A common misperception about marketing is that anyone can do it. All you need is a website, a few devices, and some creative minds, and surely you’ll be able to come up with a plan that works.

What many people find, however, is that once you’re deep into the marketing pool, it’s all too easy to flounder. In your own areas of expertise, you are skilled, sharp, and intuitive, but there’s not necessarily a direct translation into marketing, just as a professional basketball player is not necessarily a swimmer. The rules of marketing are specific, constantly in flux, and it’s difficult to know how to engage and connect a multitude of channels by making your best guess. In other words, swimming in these waters is about more than creative energy, instincts, and imitation. What you need is expertise.

Why Hire a Marketing Consultant?

A good marketing consultant could be your best investment this year. Here are some of the top benefits a marketing consultant can bring.

Long-term strategy

ROI has a short-term and a long-term objective. A marketing consultant approaches your business with an end goal in mind which encompasses both: successful growth of your business, but one step at a time. Only you can articulate your vision, but a marketing consultant is trained to translate that vision efficiently into a series of aligned marketing goals and a series or network of actionable steps to get you there. Consultants are professionals at seeing the end from the beginning, and will assist you greatly in marking out a strategic path to meet your goals. There is no reason to take your best shot in the dark.

Unified effort

A marketing consultant is to the health of your sales as a family physician is to your personal health. A single consultant or agency may or may not be able to execute all the marketing tasks that need to be done along the way—such as printing or graphic design—just as your general practitioner may need to occasionally bring in a specialist. But outsourcing all of your care to specialists would be unwise. You need a hub—someone who knows your history, your goals, and can track your progress. Otherwise, you are operating inefficiently, frustrating your own efforts, and in danger of losing time, money, and invaluable perspective. Some prime marketing agencies do offer comprehensive services, but any consultant worth his or her salt will bring much-needed unity to your marketing efforts.

Trends

You are meeting with clients, developing relationships, growing the capacity of your business, honing your leadership, and keeping up with the industry. How much time do you have left over for educating yourself on shifting marketing trends, and executing them? It’s a consultant’s job to keep up with the latest trends in marketing and to select what will work well for your business. A consultant can discern when the newest shift in Google, Facebook, print, or Twitter might be a great way to get your brand ahead, and when to go in a different direction. Trying new things can be a tricky—and fiscally risky—enterprise. Guard your time and resources wisely by letting a consultant help you stay in the know and make decisions on which trends can help you stay on top.

Tools

Marketing consultants have resources at their disposal—tools of the trade—that make them specialists at what they do. They have networks, databanks, business connections, know-how, and special technologies to help them execute top services for their clients efficiently and effectively. Having a marketing consultant is like having several different experts on your team: social media gurus, advertisers, printers, postal workers, copywriters and editors, IT personnel, graphic designers, and project managers, all rolled into one. From strategy and creative brainstorming to fulfillment and follow-up, consultants come with a whole arsenal of skills and services to take you to your creative edge.

Backtracking

All successful business know this moment. A strategy has gone stale, or a plan has taken a wrong turn. Backtracking can feel like an overwhelming prospect, especially in something as complex as marketing, and many businesses try to squeak by rather than gain the advantage of a fresh start. A marketing consultant greatly mitigates the challenges of starting over. At a crossroads, he or she is trained to recognize when a marketing plan simply needs reworking, or when it has become defunct and will help you weave through the complexities of moving forward.

Training

Working with a consultant is also a helpful in-house learning process. If you want to improve at navigating the complexity of 21st-century marketing, a consultant will help you. Many consultants are willing to help train you and your team in understanding your own brand and how to grow it, walking with you step by step. Consulting is a scaled service, providing what you need where you need it, and working as closely with you as you wish. Whether you want to partner with a marketing expert for the long run, hire a company to run with the ball for you, or receive services combined with training, a consultant can get you on track.

Respect for the budget

Finally, is a consultant good for your budget? Select a marketing partner you can trust, and the answer can be a resounding yes. A consultant adds insight, strategy, execution, and vigor to branding and sales A consultant is also there on your terms and works within a budget set by you. He or she will recognize where to prioritize spending to make the most of your investment.

You may not be an expert at marketing. But you don’t have to be. Take advantage of a marketing expert.

Connect with us at Range, a Deluxe company, to start your conversation with one of our marketing consultants. We’re a highly preferred provider of cross-media solutions, and we always start with a listening ear. How can we help you succeed today?