Marketing consulting – when is it effective?
Every company faces a dilemma at some point.
Are we doing everything right?
Is our marketing working properly?
Could we get more leads, and if so, how?
You can’t answer these questions on your own.
Let me tell you, we all (business owners) follow the usual patterns, based on our competences and knowledge gained in working with our clients. It’s hard to get out of the wheel of habits and conventional wisdom, and the more we are aware of it, the more we think about involving someone from outside. Someone who will show what you can not see. Someone who says what no one else dares. Someone who will be able to show a method of action and a way of thinking that deliver tangible results and push the business forward.
When does marketing consulting make sense?
Let’s start from the beginning and talk about the problems that fashion companies report when they reach out to the infuture.fashion. I think it would be a great example that you can easily associate yourself with or not.
Marketing consulting is indicated in several situations:
-For further company development, business needs more leads and is looking for marketing consultants who know how to increase them – no matter whether through marketing or sales activities.
-The management board notices some gaps in the competences and organization of the marketing department. They are looking for support in the field of training, but also an effective process.
-The company is growing very well but realizes that there is still potential to use – they are interested in learning new tools and tactics in marketing and they appreciate implementation support.
-After analyzing the sales processes, it turns out that marketing activities can be improved at a low cost, which will affect the results of the organization and translate into an increase in sales.
-The company is doing fine but it does what everybody else do. Just another business on the market. No innovation, no creativity in their team. All great ideas hidden in the drawer. Reactive mode in, no initiative from the team. Those companies need some consultation for high management and there’s a huge need for team workshops.
– The direction for the development of marketing activities is a planned and some competences development are needed, but not through training, but marketing consulting and workshops tailored to the specificity of the fashion industry.
The common part of these examples is that the organization needs marketing consultancy as external activity, helping to save time and money that would require experimentation on your own, process building and skill development. 🙂
Remember that the decision to start cooperation as part of marketing consulting must be dictated by business considerations, carried out for a specific purpose. After all, it’s an investment.
Training VS marketing consulting
When starting cooperation with a new client, I explain what training activities are and what marketing consulting is. For us, the difference is fundamental, because we definitely prefer to exist primarily in the latter area, which is in many cases more effective due to its characteristics. But many of our Clients didn’t see the difference before. Often they invested a lot of money and time in all kinds of trainings – with no results, unfortunatelly.
Trainings are useful when the aim is to supplement the employees’ knowledge, theoretical information or acquire skills to a limited extent. Often we have general overview already and all we need is to know how to conduct specific activities. Finding a training services that will provide relevant knowledge, examples, case studies – is almost impossible. The practical approach used in marketing materials has nothing to do with the practicality of the training itself.
Even when a fashion company comes to us aware of a very specific training need, most often during the interview it turns out that the problem is wider, affects other areas of activity, and may even be related to the lack of processes. It’s not our strategy to upsell, it’s just the way the business is. There’s no one magic pill that will fix it all. Sometimes the problem is elsewhere.
Our task is to strategically diagnose what the marketing situation is, because the goal is not to provide a training service, but to achieve business results. Using LinkedIn and generating sales opportunities on Linkedin are two different things, right?. Mere “presence” will not satisfy us.
Way too often I talk to clients who are already trained in many marketing tools and strategies, but they can’t translate it into strategic actions. It turns out that even good training can be forgotten due to the lack of an advisory approach and ongoing supervision and appropriate marketing activities.
Marketing consulting works well in a holistic approach to the functioning of the company, especially when it is ready to analyze its activities, including those in which it feels strong and has the impression that it does not need any help in this area.
But marketing consulting has some has one big drawback: the entire process is longer than a training. Conscientious audit, development of target groups, understanding of products and services, the concept of content, marketing strategy, selection of tools and development of team competences must continue if we want to achieve our goals.
Our experience shows that a longer cooperation with one marketing consultant brings a better effect than carrying out shorter activities with several advisors with a marketing profile.
Each process requires time, changes, analyzes, and experiments to verify our hypotheses and build both the marketing strategy and marketing activities, such as marketing communication. This activities provided by one dedicated consultant can be a real game changer for your company. Think about it, would you rather explain the problem once and count the results or you prefer running from one doors to another hearing about all the incredible strategies and tools. Yes, I experience that myself. Every expert had their own strategy, tools and vision. They all promised that is the best solution and that it generated millions for their previous clients. Who know this story?
How to evaluate the effectiveness of marketing consulting?
It is easiest to evaluate the effects of marketing consulting in the long-term cooperation. Thanks to this, we are able to indicate indicators and appropriate KPIs that prove the achievement of goals and show growth.
In B2B marketing, it is most often the number of leads vs expenses, and our clients also consider it one of the most important indicators of the effectiveness of activities.
The answer to the question whether marketing consulting brings an effect in the short term is more difficult and it involves “soft” factors. We can call it “chemistry” between the consultant and the company.
From the very beginning, it is worth considering whether the marketing consultant understands our needs. We don’t have many such cases, but it is worth remembering because communication problems will hurt the plan.
Do I need a marketing consultancy?
It is difficult to clearly answer such a question regarding marketing consultations. If you are not sure if this is the right time for marketing consultancy, it is best to contact the consulting company and talk.
That is why, at infuture.fashion, we offer a Free Consultation, which helps to verify whether it is time for external marketing consultations or if only tips leading marketing activities on the right track are enough.
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