Today’s highly competitive business landscape necessitates strategic marketing as an indispensable component of success. Simply having a great product or service does not cut it anymore. Instead, businesses must effectively communicate their value to their target audience while also differentiating themselves from the competition. This is where a strategic marketing consultant comes into play.
A strategic marketing consultant is an individual who works closely with organizations to develop comprehensive marketing strategies tailored to their specific goals and objectives. They conduct a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis before they begin planning a path to success.
This means you can expect them to identify your organization’s most effective marketing channels, craft compelling messaging, and establish clear Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of the marketing efforts.
One should note that strategic marketing consultants possess expertise in various marketing channels and activities. As a result, they are often considered generalist consultants, allowing them to take a holistic approach to your marketing strategy.
By analyzing your business from all angles, they can identify areas for improvement and growth that might not be immediately apparent. As is in the name, a strategic marketing consultant will typically implement strategic marketing for your business. But what exactly is strategic marketing?
Strategic marketing explained
Strategic Marketing is a marketing process that involves identifying and capitalizing on opportunities to connect with and effectively engage with a business’s target audience. It involves a series of well-planned and well-coordinated marketing activities that aim to achieve specific business goals and objectives.
Simply put, strategic marketing focuses on big-picture decisions and involves recognizing competition and identifying competitive advantages. When considering hiring a strategic marketing consultant, businesses should be aware of the four phases of the strategic marketing process:
- Planning: This is the first and most critical step in the strategic marketing process, and it involves setting marketing goals and objectives, determining the budget, and defining the target audience. All of these serve as a foundation for all future marketing efforts.
- Analysis: Here, comprehensive market research and analysis are performed to better understand the target audience, the competition, and industry trends. Some of the research tools that one could use include surveys, interviews, focus groups, and other qualitative and quantitative methods. All data gathered is then analyzed, and the findings are recorded.
- Development: Once the analysis phase is done, the findings can now be used to create marketing strategies, tactics, and campaigns that address the wants, needs, and desires of the business’s target audience. Here, a strategic marketing consultant will assist the business in creating a compelling value proposition, determining the marketing mix (product, price, place, and promotion), and developing a detailed marketing plan.
- Implementation: Finally, we have the implementation phase, where a business executes the marketing plan and brings its strategies to life. Some of the activities performed in this phase include campaign launches, managing marketing channels, and coordinating promotional activities. Businesses can also monitor the success of their marketing efforts by tracking KPIs and analyzing campaign results.
Fractional CMO vs. Marketing Strategy Consultant
It is worth noting that the terms marketing strategy consultant and strategic marketing consultant are used interchangeably. With this in mind, it is worth comparing a strategic marketing consultant to another role that has gained popularity in recent years, the Fractional CMO.
A Fractional CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) is a highly experienced marketing executive who provides part-time, high-level strategic marketing guidance and leadership to a company on an ongoing basis. They are ideal for businesses that can’t afford a full-time CMO but still need the strategic marketing direction, oversight, and experience that a CMO would offer.
Thus, the key difference between a fractional CMO and a marketing strategy consultant are:
- Scope of Work: A strategic marketing consultant is typically brought in to address marketing challenges or issues, such as refining target audiences, improving campaign performance, or optimizing marketing budgets. They analyze the problem, develop a comprehensive plan to address it, and provide recommendations. However, their role is limited to solving the issue at hand, and they do not participate in the implementation process.
On the other hand, a fractional CMO has a broader scope of work. In addition to tackling strategic marketing challenges, they also provide leadership and oversight of marketing systems and processes. They are responsible for ensuring the correct implementation of marketing strategies by leading and supporting the marketing team, or by having their own team that works together with the business’s team. Through all this, the fractional CMO continues to provide support to the client when and where they need it.
- Level of Involvement: Strategic Marketing Consultants provide valuable insights and recommendations but are not involved in the day-to-day operations of a company’s marketing efforts. They are focused on identifying and solving specific problems without directly managing the marketing team or internal systems.
A fractional CMO agency, on the other hand, is actively involved in the daily operations of the marketing department. The agency team collaborates closely with the business’s marketing team and other stakeholders, ensuring that strategies are effectively executed while also providing guidance on best practices and processes. Also, instant communication is always available when needed.
- Ideal Business Size: While both roles can be beneficial to businesses of various sizes, A fractional CMO can be invaluable for businesses with revenues under $100 million. At this stage, startups and small businesses may still have inefficiencies that need correcting, and a fractional CMO can help streamline marketing processes and systems.
As for strategic marketing consultants, they can be employed by businesses of any size that require expert advice to address specific marketing challenges.
The choice between a fractional CMO and a strategic marketing consultant ultimately depends on your business’s unique needs and the level of involvement and leadership you require. If your business requires ongoing leadership and support in implementing and managing marketing strategies, a fractional CMO agency may be your best option.
Contact us here if you would like to find the best fractional CMO for your business.
10 Marketing Strategies for Consultants To Boost Their Clients’ Businesses
Before we conclude, it is worth mentioning the 10 marketing strategies for consultants. These are the marketing strategies you can expect a strategic marketing consultant to implement for your business.
- Social media marketing: This strategy involves using various social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to promote a brand, engage with the target audience, and share content. Social media marketing helps increase brand visibility, drive website traffic, and cultivate customer relationships.
- Video tutorials: With effective marketing consulting, a business can create educational and informative video content that showcases its expertise or demonstrates how to use its products or services to help attract potential customers. Video tutorials are engaging and shareable and can boost brand authority. This ultimately leads to increased trust and credibility.
- Blogging: Consistently publishing high-quality, informative, and relevant blog articles can drive organic traffic to your website, establish your brand as an authority in your industry, and help build trust with your target audience. Blogging also helps improve SEO by providing fresh content and increasing the number of indexed pages on your website.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Along with blogging comes SEO. SEO involves optimizing your website’s content, structure, and design to rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs). The best marketing strategy consultant can help businesses with SEO strategies, including keyword research, on-page optimization, and off-page optimizations such as link building.
- Influencer marketing: Partnering with influencers who have a significant following in your industry can help a business improve its sales and marketing. Consulting services should introduce new businesses to the concept of influencer marketing, as they can help a business reach new audiences and boost its brand’s credibility. Influencers can promote products or services through sponsored posts, reviews, or collaborations.
- Build a great lead magnet: A lead magnet is a valuable resource or offer (such as an e-book, whitepaper, or discount) provided in exchange for a prospect’s contact information. Lead magnets help generate leads by enticing potential customers to share their information, allowing you to build your email list and nurture these leads through targeted marketing campaigns.
- Facebook Ads with re-targeting: Running Facebook ads can help you reach a wider audience, generate leads, and drive sales. Re-targeting involves showing ads to people who have previously engaged with your brand or visited your website, increasing the likelihood of conversion as these individuals are already familiar with your offerings.
- Use LinkedIn the right way: Leveraging LinkedIn as a professional networking platform can help you connect with industry leaders, potential clients, and partners. Sharing valuable content, engaging in meaningful conversations, and building a strong professional network can position your brand as an industry expert and drive new business opportunities.
- Affiliate programs: Establishing an affiliate program allows you to collaborate with partners who promote your products or services in exchange for a commission on sales they generate. Affiliate marketing can expand your reach, drive new customers, and boost sales while only paying for results.
- Use email marketing sequences: Email marketing sequences are automated email campaigns sent to subscribers based on specific triggers, such as signing up for a newsletter or making a purchase. These sequences can help nurture leads, boost customer engagement, and drive conversions by delivering relevant and timely content to your audience.
By applying these strategies, a business can ensure they are making the most of their marketing efforts and that they increase their sales.
How To Identify the Best Strategic Marketing Consultant
Businesses that choose to hire the right strategic marketing consultant can propel themselves ahead of the competition. This is often due to the valuable insights, guidance, and expertise that a strategic marketing consultant brings to the table. However, many business leaders often face the challenge of deciding who is the best pick due to there being so many marketing professionals to choose from.
Some skills worth considering in your search for the best strategic marketing consultant are:
- Effective communication
- Product marketing
- Attention to detail
- Lead generation
- Use of various marketing automation tools
- Content management
- Creative thinking
- Social media marketing
- Market research
- Marketing strategy
By considering the above skills during your search, you can ensure that you are choosing the ideal consultant for your business. Of course, never forget to check their reviews and ask them for references to ensure they do have the experience that they claim to have.
For more on recent trends in digital marketing, read our blog and talk to us if you are considering hiring a fractional CMO.