If you run an SME that needs to raise its profile to attract new customers, you may be thinking of engaging the services of a marketing consultant. We look at what they do on a day-to-day basis and how they can improve your business.
Bring in the experts
Sometimes in life we have to ask for help, this is even more true in business. If your specialisation is manufacturing or providing a B2B service you will be used to using your professionalism and skills to run an efficient and profitable operation. What you may not be accustomed to is dealing with the press, designing adverts, creating editorial or running a Twitter account. A marketing consultant, particularly one trained by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) will use his or her extensive expertise to raise your business’ profile and drive sales.
An impartial overview
Because all businesses are different, the first thing a marketing consultant will do will be to examine all aspects of your business to find your USP (Unique Selling Point). Every business has competitors but your personal input is what makes your business truly unique and what gives it the edge over your rivals’. Listening is key and they will ask you direct and thought-provoking questions about what you want to achieve to find this distinctive angle on which they can base their marketing strategy.
Every business will require something different from a marketing consultancy they will present proposals which they feel will deliver long-term profits. There are a number of ways in which they can do this.
- Company image. Image is everything and a company’s logo or branding needs to attract and retain customers. A marketing consultant will advise whether re-branding is advisable or inevitable and work in conjunction with designers to create a corporate image which reflects best the organisation.
- Website. Brochures, leaflets used to be the main source of information about an organisation. These days, we simply log on to a website in an instant to find all the facts we need. A good website, with high levels of functionality, a clear user interface and appropriate use of text and images can do wonders for a company’s web presence. Marketing consultants can advise on the design, the text (in particular search engine optimisation [SEO] which is the inclusion of certain phrases in the text which will show up in an internet search) and provide feedback and contact capabilities.
- Advertising. A consultant will use their expertise to place advertisements in both traditional and non-traditional media, where they will reach the greatest number of their client’s potential customers. This may involve the use of newspapers or magazines or even banner adverts on specific and carefully-chosen websites. Businesses these days need to also be aware of the power of social media to inform and engage with their customer base and a marketing consultant can advise on this and implement strategies to widen their client’s profile.
These are just some of the strategies a marketing consultant can offer. Whatever your business, if you are keen to see it expand, you will find their services invaluable in today’s competitive market, leaving you to get on with what you do best.