Let me go ahead and get this out of the way first: I’m a marketing consultant. So yes, I am biased on this topic, of course. But I do have a compelling argument to make, and this article will only take you about five minutes to read. So stick around!
What follows is my case against three common objections I often hear in regard to hiring a marketing consultant:
- We already have an internal Marketing Manager
- We’re not looking for someone to consult, we’re looking for someone to execute
- We already work with someone who does our ads and updates our website
Let’s examine these three objections in detail.
1. We already have an internal Marketing Manager
Awesome! All the better. I’m not trying to uproot them and replace them with my agency – I promise. Quite the opposite. In fact, an internal Marketing Manager / CMO and an outside marketing consultant are a match made in heaven. Here’s why:
The Marketing Manager already has a strong understanding of the company’s business goals and knows the business development team, company resources and past marketing initiatives well. He or she is well-versed in how marketing already happens at the company – including what has worked and what has failed. And most importantly, this person isn’t a project manager, engineer, or someone in another role who inherited marketing duties by default. This is a down and dirty marketing-trained professional. And since marketing is his or her full-time role, this person will dedicate the proper time and energy needed to achieve marketing success.
In a complementary role, the outside marketing consultant brings fresh strategic thinking to the table, along with processes, measurement strategies and results that have benefited other like companies. In many cases – like with us at Cash Cow Consulting – the consultant also brings a variety of skill sets, including a team of designers, brand journalists, marketing strategists and web developers. Those are all skill sets you’re unlikely to find in one person.
Our client experience shows that companies with internal Marketing Managers or CMOs produce really strong results when we pair up with them.
2. We’re not looking for someone to consult, we’re looking for someone to execute
Fair enough. I can understand that sentiment and I can’t argue with it. My response to this objection has two parts.
First, I agree that a marketing plan isn’t worth paying for if no clear solution for executing that plan exists. This is why it’s so important your outside marketing consultant brings you a team (with the previously mentioned skill sets) to execute the plan as well.
Second, you NEED a sound plan in place before you execute anything. Years ago, marketing was like throwing darts. Spend $3K on a trade journal ad. Hope the phone rings. Spend $15K to ship your team across the country for a trade show. Hope you come back with a few good business cards. Spend $10K printing a few thousand glossy folders with project sheets in them. Hope your prospects are wowed and buy something from you. But that was the old marketing world.
A worthy marketing consultant today will come into your business and rather than saying, “sure, I can get these print ads out the door for you and make them look professional”, he’ll say, “let’s examine your audience segments, identify their needs throughout their buying processes, figure out what problems they need solved and build a strategy to solve them.” That outside marketing consultant will design a blueprint to attract prospects within your specific market niche, convert those prospects into real leads and nurture those leads until they become customers. He’ll help you identify key performance indicators and outline a measurement strategy that will make sure you achieve a positive return on your full marketing investment. And yes, that person will make sure your plan is executed to a tee.
3. We already work with someone who does our ads and updates our website
And that’s quite alright. But make sure you ask yourself this question:
Are you just paying that person to knock out marketing tasks?
Or are you paying them to think strategically about how do generate hard leads for your sales team and grow your bottom line? I have lots of respect for a talented graphic designer (that’s how I got my start, actually). But marketing is much more than a graphic design job. You need to expect results that affect your bottom line from every investment you make in marketing, and a good marketing consultant will give you confidence and proof that’s happening.
Cash Cow Consulting helps industrial companies generate website traffic, qualified business leads and paying customers using their websites and other online media. Sign up for a free consultation for ideas on how to make these things happen for your company.