What Is Marketing Consultant? And How To Become One

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 30 August 2021

Marketing consultants may assist businesses in various sectors in improving their marketing efforts and practices to connect with their target audiences more successfully. To fully understand how to serve your clients, a marketing consultant typically necessitates a suitable degree and some professional experience in the industry. If you want to work in marketing consultancy, thoroughly understand the job responsibilities and necessary skills to plan for the proper combination of experience and education. In this article, we discuss what a marketing consultant is, what skills do you need for the role and how to become one.

What is a marketing consultant?

A marketing consultant refers to a marketing expert who operates individually or for a consulting company to assist businesses in promoting their products or services. As a marketing consultant, you usually assist businesses in creating a marketing plan and determining the most suitable marketing mix to reach the target audience. A marketing consultant often has a wide range of marketing skills to offer, spanning from marketing technology to customer acquisition tactics. A marketing consultant is typically an outside specialist who works with a specific firm for a specified time.

What does a marketing consultant do?

A marketing consultant's role varies considerably based on the firm and project, but it generally entails advising businesses on the best approach to connect with their target audience. Marketing consultants may assess existing marketing activities and provide recommendations for changes, design and implement social media or other marketing initiatives, teach other marketers on best practices and recommend new content, processes or methods. Listed below are some additional common duties describing what is a marketing consultant:

  • Finding innovative ways to interact with existing and new customers

  • Examining existing marketing collaterals, advertising campaigns and social media efforts to see their effectiveness in targeting customers and generating revenue

  • Shaping the branding and identity of an organisation and how effectively it resonates with the target audience

  • Assisting in damage control shall something happens

  • Increasing lifetime customer value by encouraging existing customers to return more frequently

  • Enhancing customer engagement

  • Developing new campaigns across several channels

  • Creating and curating content

  • Offering digital marketing training and workshops

  • Managing social media, email and internet advertising efforts

  • Analysing and evaluating analytics and conversions to obtain optimal outcomes and benchmark success

A marketing consultant might collaborate with an organisation's current marketing team or assist in the training of a new marketing team. A marketing consultant may offer advice on how to enhance existing marketing strategies, design and implement a new marketing initiative or propose new workflows to boost the effectiveness of the organisation's marketing efforts. As a marketing consultant, you may employ analytical tools to assess the effectiveness of your advice. You may also use tools such as website copy, lead acquisition programmes, search engine optimisation (SEO), direct marketing and social media marketing to increase organisational awareness and attract more customers.

Related: What Does a Business Consultant Do?

What is a career in marketing consultancy like?

If you have a history in copywriting, marketing or advertising, you may want to explore becoming a marketing consultant. A marketing consultant might operate as a freelancer or for a marketing consultancy business. Many marketing consultants are company owners who have launched their own companies. Marketing consultants collaborate closely with businesses to market a product or to simply raise brand recognition. It's a job that requires teamwork, collaboration and the ability to work with a range of projects with a variety of goals and methods.

How to become a marketing consultant in 5 steps

Although the journey to become a marketing consultant may differ slightly from person to person, you may refer to the following steps to become a marketing consultant:

1. Pursue your education

To kick start a career in marketing consultancy, it's usually a prerequisite to have a bachelor's degree in business management, business analytics, marketing or communications. While working in marketing consultancy without a bachelor's degree is occasionally feasible, most organisations demand marketing professionals to have this as the first screening point. Experience can occasionally replace a degree, although this is becoming less common as time progresses. Especially if you're just starting out with no prior professional work experience, a degree is typically the most ideal option to enter the field.

2. Gather professional experience and obtain further education

Because consulting firms and customers expect marketing consultants to be experts in their fields, most marketing people who wish to become marketing consultants may anticipate gathering some experience at a company for some time. You can gather your professional experience by working as a social media manager, marketing coordinator, digital marketing specialist or marketing manager. Having experience in these sorts of positions for some time might provide you with the necessary experience to be a successful marketing consultant.

You may also choose to further your education by obtaining additional degrees, such as master's degrees in marketing, online advertising or business analytics. Although not mandatory, these qualifications can be useful to demonstrate that you possess extensive training and knowledge about the industry. These degrees may provide you with training and added advantages that assist you in landing a job and becoming more productive in your job.

Related: 14 Digital Marketer Skills for Professionals

3. Cultivate more skills

After obtaining your educational qualifications and gaining some work experience, you can choose to master all the abilities required to be a successful marketing consultant. Because a majority of marketing consultants cover a wide focus, it's best to learn a range of talents rather than focusing just on one. These abilities range from content writing, copywriting to mastery of the most recent marketing technology. Alternatively, you might want to add expertise and capabilities in a specific field if you want to work in that industry and stay in it as a marketing consultant.

4. Get certified

There are many consultant certifications available that might further develop your skills and abilities. Getting certified allows you to validate your competence and expertise as well as demonstrate your dedication to the field. You can look into online courses from major institutions to enrol in their certification programmes. Usually, certifications require some years of experience in the field.

5. Select to work either for a consulting company or as an independent consultant

As an aspiring marketing consultant, it's essential that you determine whether you'd like to work for a consulting company or independently in your own consulting firm. Each approach has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the best decision is generally a tailored one based on your field of competence, circumstances and career aspirations. Working in consulting businesses provide greater security and may source work opportunities for you, but you might not get that much freedom in terms of the sort of job you take on as you'd if you operate your own company.

What skills do you need as a marketing consultant?

Marketing consultants frequently require a thorough understanding of marketing, as well as a wide range of technical and soft abilities. If you choose to specialise in a certain area of marketing or field, you may require extra abilities that are specific to that profession. Listed below are some of the most important abilities for any sort of marketing consultant:

  • Copywriting

  • Non-profit marketing

  • Online marketing

  • Verbal and nonverbal communication skills

  • Detail orientation

  • Public relations

  • Content management

  • Lead generation

  • Direct response marketing

  • Marketing automation tools

  • Teamwork abilities

  • Problem-solving abilities

  • Social media marketing

  • Online marketing

  • Marketing research

  • Interpersonal skills

  • Proficiency in common marketing tools and software

  • Print or television advertising

  • Analytical skills

  • Creative thinking and innovation

  • Leadership skills

Related: 9 Consulting Skills To Be a Successful Consultant

How much do you earn as a marketing consulting?

As per Indeed Salaries, the national average pay for a marketing consultant is $76,658 annually. This figure might vary greatly due to the variable aspect of the job done by marketing consultants. If you're self-employed and run your own consultancy firm, your earning is dependent upon the number of marketing consulting contracts you take on and their respective benefits.

Alternatively, if you work for a consultancy company, you usually get a fixed salary and can earn other monetary benefits and bonuses if you outperform your targets. Your salary figure also depends on your level of experience, education and expertise. Other factors that may influence your remuneration include your organisation type and size as well as the industry you're in.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

Explore more articles