In 1997, there were 12,498 marketing consulting companies in the USA. By 2002, there were 18,892. More than 50% increase…
By 2007, the government census statistics show 23,895. Almost doubled in 10 years.
Wonder what the most recent five years brought? Did some of the marketing consuting companies disappear? Or did the US get more consultants as marketing professionals lost their corporate jobs so they put out a shingle?
If the trend line is any indication, it’d be a good guess that there could a lot more marketing consultant firms in the USA now. I guess we’ll know for sure in a couple of years.
If you’re a Sales & Marketing VP at a company trying to hire a marketing consultant, it’s bound to be bewildering! How do you ever decide which one to choose?
I’ve noticed whenever someone’s confused about how to make a purchasing decision, they fall back to the obvious question: “How Much?”
Besides price, there are a lot of points you should consider before entering into an agreement with a marketing consulting firm.
Here are a few things to consider – besides the price - before hiring a marketing consultant, check to see if they have:
- References – do they have people who will stand up for them?
- Experience – have they done projects like yours before?
- Analytical thought process – understands business
- Emotional connection – understands the hook and can play into it
- Chemistry – easy to talk with, pick up the phone or
- Resources – strong staff, well networked, knowlegable about who and how to get things done.
- Integrity – character to tell the truth and make it right
- Ability to communicate – articulate and also strong writer
- Compromise – will they meet you part way?
- Enthusiasm – are they eager to take on your work?
- Extra value – what else can they bring? (sales support experience? Industry connections)
- Backbone – ability to take direction but also push back when appropriate
I feel like I’m listing the Boy Scout law and oath for marketing consultants. What considerations am I missing? If you’ve got one, please leave a comment below.