your side, your company can navigate the complexities of today’s marketplace well, optimize your budgets, and remain front and center with customers for years to come, even as new marketplace dynamics unfold.
Download our guide to learn more about how a marketing team should operate. Or, contact our CEO Deb Andrews for your consultation.