5 Ways to Evaluate and Select the Best Marketing Consultant

How can you go about getting the best marketing consultant for your business?

Many organizations and companies look for experts when they need to create and execute a strategic marketing plan.  So, how do you find a marketing consultant — and secondly, how do you select the best marketing consultant for your situation?

One of the first things you need to do is to decide what type of marketing consultant you would like to work with, there are a variety of options from a general marketing consultant who can offer you advice on all different types of marketing or you could choose to opt for a more specific type of marketing consultant if you only want to go down one route, for example if you are really keen to implement Email Marketing then you’re best bet would be to hire an Email Marketing Consultant as that is their niche, there shouldn’t be much they don’t know about email marketing but becareful sometimes that’s all they know which isn’t a bad thing as that’s their expertise but it wouldn’t be helpful to choose an Email Marketing Consultant if you wanted to engage in Email and Social Media Marketing, it’s really important to decide on what avenue of marketing you want to venture down before deciding upon a consultant.

 When looking for a consultant, some people do a Google search, however the last time I did the Google search for marketing consultant, there were over 9 million results.  Yikes!  Probably a more common way to find a marketing professional is to ask trusted business friends for referrals or ask a company similar to yours who helped them with their marketing. 

Once you have some of idea of the firms you’d like to talk to about their services, how do you make the selection?  You can take a look at their company’s website, review the services they provide and the projects they’ve done for their clients — but that only gives a limited view. So for example, if you are interested in a marketing campaign for dentistry, then you could check out someone like the SEO Dentist. This company is innovating the dental marketing industry. This example gives you just a general idea of what to look for in a potential professional before you hire them.

Some of the traditional ways of evaluating a potential marketing consultant or a marketing consulting firm:

  • Experience – What have they done in the past? What clients have they helped?  Did they develop marketing plans and provide marketing consulting for companies like yours?
  • Outcomes – What were the results of the marketing efforts?  Did they meet the strategic marketing objectives?  Was the brand recognition increased? Was there an increase in leads, RFQs and new customer base?
  • Value - Did the recommendations of the marketing firm provide value to their clients’ organization? If so, is it the same type of value that your company is looking for from a marketing program? When the engagement is complete, will the results be viewed as a cost or as an investment?

In my opinion, there are at least three more factors that should be considered to find the best fit to match your business.

  • Chemistry – When you have the initial meeting with the marketing consultant, do they listen to your needs?  Do they understand your challenges? Do they talk at you or with you?
  • Teamwork  - Will the marketing consultant approach the project as part of your team or do will they develop the strategic marketing plan off “in an ivory tower” and then present it for better or worse? 
  • Extra Mile – Is the consulting firm willing to go the extra mile to help create a program that will provide the resources you need as well as return the results you want?

Can you talk honestly with the person? Are they knowledgable? Are they responsive to your needs? Does the firm provide 3 levels of interaction – the main consultant on your account, a person at the level above and the person at the level below?  (Three levels of interaction gives you: 1- a point person, 2 - a person to talk to when there is a problem and 3 - a person to talk to when there’s a little detail that needs adjustment & the point person is out of the office.)

 What other considerations have you used to make a decision in selecting the best marketing consultant for your business?