So you’ve realised that what your business needs is a marketing consultant. This is someone who can give you a fresh, unbiased and out-of-the-box perspective on your company.

Your marketing consultant will bring expertise and new ways of doing things, things that you hadn’t necessarily thought of before. However, for this to happen, you need to make sure that you conduct the interview stage properly. This is crucial in selecting the most suitable marketing consultant to complete the task at hand. As a business leader, you need to use the interview to gain an understanding of potential marketing consultants. To do this, take the below topics as a guide and explore them in depth.  

1. Which industries do they have experience in?

Whilst it isn’t entirely necessary for them to have a marketing background in the same industry that you operate in, it is important to remember that some industries will require vastly different marketing from others. It may be beneficial for the project that you engage a marketing consultant with experience in a variety of different industries, or with in-depth experience within one specific industry if it relates to your business  

2. How good is their previous work?

Ask to see a portfolio of previous marketing projects that the consultant has completed, as well as relevant KPI’s as an indication of their success. For specifics, ask to see sample marketing strategies, plans and creative campaigns. Whilst more costly, highly regarded marketing experts can provide you with more valuable consultations. Find out whether they have published their own books, journal articles or won any awards, and evaluate whether this is something that is important to you. In addition to a portfolio, it is valuable to contact previous employers or clients to gain a more objective opinion of their past work, as opposed to merely relying on the consultants' opinions of their own success. This can be achieved by conducting reference checks after the initial interview stage.  

3. Have they been active recently?

Recent activity, such as within the past year, will provide you with insight as to whether the marketing consultant is up to date with new marketing techniques, particularly within the technology sphere. A good way to gauge this is to ask for their thoughts on current trends relevant to your industry.  

4. How prepared are they for your interview? 

A sign that a marketing consultant will be valuable to your company is whether they have taken the time to understand your situation or not. Significantly, coming up with ideas for your marketing project is a large indicator of initiative, and highlights their strategic problem-solving skills. Make sure you focus on their understanding of your business problems and their proposed solutions.    

If you would like more guidance regarding hiring a marketing consultant, download our free e-book: The Expert's Guide to Hiring a Marketing Consultant.

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This guide, developed by our experts, provides professional advice for you to help kick-start the process of hiring a marketing consultant for your business. Stay tuned for the next step in finding and hiring the best marketing consultant for you.