Consultants as a whole have gotten a bad rap over the years. Some of it is probably deserved, but I swear, most of us are not overpaid, overeducated underperformers with a bloated egos. We might even be able to help you! If you’re considering bringing a consultant on board to help with your marketing strategy and tactics, here are five reasons you should…and I’ll even throw in some reasons you shouldn’t.
1. Your team is small or short on bandwidth.
If you are working with a small marketing team or if your team is busy on certain tasks that are keeping you from accomplishing others, a consultant could really come in handy. Consultants can be especially helpful if you’re dealing with some temporary responsibilities or short-term projects, or if what you really need help with is strategy and planning.
2. You could use a fresh perspective.
Sometimes you just need a fresh pair of eyes to take a look at something – someone who isn’t necessarily loyal to your current practices. Objectivity diminishes the longer you are with a company and bringing in a consultant to weigh in combats that, particularly if you have a long-standing team of employees or if you’re struggling to figure out why something is not working. Having a consultant come in and look things over can make big improvements to your marketing and your bottom line.
3. You need an expert in something particular.
If your team does not have the expertise needed to accomplish a specific task, odds are there’s a great consultant out there that can step in to assist. Perhaps you’re in need of a marketing plan to suit a particular objective you’re not experienced in, or you just want someone to craft collateral from soup to nuts but you’re not experienced in design. Hiring a consultant with the expertise you lack gets the job done well and makes you look competent for acknowledging your limitations, especially if you learn from them in the process.
4. You need to avoid increasing headcount.
If hiring additional full-time employees to fill gaps isn’t in your budget or isn’t the best strategic move for your company, bringing on a consultant to fill gaps is a great way to accomplish that. Your consultant(s) can own specific long or short term projects while the rest of your team manages a reasonable workload.
5. You’re facing a project you don’t enjoy.
Ok, so this sounds petty, but we’ve all been assigned projects we don’t want to complete. If this is where you stand at the moment and you have the budget to account for it, push the crappy job off to a consultant. Of course, you’ll want to replace it on your to do list with something worthwhile if you need the support of management.
But, you might not need a consultant if…
If you don’t expect the workload to slow down anytime soon and your team already has the expertise, you may want to consider adding another full-time employee to your team. If your team has the bandwidth but lacks the know-how to do a specific long-term or recurring project, it could be more beneficial to get them training instead.
It isn’t always ideal to bring in a consultant, but in most cases, if there’s a gap that needs filling and you adequately screen and then set measurable expectations with a marketing consultant, they can deliver meaningful results.