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Is Your Marketing Consultant Strategic? Tactical? Or Both?

by Jennifer Beever on July 28, 2011

Cookie Cutter MarketingDoes your marketing consultant ask the right strategic questions?

…think outside of the box when recommending tactics?

If your answer is “No,” you could be wasting precious marketing money.

Recently a business owner approached me and asked if I would assess his marketing programs and provide my recommendations. His business is not a technology or manufacturing company – the industries I normally target – but he wanted the perspective of an outsider to his industry. He had met with consultants who specialize in his industry, who, after a cursory review, told him they had no recommendations beyond what he was currently doing for marketing.

Why did the marketing consultants fail to provide recommendations for improvement? The consultants failed to ask strategic questions. They also didn’t think outside of the box when it came to tactics – they use a “cookie cutter” approach. Their recommendations? Nothing! “I’m sorry, there’s nothing we can do.”

I met with the business owner and spent over an hour asking questions, such as “What has changed in your marketplace?” “What has do you do better or differently from your competitors?” “What results are you getting from each marketing activity you do?” I spent more time reviewing marketing collateral, including print pieces, email newsletters, and the business website, including the content’s messages as well as the technical details that determine whether or not the business could be found online.

What I found is that a changed competitive landscape for this business required new positioning and marketing messaging. New, aggressive competitors in the space created a need for the business to differentiate themselves and position their business as more experienced, offering more value to customers.In addition, the business wasn’t leveraging technology to dominate the industry with their message. In an industry where the players typically don’t do much online marketing, I felt this business could easily stand out and dominate the marketplace through better search engine optimization and social media marketing.

The result of my analysis? A long list of strategic and tactical marketing activities that the business could cost-effectively implement to not only better compete in but to dominate their marketplace.

Is your marketing consultant asking the right strategic questions? Providing the right recommendations? Getting you the right results?

Photo from Flickr, Attribution Some rights reserved by tubagooba

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Joy Levin August 4, 2011 at 11:06 am

I completely agree. What you’ve done is add value to the client’s business and helped them increase return on investment. Bravo!

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