Marketing and Advertising are big business concerns.
Some small business owners and managers just seem to have a knack for generating public relations and successful advertising techniques, while others may struggle along trying to get whatever response they can from a strained advertising budget and hit-and-miss marketing efforts. This may lead you to wonder if there isn’t a better way and maybe, someone to specialize on marketing your business may be just the ticket. You start to wonder if you should hire a consultant to help you sell and market your business…
If you hire a consultant, there are certain things you can expect.
What a consultant cannot do is guarantee that your business will grow by X% or that you will get a specific response from your efforts. What a consultant can do is give you an educated opinion of how best to reach the demographic where you may find potential customers.
An advertising/marketing consultant will be able to help you conduct focus groups, do research, and gather information to determine exactly who your customers are and who they should be. Some larger firms will have a great deal of data already in-house that may help you understand how to better target your marketing efforts. Some consultants just specialize in providing this sort of background and research and helping businesses create marketing plans in order to grow and develop business.
A consultant can also take over the day-to-day public relations and advertising tasks for your business.
Everything from writing and distributing press releases, ad design, and placement, creating marketing materials, helping develop logos and slogans, designing letterhead and stationery, web design and maintenance, conducting informational seminars, and all sorts of other public relations activities can be handled by a consultant.
One of the advantages consultants have is that they are likely already well-connected with your field or community and have access to press and media. They may be able to give you an idea of what is and isn’t working, the general competitiveness of your field and other information that can help you better understand and target your efforts. The other main advantage is that by paying for a professional, you will know that a certain number of hours and a certain amount of effort is being dedicated to marketing your business.
You will need to evaluate the cost of a consultant with the actual services you receive.
Some businesses find that keeping the marketing in-house is more cost-effective and serves them just fine. Others find that having a professional handle all the advertising and marketing leaves them to attend to the daily tasks of running the business. For many businesses, finding a compromise seems best suited. They may keep some of the marketing and advertising task in-house and then hire a consultant to help with ad design, placement and media relations.