Team Management

Making the Most of a Marketing Consultant

If you have the budget for a marketing consultant this year, here’s how to get the most out of his or her services.

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Marketing consultants can add significant capacity to your team. From experience and perspectives that go beyond your typical team’s point of view to adding new skills to your portfolio, marketing consultants can expand your ability to get things done. Whether you’re bringing on a strategy expert or adding some tactical expertise to tackle a specific project, a marketing consultant can be a smart investment. Here are several approaches you can use to make the most of a marketing consultant’s contribution to your team.

Outline your budget: The first step to finding and working with a marketing consultant is to outline your budget. How much can you spend? At a high level, it’s smart to think about what your topline budget is. For example, let’s say you’re looking for a social media consultant, and you have $3,000 to spend throughout the year. From there, you can evaluate a range of providers. A strategist who charges $100 per hour will bring a different level of value to the table than a social media manager who charges $20 per hour.

Define the scope of work: Employees’ workloads can often flow from assignment to assignment, as they tend to manage a variety of processes or projects. However, from the consultant perspective, it’s important to map out a specific scope of work that will be accomplished during the engagement. To revisit the social media example, the scope of work might include developing a strategy, launching accounts on a specific platform, or creating and posting updates to certain accounts for a period of time.

Set up regular meetings: Integrating with a new company or team can be a challenge for consultants, who aren’t part of the regular lineup. Help a consultant overcome this issue by setting up regular meetings. The best structure should include a kickoff meeting to go over the project in depth, as well as periodic check-ins.

Assign a point of contact: Decide on an internal point of contact, such as a marketing manager or director. Ideally, this person has decision-making authority over whatever the consultant is working on and can answer any questions that arise. Ensure he or she understands the parameters of the project and can help address logistical questions that might arise around payment or permissions.

Working with a marketing consultant can help your team get more done. Take the time to create a project structure and communications plan to help get everything done smoothly and ensure that the consultant has what he or she needs to make the project a success.