Hiring a marketing consultant can be tricky in today's digital landscape. Terms like "marketing operations," "martech," "agile marketing," "SEO," and "inbound marketing" are all new things within the last twenty years. During the same time, the role a marketing consultant plays has also changed. Consultants now usually specializes in specific marketing skill sets. According to HubSpot, there are 40 different types of marketing now. That's a lot. However, we believe that marketing consultants can typically be grouped into four types. But even then, how do you know which one is the right one for your business to be working with?
In this article, we'll break down the top four types of marketing consultants in the marketplace to ensure you're getting the right kind of help for your business.
There is little agreement in the marketing world over these terms and we expect some marketing consultants would disagree with our taxonomy. And we're okay with that. Our goal here is to help you get a better idea of the types of marketing expertise are available to you.
If you have any questions about these types of marketing feel free to contact us and we'd be happy to help you better understand the marketing ecosystem.
The Top 4 Types of Marketing Consultants:
1. Brand Consultant
Your brand is what people think about your company, product, or service and how it is positioned in the market place. A brand consultant helps you establish who you are and to whom you are selling. They can do this for a whole company, or for a product or service. A brand consultant is a type of marketing consultant that will help you create an identity and position that identity in your market (Check out one of our favorite books, Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller to learn more about this). Then, they will manage creating a logo and other design elements that will help you define your mission, vision, and USP (unique selling proposition). They will also conduct market research so that you can better understand who your customer is and what your customer wants.
You want to work with a brand consultant when you are creating something new or re-imagining something old. Brand consultants are usually very creative people. When hiring a brand consultant ask for examples of other brands they have worked with.
2. Outbound Consultant
An outbound consultant does what you might think of as "old school" or "direct" marketing. This is marketing that is used to push a message out into the world. It's goal is to interrupt what someone is doing and get them to pay attention to you. Ultimately, it has to capture their attention quickly in order to be effective.
An outbound consultant has experience in creating direct mail, producing advertisements, sending email blasts, and constructing calling campaigns. An outbound consultant usually has experience in buying media like TV and radio ads, newspaper and magazine ads, billboards, internet display ads, and other types of advertising often called "traditional media" or "mass media."
Outbound marketing consultants will be focused on pushing your message in front of people so that they become interested in your company or your products and services. If you want you message to be seen and heard, an outbound marketing consultant is the type for you.
3. Inbound Consultant
Inbound marketing is the work of creating valuable experiences for people and educating them. It is attracting prospects and customers to your website through relevant and helpful content that typically answers a question they are asking or shows them a solution to their problem. Once they arrive, you engage with them using conversational tools like email and chat and by promising continued value, typically through deeper education. Inbound marketing is being of service to your customers and potential customers.
A lot of inbound marketing is the creation of valuable content in the form of articles, videos, newsletters, and blogs. This content is useful to consumers and you build your relationship with them by giving them the information they need. An inbound marketing consultant helps do all this, which can include the creation of content as well as using the technology needed to stay in a relationship with your customers/potential clients. Ultimately an inbound marketing consultant helps you attract, engage, and delight customers.
4. Operations Consultant
Marketing operations is about the people, process, and technology that make a marketing department run. A marketing operations consultant helps a marketing organization run smoothly and efficiently. This consultant will help align marketing with the company's goals and ensure the work is generating a positive ROI. They will also help develop technology and processes to ensure that marketing is done efficiently and returning results.
At 1 Bold Step, being a Marketing Operations Consultant is one of our main focuses. While we also do brand, outbound, and inbound consulting, we believe that marketing operations must be in order for all the other types of marketing to be successful. We help our clients build their marketing strategy, architect their marketing automation, create the needed processes to keep everything running smoothly, and ensure all the right people are on the team.
Do you have the right marketing consultant?
If you're not sure which type of marketing consultant is best for your organization, reach out to us! We'd be happy to help you evaluate your business, provide you with suggestions, and help guide you down the path to building a marketing machine.
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