Whether you have an in house marketing department or not, business is always moving forward and so should your marketing efforts. Every second of the workday spent making excuses for why you don’t improve your marketing is time where the competition is taking your potential business. As you can imagine, not every company that could use marketing help has the funds to hire a marketing department. This has popularized the use of an outside marketing consultant such as Purple Diamond.
Because of the high demand for outsourcing support functions like Marketing, there are about as many “marketing consultants” available as there are companies that could use an actual marketer. The problem is because there is a level of opinion and subjectivity to marketing, there are a lot of people calling themselves marketing consultants that don’t really have any business doing so. This isn’t a problem in all industries. If you go around applying for jobs telling people you’re a heart surgeon, a lawyer, an electrician, a computer programmer, a truck driver, a dentist, an IT specialist, or a plumber without having anything to back it up you would be asking for legal trouble. Unfortunately, marketing is subjective and in the new economy has become more or less the “Wild West”. This particular blog article is designed to give tips on what to actually look for when hiring a marketing consultant to make sure you are not getting ripped off.
- Education: Does this marketing consultant have a degree in the field of marketing? If their educational background is in something else, I wouldn’t say don’t consider them at all, but if you think of how many people have actual degrees in the field or even took some marketing courses alone, it seems odd to hire someone who went to school for the arts.
- Work Experience: How many years have they been working in marketing? What (in specific terms) did they do in the field? Are you their first client? If you are it’s not necessarily the worst thing. You have to figure they’ll give you 100% of their effort if that’s the case. However, if your situation is serious, I would always recommend someone who has been marketing products for several years.
- Communication Skills: Are they a good communicator? Are they articulate, descriptive and visual enough to come across as a true marketer? You will need someone confident enough to take certain risks while letting your vision become their own. They are going to need to be clear to people and accomplish things on a specific deadline. As basic as it is, how well they can communicate ideas is probably one of the most important qualities to have in a marketing person.
- Creativity & Writing Skills: Have a look at their own branding and work they have done for other clients if possible. Look for originality, consistency of ideas, and a clear brand message. If you do this and find yourself with more questions than answers, it may be time to move on.
- Satisfied Clients: Do they have client testimonials? This certainly correlates with work experience, but this is the next level of that. Assuming they do have work experience as a marketing consultant, there should be several testimonials for their work and they should be public. One reason for this comes down to validating quality of work, but it also has to do with how they are representing themselves. As a marketer who is also an independent contractor, they should pretty easily grasp the idea that testimonials not only make it more probable you will hire them- they also help them get hired in general. If they lack testimonials because they are “not worth the time” considering how “truly busy” they always are, this is the mark of someone who probably doesn’t plan ahead and seems to have the wrong attitude toward entrepreneurship in at large. This is a good Segway into the final thing to look for.
- Passion: True marketers live and breathe their job. They see the ads that annoy 98% of the world and they see what was clever about them, but will be critical if they feel the message was lost. They notice what audience certain products are trying to appeal to and can dissect the marketing qualities from a bottle of water. When the opportunity to work with you as a new client arises they will be excited to learn about you, your product (s), your goals both short term and long term, and your potential future business relationship. If you wind up with someone who avoids phone calls on a Friday afternoon, pushes deadlines back, lets you come up with all the ideas, and ultimately leaves you to take all the risks on your own, you may as well have just saved your money.
If your business struggles with establishing a strong marketing brand and could benefit from working with a Marketing Professional with extensive knowledge and experience in the field, call 978-927-0626 or email Charlene@purplediamondmarketing.com . Don’t leave your marketing up to chance or allow months or years to pass by without reaching your sales goals!
Written by Guest Blogger – Ken Pellegrino. Ken Pellegrino is a freelance writer and part-time marketer at Purple Diamond LLC with a background in business management, marketing, sales and customer relations. A graduate from Salem State University’s Bertolon School of Business with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing, Ken shares his passion for marketing and sales with the owner of Purple Diamond, his mother, Charlene St Jean. In addition to his love of marketing, Ken is also a talented guitarist who enjoys both writing and playing music.