How to Choose

a Marketing Consultant

Key #1: Qualifications

 

Unlike lawyers, accountants and doctors, marketing consultants do not require an undergraduate degree in marketing, let alone a trade license. You will find marketing consultants who majored in graphic design, English, or accounting. Others providing marketing assistance have come from fields including broadcasting, journalism, sales and photography. Some marketing consultants have never even attended college. None of these people have the foundation in marketing that a college education in marketing or advertising provides. Many, for example, cannot even name the Four Ps of Marketing (product, price, place, promotion), let alone have studied how to apply them.

 

You would never go to a doctor who is not properly qualified. Why go to a marketing professional who has no university marketing degree? Your ideal candidate is one who has an undergraduate degree in marketing or advertising, an MBA with emphasis on marketing, and many years of practical experience in real-world marketing or advertising. If you are a small business owner, your consultant should have considerable experience in small business marketing, preferably an 

appreciable amount in your industry or a related one.

 

Ask the candidates you are considering about their educational background and practical experience.

 

Key #2: Continuing Education Is a Must

 

Marketing is a dynamic field and requires continuous study. Marketing consultants should be ceaselessly reviewing writings by leading marketers like Al Ries, Jack Trout, Sergio Zyman, Seth Godin, Jay Abraham, Richard Harshaw, and Jay Conrad Levinson. They should also study those on the cutting edge of Internet and social media marketing, such as Mitch Meyerson, Ann Handley, Chris Brogan and Mari Smith. Consultants should also have built their foundation from traditional marketing and innovation gurus like David Oglvy, Peter Drucker, Jim Rohn and Tom Peters.

 

Ask your candidates about their continuing education, how they evaluate the validity of what they study, and the principles they have learned and apply.

 

Key #3: Understanding What Is Wrong
with Today’s Marketing

 

If you study ads in online and traditional media, you will find nearly all fail to separate what they provide from their competitors. 

 

Local professional service business advertisers usually employ menu advertising, similar to a restaurant menu, whether online or in traditional media. Their ads mention the services they offer and virtually always include meaningless, trite, unconvincing platitudes and phrases, such as high quality, fast service, we care, satisfaction guaranteed, 25 years experience, thorough, expert or highly-trained professionals. Effective marketing requires differentiating your services from your competitors so your business stands out as the obvious choice over others. Marketing communications must be convincing. Menu ads fail this test.

 

Major corporations like Coca Cola, General Motors and Mircrosoft use the advertising formula, creativity plus repetition equals awareness. The idea is if you spend enough money on advertising, people will remember your product or service and buy from you. The problem is when small professional service businesses attempt this without the advantage of a huge budget, they establish little or no understanding of what their services offer over their competitors. Thus, their advertising results will fail to compare well against a campaign that convinces potential clients that their services are clearly superior to what their competitors provide. 

 

Show your candidate a few ads that have a menu approach and contain trite phrases and platitudes. Ask them what is wrong with these ads. If they know their business, they should spot the platitudes and fluff, and explain in detail why these ads do not perform. 

 

Key #4: What Consultants Need to
Understand about Marketing

 

The candidates you interview will probably just focus on what they know about social media, Internet marketing, online advertising, search engine optimization, and perhaps, traditional media. However, these are tactics. What most usually fail to discuss is strategy, which encompasses defining your target markets and developing content that will persuade your audience to choose your services over your competitors. Strategy is at least as important as tactics, and usually more so.

 

Ask your candidates to explain how they would formulate a strategy that will enable your business to clobber your competitors and enable you to achieve your goals for growth. If your candidate believes all you need is an attractive, state-of-the-art website and thorough search engine optimization (SEO), your candidate is correct, but only to a degree. If the candidate can create superior SEO, this will provide your website excellent visibility. An attractive website design will motivate visitors to review your website for a few moments, whereas a bland homepage can cause visitors to immediately bounce over to a competitor’s website. But if the content does not immediately capture attention, convince visitors they will learn something of value if they continue to review your content, and become convinced via a well-articulated sales argument that they should select your services over your competitors, your website will not produce anywhere near what it would with persuasive content. It would be like racing a high-performance twelve-cylinder sports car that should clobber its competition but fails because it is only operating on two cylinders. You do need excellent SEO and an attractive website. However, you also need great content. 

 

Marketing Consultant Interview Checklist

 

Choosing the right marketing consultant for your business is essential. For some, it can make the difference between flourishing in business or failing. What makes this decision even more crucial is the course in which our economy is headed.

 

Our MARKETING CONSULTANT INTERVIEW EVALUATION will help you choose a firm that will best enable you to thrive. We have done our best to eliminate all bias despite our strong belief and conviction in the value of our services.

Learn What You Need to Do to Dominate Your Competitors 

Receive a Personal FREE One-Hour Consultation. During this session, our marketing strategist will help you sort out what the most effective strategy is for your business. Schedule a phone, Skype®, FaceTime®, face-to-face meeting.

Strategy vs. Tactics

How Business Builders Rose Above Its Competitors

Stop Guessing with Your Marketing

How to Avoid Mistakes in Selecting Media

The way to ensure your advertising dollars are well spent is through diligence and research. If you follow these steps you will avoid throwing money away and get better results from your ads. Use this approach for all online and traditional media. 

Links to Other Marketing Related Sites

Services

Strategic Planning & Implementation

Tactical Planning & Implementation

Innovation Planning & Implementation

Marketing Research

Competitive Positioning Surveys

Test Marketing

Branding

Copywriting (All media)

Promotion & Ad Design (All media)

Website Design

Internet & Social Media Strategy

Internet & Social Media Advertising

Search Engine Optimization

Email & Direct Mail Campaigns

Business Development

Hiring & Training of Marketing Personnel

Learn What You Need to Do to Dominate Your Competitors 

Receive a Personal FREE One-Hour Consultation. During this session, our marketing strategist will help you sort out what the most effective strategy is for your business. Schedule a phone, Skype®, FaceTime®, face-to-face meeting.

Strategy vs. Tactics
How Business Builders Rose Above Its Competitors
Stop Guessing with Your Marketing
How to Avoid Mistakes in
Selecting Media

The way to ensure your advertising dollars are well spent is through diligence and research. If you follow these steps you will avoid throwing money away and get better results from your ads. Use this approach for all online and traditional media. 

Links to Other Marketing Related Sites

The following are the sources that helped enable us to develop our strategic marketing approach. We deeply appreciate them all.

 

Arizona State University W.P. Carey

School of Business

Jim Collins

 

Peter Drucker

 

Mitch Meyerson

 

Jack Trout

Michael Gerber

Richard Harshaw

Hubbard College

Tom Peters

Jay Abraham

Steven W. Brown

Michael Porter

Al Ries

Jim Rohn

Seth Godin

Tom Vassos