What makes a great marketing consultant?
A great Marketing Consultant needs Dedication. Passion. Experience. Technical knowledge. A deep routed desire to understand what turns an idea to click/call, to a lead, to a sale.
I believe to be the best, you should have your hands in the dirt and your head in the sky. Let me elaborate. To be a ‘consultant’ of any kind, is almost the same as ‘expert’ or ‘highly qualified.’ Surely if someone is to ‘consult’ you about anything, it makes sense you should thoroughly know what you are talking about? Right? Well, that’s certainly a start.
A great marketing consultant, or any kind of genuine consultant for that matter has had their hands dirty. From the ground up. Really gotten to understand their craft, a practitioner in the arts or science of their chosen field.
This comes with time. Enough time to experiment with what works. More importantly what doesn’t work. It’s just as important a consultant has made many mistakes as it is successes, otherwise they might have just had a few lucky strikes and is less likely to know what doesn’t work.
To maintain dedication over time takes a degree of passion. Enjoyment for the day to day lessons, achievements (and failures) … To become an expert in any field takes hours upon hours of ups and downs, learning new skills, terminology, tools, becoming familiar with new software and attaining new up to date knowledge. Real life experience. From real life projects & real life results. It’s one thing to know ‘about’ marketing. But another to know what marketing really reaches the intended goals and results that make or break a business.
Anyone can say,
‘Your customer is someone with money’ ‘in this location’ and you ‘need a website’ ‘and some business cards’ ….
That’s easy. The majority of people can figure that part out for themselves. What makes a great marketing consultant is one who can say.
‘Your target demographic is ‘X’ the exact size of the market is ‘Y’ the cost to reach this market is ‘Z’ this social media platform is a waste of time because it’s B2B and over saturated based on this analysis, so you should look here because of the data we have available and your product is this type, which means we need this funnel putting in place to convert to a lead, then we need systems or procedures in place to manage or convert to sale, with this data management in order to give us an exact understanding of ROI, so we can successfully micro manage our projections accurately in order to have an understanding of sales next month, allowing us to fully understand our financial position and ensure we know the seasons and trends in the future so we can make sure we are prepared to maximise profits or reduce risks when and where necessary.’
To achieve that they need to have a great understanding of the customers intent. The mindset of the customer and journey from initial interest, right the way through to sale. And post sale.
Also full understanding of the market. Competitiveness. Seasonal implications, economic situations, new products, landscapes and challenges.
Then an understanding of your products/services. From Branding, to values, profit margins, costs, type, essentially a marketing consultant should have a full understating about every aspect of your business, from all angles. Customers, competitiveness, products, conversion process, shareholders’ interests, financial interests, business culture, everything from the ground up.
How would one learn about all this? By getting their hands dirty. From the basics to the technical stuff. Let me explain.
When leaving school (Approx 2004) I ran events. Nightclubs. Parties, discos, gatherings, whatever label you want. I sold tickets. I sold a good time. I sold music. I sold socialising and the chance to get lucky.
I started out at 16, yes 16, handing out flyers on the streets for £5P/H before I was even old enough to drink.
I would study the flyers, the branding, the bookings, the genre of music, the clientele. It wasn’t too long before I hosted my own events. I needed logos. Print. I had to collect punters data. Name, numbers & email addresses. This would be used for SMS & email marketing. Eventually I (And my staff) built up 50,000 records hand collected within my events. We tried Bluetooth marketing to passers by. Exit flyering other bars when they closed. Publicity stunts like hiring limos to drag punters off the street.
Essentially, I got stuck in and learned where to find my target audience, how to reach them again and grow my own following. After a couple of years I could easily sell 1000+ tickets to one of my regular events.
I grew a custom built audience of people who were interested in my product, my service, my events.
I researched and regularly had competitors. Bars down the street copying my brand, music and drinks offers so we had to constantly reinvent ourselves.
Resilience, dedication to the cause and energy to see off the competition was essential.
This gave me the fundamental foundations of how to start and grow a brand, an audience, an experience, a good product.
Taking this experience, in 2012 I launched Make it Happen Marketing, taking these very same principles but applying them to B2B and ‘grown up’ businesses. Since becoming a freelance marketer, I’ve worked with charities, events companies, online companies, e-commerce companies, manufacturing companies, authors, investment companies, TV channels, furniture retailers, cark parks, wholesalers, big companies, individuals, you name it! I still work with many of these today. See my marketing clients.
I did two qualifications in business management. Business management to accompany my experience of marketing to assist me with the bigger picture. I grew social media pages with hundreds of thousands of fans on multiple platforms. I learnt to build websites, social media formulas for growth, I learned to manage Google & Facebook ads profitably, Facebook algorithms, how to develop CRM systems to manage leads and data. I tough myself all about analytics and customer journey. Constantly read up on Google algorithms and the latest updates. Never ever does a day go by without learning something new, if you don’t in a technological driven industry then you’ll never be the best. I strive to be the best marketing consultant possible. (Oh, I won an award in 2016 too)
I can get my hands dirty on a technical level, but have my head in the sky, looking at the bigger picture, the overall goal of the business.
So, what makes a great marketing consultant?
I just told you. Dedication. Passion. Experience. Technical knowledge. A deep routed desire to understand what turns an idea to click/call, to a lead, to a sale.