Updated: Feb 22
Companies hire external talent on contractual basis all the time to meet their various organizational needs - Brand developers, CPA, Graphic designers, Website developers, Publicists just to name a few. And just like these various departments, marketing is another such area. Marketing consultant can be invaluable to your e-commerce business because of expertise, wisdom and knowledge they bring. There are plenty of business scenarios when it is the right time to seek marketing consulting services, let’s have a look at some of them -
Short staffed -
Businesses, especially tech, run into all kinds of difficult situations with high employee turnover. Perhaps you are scaling your company and need help or your sales and marketing lead such as a CMO or CSO has suddenly decided to take up that new exciting offer, leaving you in a bind. Depending upon the level of expertise and experience you need, a marketing consultant can be brought in to fulfill positions until you find a replacement. You can also choose to retain them alongside your growing team as an alternative.
No sales and marketing planning -
Often businesses, especially startups stay focused on developing their tech product offering. Then they get busy in looking for customers. They forget to have a go-to-market or an overall sales and marketing plan in place to clearly define their target market, pricing, promotion and distribution efforts. While cold sales outreach may produce some results, an unplanned approach will cost you revenue and growth in the long run. Having a plan developed by a skilled and trained marketing professional can help you avoid such situations and put you on a path to long term success.
Can’t keep up with modern marketing -
Sales and marketing are constantly evolving. Although the basics never change, trends, tactics and technology does. What is innovative today may be old and inefficient tomorrow. It's hard for business owners to keep up. Hiring a marketing consultant can help you stay relevant and conduct your business in an efficient and cost effective manner. They can advise you on the latest in martech, marketing automation, customer service, business, sales digitization and marketing best practices, tools and strategies.
Stalled business growth -
Not enough people signing up for product demos on your website? Struggling with customer acquisition? Are you unable to meet your revenue targets? Sometimes finding answers or solutions to business problems isn’t possible internally. There are biases involved and you are too close and involved with the business. An outside marketing consultant can look at the issues involved and provide a neutral perspective on all the possible reasons. They can also suggest new ideas and solutions that can help you get unstuck.
Low brand awareness -
Unclear what your brand story is? Or find that your brand is unknown within your target market? A sales and marketing consultant can help solve this challenge. They can come up with strategies and tactics to develop your brand and increase awareness on the right channels where your target market spends their time.
Can’t stay competitive -
Staying ahead of your competitors is not easy but it is something that must be done by all businesses. You may be a mid stage ecommerce startup with more established players in the industry and wondering how you can compete. A marketing consultant can help you with your comp analysis, positioning and messaging that can make all the difference in upping your game.
Need press but don’t know how to -
If you intend on getting in front of the media but don’t know where to start, a marketing consultant can help you with connections and attention. There is no need to let your important moments not get the right press they deserve.
Clearly define your specific needs when looking for a consultant though. Ensure they have the right background and experience for your requirement.
How to find the right marketing consultant
Google search marketing consultants in your local area. You will come up with some potential candidates that you can talk to and interview.
Place ads on sites such as Craigslist. You will have people applying.
Talk to local business owners or your contacts. They might have connections and referrals to share.
Look on professional sites like Linked In for talent.
Ask your HR to conduct a search and look into their existing talent pool.
Ask your current sales and marketing employees for referrals.
Having the right marketing consultant on your team will be money well spent considering the benefits you receive. To have a great experience, do remember to set your expectations clearly at the very outset. Know clearly what your need is and why you are hiring them. Ensure the consultant is a right fit with relevant experience.