6 Things to Consider Before Hiring a Marketing Consultant

1 May

More companies are hiring marketing consultants today as demand for products and the economy fluctuates.  Help is needed but, many organizations aren’t able to bring on full-time staff that they may need to lay-off in a downturn or require help on a project basis only. Consultants bring a wealth of knowledge and experiences that can fill this need.

How to Ensure a Successful Consulting Engagement

The success of the consultant and the project depends on how well the organization defines the project scope and budget, and determines work requirements and desired qualities and experience of the consultant.  Answer these project questions once it’s determined help is needed.  The answers will serve as the basis to develop the RFP (Request for Proposal) and help to ensure a successful engagement and outcome.Two Business People Shaking on Success

1.  What are your needs and desired results?  What do you want the consultant to accomplish? What defines a successful project outcome for your organization? Be specific.

2.  What is your available budget?  Set a range which provides flexibility for unforeseen changes to the scope that might occur during the project. 

3.  What is your desired timeframe to complete the project?  The deadline may be determined by a new product launch or an industry event.  A completion date provides a goal to work towards, benchmark and measure the project’s progress.

4.  What are the work requirements? Does the consultant work on-site, off-site or a combination? Is it a full-time or part-time position? How many hours per week does the project require?

5.  What are your expectations for communications and updates from your consultant during the project?  What method do you prefer, email, phone or other?  How often do you want to talk or meet?  It is important that your organization set expectations and discuss communications preferences with the consultant before the project begins.

6.  What is your organization looking for in a consultant?  Put a list together of the key skills, qualifications and experience that you believe are important for the project’s success. Include what you think will make them a good fit with your company’s culture and work style. These criteria will provide guidance as you go through the proposal and selection process for a consultant.   

Have you hired a marketing consultant?  What was your experience?

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