Learn what a marketing consultancy is, what it does and why your business needs one. Here is an in-depth expert guide to marketing consultancy for busy marketing directors, CMO and marketing managers.
Marketing consultancies create meaningful connections with the companies' target audience at the right time and place. Business communication is one of the biggest challenges in the modern business world. Independent of the company or industry you are working in.
Unclear communication with customers quickly becomes frustrating. A lack of strategic marketing strategy, comprehensive reports or concrete business results often causes confusion between internal departments.
This expert guide explores what a marketing consultancy does and why it makes sense to find one for your business.
At Xplore Digital, our goal is to help companies (B2B) achieve their business goals by removing financial, technological, and human barriers.
Marketing Consulting Definition:
What is marketing consulting?
Doing business in an ever-changing automated landscape is all but an easy job. Think of market uncertainty, accelerated digital transformation or demanding customers.
Businesses of all sizes struggle to be seen, market themselves and make sales. As they do not know how to take advantage of marketing activity, most businesses prefer to ignore it.
As there are many ways to do effective marketing, it is often challenging for a company to achieve their business goals. That is where marketing consulting comes in handy. Professionals known as marketing consultants can help companies and businesses of every type and size reach their business goals.
What is marketing consulting? What does a marketing consultancy do? And why does your business need one too?
A marketing consulting is:
“a professional service that provides expert advice, in-depth knowledge and extensive expertise to companies and industries on everything marketing.”
It can be a meaningful change for businesses. Marketing is one of the few activities that directly generate revenue for a business. By helping businesses efficiently implement their strategies across online and offline communication platforms to reach their business goals.
What does a Marketing Consultancy do?
Marketing consultants handle a wide variety of tasks. Such as developing, implementing, analyzing, and maintaining a marketing strategy spread across several marketing channels. They oversee the entire marketing communication spectrum. That is what makes their work so invaluable.
Marketing consultants perform many tasks:
Analyze existing marketing strategies.
Create innovative marketing strategies.
Recreate a brand identity to connect with the target audience.
Develop a content style guide to facilitate the creation of impactful content.
Optimize existing content for search engine
Build a social media strategy.
Make workflows and processes for more efficient project management.
Monitor the progress of marketing strategies to keep track of analytics for SEO, PCC, and social.
Send progress reports to keep the client up to date.
Train employees to continue marketing efforts.
A marketing consultant should therefore be:
Communicative: to communicate strategies well both to the client and the team, so everyone will be on the same page.
Organized: to keep up with multiple job responsibilities.
A team player: work together in a team, in-house and with the client and ensure a smooth workflow.
Marketing expertise: to provide valuable input.
Analytic: understand metrics, and strategies, and improve the client’s conversion rates, click-through rate, traffic, or another key performance indicator (KPI).
Researchable: able to research competitors, keywords, subject matters, and strategies.
Creative: Thinking creatively is especially handy for content creation.
Content writing: writing skills, copywriting and content writing are basic skills for content marketing.
Design: Having an eye for design is essential, as there is no marketing material without visuals.
For what reason do businesses hire marketing consultancy services?
Marketing is an essential part of the daily work of business owners. Understanding how marketing works can be incredibly complicated and overwhelming. Many variables influence the success of a marketing campaign and marketing success varies from business to business. What are the main reasons a business hires a marketing consultancy?
Business organizations hire a marketing consultancy, when:
1) no in-house marketing team is available.
A marketing consultancy has a considerable understanding of current industry trends. It typically consists of a team of experienced specialists with different fields of expertise.
Owners of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) often feel the need to do everything themselves. Yet, when these businesses are starting to grow, this can become undoable.
By outsourcing their marketing efforts, companies both save time and money and can focus on their core business
3) they are struggling to create or execute a marketing campaign
Creating an effective marketing strategy or marketing campaign is no easy task. Handling marketing campaigns and digital projects is often a painful process with lots of time loss and trial and error.
Companies can handle marketing campaigns and projects in a more structured and strategic way with less trial and error.
4) they are searching for guidance
Marketing consultants are driven by constant improvement and knowledge of contemporary trends and marketing technology tools.
They provide your business with guidance in the form of suggestions and recommendations that would improve the customer’s brand experience.
5) they want to increase the effectiveness of their marketing efforts
A marketing consultancy is a good option if your business is looking for ways to attract more leads, customers, and sales.
Marketing consultants work more efficiently and help you obtain your business goals earlier. That makes them more cost-efficient overall.
By now, it should be clear what a full-time marketing consultancy can mean for your business. Now we explain how marketing works.
How does marketing work (Digital Marketing Funnel)?
Doing marketing consists of three steps:
STEP 1: Marketing goals
First, you need to specify your marketing goals. Although often forgotten, this is a particularly crucial step in a global business world with fierce competition. Ask yourself the question:
· What do you want to achieve with marketing for your business?
Marketing goals are specific strategic objectives defined in a marketing plan.
A marketing consultancy often uses the tool digital marketing funnel,
which consists of four levels:
awareness - Drive traffic to your brand.
discovery - Engage with the audience. People discover your brand when looking for a product or service.
consideration - Generate inquiries. A few people consider your brand as an option for buying.
conversion - Convince customers to purchase. Give them reasons to purchase your product or service. People buy your product or service.
Specific marketing goals
A company focus on a marketing goal based on which stage in the digital marketing funnel its brand is currently in. There are in total eight specific marketing goals to choose from:
Increase brand awareness (awareness stage)
People need to know that your brand exists. In this early stage, get your brand in front of as many people as possible. Investigate and consider the places where your target buyers spend the most time and are available in these channels.
Boost brand engagement (awareness stage)
Keep people engaged. Post information about your brand regularly, respond to comments on media channels and update all online pages with the latest information. Be available and up to date.
Rank in search pages (discovery stage)
Be findable on the search engines. Focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to increase online visibility in search engine rankings: increased brand awareness, higher lead generation and reduced advertising expenses. Optimize content for search engines, target keywords, identify and solve technical issues on your website and link building. Improving your website’s visibility can help your marketing communication goals boost engagement.
Increase website traffic (discovery stage)
People search online to get answers to their questions. Help them to discover more about your business, product, or service, including internal site links. So, they stay on your website, click on call-to-actions (CTAs), and engage with your brand. Also, do not forget to ask for their content information, to improve your lead generation. This will encourage website visitors to the next step in the customer journey with your brand. Make sure they have the best possible customer experience with your brand.
Generate qualified leads (consideration stage)
It is time to convert visitors into potential buyers by creating a shortlist of customers with target keywords. A qualified lead is a person, who has your business at the top of their mind while searching online.
Create high-quality information through content marketing to get them interested in purchasing your product or service, collaborate with an influencer or host an online seminar.
Increase revenue or sales (consideration stage)
This is one of the most important and common marketing goals. All your marketing efforts should point towards this. Set sales or revenue goals and identify every marketing channel best suited for your business. Then help connect your potential customers with your brand on a personal level.
Set up calls, send emails, be available on chats or social media, offer discounts, promotions and advertisements or give relevant content. All of this will help you to convert a lead to a sale.
Increase customer value (conversion stage)
Think long-term. Celebrate new customer acquisitions and take care of your existing customers. Earn their loyalty by delivering awesome value that is useful for them. Educate them about your products or services and upsell them through retargeting campaigns. Give them a discount, or extra privileges for that. Provide quality customer service and give them timely access with discounts to new products or services. In this way, they will become brand ambassadors and bring more customers.
Establish brand authority (consideration stage)
Make quality and educational content that answers search questions, to establish brand authority and create trust. Focus on SEO optimization.
Show your brand’s personality and display positive client recommendations as proof on your website and social media channels. And, finally, give the best customer service possible, when a customer experiences an issue with your product or service. This way, customers view your brand as an industry expert.
STEP 2: Marketing channels
Now your business knows what marketing goal to choose and in which stage of the digital marketing funnel it is. The second step is to decide which marketing channels you will apply.
· Which marketing channels are you going to use for your business?
Digital marketing has several marketing channels grouped into two major categories: online marketing channels and offline marketing channels. The first marketing channels depend on the Internet, while the latter marketing channels are not necessarily connected to the Internet.
Digital Marketing Consulting Skills
A digital marketing consultant is an experienced marketer. The consultant is responsible for the promotion of the company's products or services, available in online and offline marketing channels.
These expert designs and monitors the execution of a marketing strategy to increase brand awareness, website traffic, and sales. The tasks and responsibilities of a marketing consultant include:
1) Analyse existing marketing strategies (improve marketing goals).
2) Develop a new digital marketing strategy (set up, plan, maintain and reach marketing goals).
3) Recreate a brand identity (connect with the target audience).
4) Create a content strategy and guide (impactful and valuable content).
5) Optimize content for search engines (improve ranking in search engines).
6) Build a social media strategy (grow audiences and engagement)
7) Make an email/text marketing strategy (manage email/text services).
8) Lead Project management (renew workflows and processes and oversee the big picture strategies and day-to-day projects).
9) Create user-friendly user interfaces and web design (boost a company’s website traffic).
10) Monitors the progress of current marketing strategies (keep track of analytics for SEO, PPC, and social media marketing metrics).
11) Report on campaign progress (keep the client’s organization up to date).
12) Train other marketers on best practices and technologies.
All the above digital marketing consultant skills can be summarized in the following graph:
Search Engine Optimization:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing a site's performance in terms of organic visibility and search engine positioning. SEO helps a website rank higher in search results and get organic traffic from search engines.
Search engines reward sites with the best content and user-friendly design. SEO has several sub-processes. The main ones are technical SEO, On-Page SEO, and Off-Page SEO.
· Paid Advertising:
SEM (Search Engine Marketing) campaigns are paid marketing campaigns (CPC or CPM) on search engines. They improve the visibility and positioning of the company’s website on search engines to achieve companies marketing objective.
A Pay-per-click (PPC) campaign is a paid advertising campaign a company pays according to the clicks the advertisement receives. The most popular PPC platforms are Meta (Facebook) and Google Ads.
· Social Media Marketing:
Social Media Marketing is about promoting products, services and brands through social networks that allow direct interaction between users and companies.
This helps users engage with organisations by leading them directly to a company’s website. This strategic word-to-mouth has an impact on brand awareness and can help companies reach exponential growth if done right.
· Analytics & Reporting:
Analytics & Reporting investigate if a marketing campaign meets the marketing goals.
A company set these goals up at the beginning of the marketing lifecycle.
· Content marketing:
Content Marketing aims to create and distribute content to attract qualified users to a company’s website. And choose relationships over transactions.
Creating valuable and high-quality content will contribute to a company’s growth for SEO, data analysis and acquisition of leads. Blogs, eBooks, Online Courses, Infographics, Podcasts and Webinars are examples of content marketing.
· Email marketing
Email marketing adds a personalized and engaging point of touch with prospects and existing customers for sales and retention purposes.
Email marketing automation tools help to segment a company’s target audience and automate the sending of newsletters.
· Digital PR:
Digital PR is a digital strategy used to increase brand awareness using online methods.
Digital PR offers the opportunity to reach a much broader audience that can’t be reached with only offline communication channels.
· Lifecycle Marketing
Lifecycle marketing is the mix of both online (digital) and offline communication strategies. A company uses them to positively influence customer behaviour from initial attraction to becoming a brand advocate of a company.
This includes each touchpoint of the digital marketing cycle.
· Conversion optimization:
Conversion optimization is the process of reviewing a company website’s sales funnel to select the best strategies. The primary goal is to boost a website’s conversion rates.
· Business management:
Business management is the coordination and organization of business activities. This includes Go to Market strategies, marketing research, niche marketing, defining a target audience, customer acquisition, brand awareness and lead generation.
Hiring a digital marketing consulting firm is worth the investment. They create marketing strategies to reach a company’s target audience. By focusing on the implementation and execution of marketing activities on various communication channels.
They also advise creating brand awareness, informing, and engaging prospects, helping drive web traffic and generating quality leads.
STEP 3: Marketing campaign plan
Thirdly, create a marketing campaign plan, following the “Digital Marketing Cycle”. Any digital marketing campaign experiences these five so-called “lifecycles”:
1. Strategy (setup)
2. Planning & Implementation (tractions)
5. Viral growth
These five digital marketing lifecycle stages convert your work into customer actions that meet your marketing campaign objectives when done correctly.
The baseline statistics and digital media structure are created to create awareness and build a brand reputation, before sales:
1. Understand the audience’s challenges & goals 2. Analyse the performance of current digital communication channels. 3. Define success and set realistic business goals 4. Develop a content strategy 5. Create consistent and valuable touch points with the audience and prospective customers.
2. Planning & implementation
After a content strategy and specific business goals are created, the second stage starts. This stage is all about planning and tracking. The goal is to gain momentum with the campaigns, which depends on the marketing goals established in the first stage.
In this stage, creating a virtual relationship with the audience transforms engagement into curiosity and conversations. This is not the time to make major changes to your marketing campaign. Instead, in this stage, you begin collecting data to determine how to best optimize your campaign and maximize your marketing spend.
3. Monitoring (Conversion, Expansion, Viral growth)
In this stage, you start to see the results of the implemented marketing campaign goals. Monitor key marketing statistics such as lead acquisition cost (by channel), customer acquisition cost, and brand mention increases.
While the marketing campaign increases impact and conversions, the fourth stage of the digital lifecycle has started. In this phase, a brand starts to see itself as recognized as a thought leader in its industry. Most marketing campaigns stop at the expansion phase.
Optimize existing marketing campaigns by adding more resources to good working parts. And adjusting or scrapping things that are not gaining traction.
5. Viral growth
The viral growth stage shows what the target audience likes, creating an emotional connection and what is driving the most conversions. Use such data to further improve the marketing campaign and build successful marketing campaigns in the future.
Hiring a marketing consultancy team gives your organization the following benefits:
1) consists of a team of experienced specialists with different fields of expertise.
2) has a good understanding of current industry trends.
3) you can focus on your core business.
4) handle marketing campaigns and projects in a more structured, strategic way with less trial and error.
5) provide guidance to highlight your business brand in the best feasible way.
6) works more cost-efficient and helps you achieve your business goals earlier to attract more leads, customers, and sales.
At Xplore Digital, our mission is to make marketing excellent, accessible, and affordable. For everyone. We put your success ahead of our own - that's why we tailor our business to help your business.
We understand the complexities and costs associated with traditional agency contracts. We do this with an on-demand team of specialists, flexible contracts, and no long-term commitment. With these benefits, we ensure companies’ growth, and we lead them towards the conquests of new markets.