Smart people know that they can’t possibly know everything. This is particularly true in business. The creative genius can’t sell their way out of a wet paper bag. The sales guys are not the ones you want handling HR. The financial whiz has no ability to spell “financial whiz”. And the CEO is trying to hold it all together while driving change and business growth. In addition, if you’re leading a smaller or mid-market Business-to-Business (B2B) company, you may not have the internal resources to do it all even if you wanted to.
While hiding under your desk might seem like a good idea, it probably won’t solve anything, and it certainly won’t help you achieve transformative revenue growth. But while you’re down there, consider how adding a marketing consultant to your team might help you achieve the revenue growth you’re looking for.
Using a marketing consultant gets you senior level marketing expertise and perspective, without adding the expense of a salary and benefits for a senior level employee. As an external resource, a consultant will participate as much or as little as your business requires and bill accordingly – allowing you to manage costs while still deriving benefit.
That said, a marketing consultant can’t solve every problem and isn’t always the right choice for a company, whether it’s a B2B company or otherwise. Here are some factors to help you evaluate if it’s time to add a marketing consultant to your business mix.
What can a marketing consultant do for the business?
A marketing consultant will provide senior level marketing support, insight, advice and processes. They’ll also help with marketing and lead generation decision-making. In addition, they can help with:
- Strategic marketing planning
- Annual marketing road-mapping
- Communication audits and planning
- Business, product and service positioning and differentiation
- Market identification, segmentation and competitive analysis
- Brand and product launches / market entry including feasibility studies
- CRM systems and marketing automation
- Marketing best practices and benchmarking
How can I tell if I need a marketing consultant?
Here are the 5 most common situations when marketing consultants bring value that far outweighs their cost:
You’re looking for growth opportunities or expanding your market
Growth and market expansion are strategic, analytical processes that require research and objective clarity. Then, once the research has been completed and a decision made, a strategic marketing and lead generation plan needs to be created to generate results. Wishful thinking is no substitute for facts and a plan based on experience and expertise.
There is a need to re-position or re-brand your business, product or service
Whether it’s you or them, things change. Don’t lose market share and profits because you’re not keeping your business at the forefront of the markets you serve. Understanding the need for change and then making appropriate changes takes both quantitative and qualitative analysis followed by a launch plan. Often the best way to achieve this is by leveraging someone who has the clarity of seeing things from the outside.
You don’t have a formalized marketing or sales strategy
No business should be without one. It’s that simple. If you or your team doesn’t have the time or expertise to build one, hiring a marketing consultant to do it will get you on the right track and avoid missteps. Period.
You have a marketing plan that isn’t working
You can’t know or do it all. If you are doing marketing but your pipeline isn’t growing, something is wrong. Sure, you can randomly try things and cross your fingers, but the months will tick by quickly with this approach. Instead, a marketing consultant will bring the expertise your business needs to get things on track quickly and have you seeing results.
You don’t have senior executives with depth in B2B marketing
There are times when a senior level “sounding board” is needed to make the very best decisions for your business. Having Business-to-Business marketing expertise as part of the discussion helps to ensure that opportunities aren’t overlooked, and that marketing and lead generation best practices are being leveraged to give your business every advantage.
Learn more about marketing consulting and how it can grow your revenues.