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So, what does a marketing consultant do?
Simply put, a marketing consultant works for a business or firm and… you guessed it… consults them on their marketing. This can mean setting strategies, crafting messages, and overseeing the execution of the marketing. Consultants must understand a company inside and out, and they must also understand the brand’s core consumers in order to be effective.
Marketing consultants are problem solvers. They identify areas where a brand’s marketing messages are lacking and then they produce creative solutions to those issues. They are highly creative, but they also have a keen sense for understanding data and people. Marketing consultants are well-rounded and familiar with all the latest social media and design trends. They are interesting people who have sharp eyes for understanding culture and attitudes towards brands. While they are not exactly advertisers or public relations professionals, they understand the basics of those professions and can implement principles from advertising and PR into their marketing plans.
Tell me about that ca$h money
Let’s talk about the money. According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a marketing consultant in the United States is $54,268. Of course, this number will change based on your experience and location.
Who could I work for?
Some top companies in the United States who are currently hiring for marketing consultants are:
- Dell Technologies
- Wells Fargo
- SmartBug Media
- Marketing 360
As you can see, you can either work for a marketing agency, as a consultant in-house, for a marketing service, or as a freelance consultant, and each of these types of companies have different work environments, so it is important to understand yourself to know which would be best for you!
Types of Marketing Consultant Workplaces:
Marketing agencies basically take care of all the marketing for a company, with the company’s input. You will get to work on a couple different brands at the same time, and you will be the main point of contact if the brand has questions or issues. If you get bored easily, like structure, and want access to people who love marketing as much as you, this may be your path!
When you work as an in-house marketing consultant, you are the go-to for everything. You will get to really understand the brand and its employees super well, and you will not have the same restrictions and number of supervisors, plus you will be the one of the few pros, so people *should* truly value your expertise.
- You will be able to dive deep into a company and its culture
- Structured workdays
- Generally, a tight-knit community
- May become monotonous
- Few internal advancement opportunities
Jason on Quora best explained what a marketing service does: “A marketing consulting firm helps companies run their marketing function better. The work here could be identifying opportunities to introduce new approaches to the way different marketing activities are done. Examples could be conducting audits, introducing analytical segmentation models or calculating marketing ROI.” What this means for a marketing consultant is that you will work hand-in-hand with the in-house team to make what they already have better.
- Specialized work
- Chance for a higher salary
- You will not have control over executions
So imagine running a one woman/man marketing agency. That is pretty much what it is like to freelance. I am a freelance graphic designer, so though I do not personally know what it is like to be a marketing consultant, I know firsthand the craziness of being a #girlboss. Here are some pros and cons from my experience:
- Setting your own hours/pay
- Choosing your own clients
- Being your own boss
- Working crazy work weeks (sometimes more than 40 hours a week!)
- Networking like crazy to find your clients
- Building your business from the ground up
So, how do you get into this career?
First thing’s first, you have to understand the principles of marketing before you can consult others. This includes:
- Understanding social media
- Observing marketing strategies IRL
- Getting to know brands and pinpointing their unique voices
- Honing your creative skills
- Being a problem-solver
- Getting a Bachelor’s in Marketing or Business
If you are looking for a college program which will help you on your path to becoming a great marketing consultant, click here.