The business of marketing may look glitzy and glamorous from the outside but it takes a variety of skills, dedication and hard work to become a successful marketing consultant. In essence, a marketing consultant is running their own business and needs to fulfill all the tasks that are performed in a company by a variety of different individuals, themselves.
For a better understanding of what it takes to become a marketing consultant, it is first and foremost important to understand what they do:
What Is A Marketing Consultant And What Do They Do?
The primary function of a marketing consultant is to identify the marketing needs of a company and then design a marketing campaign incorporating suitable strategies to effectively reach the specified target market. However, the consultant may play a variety of additional roles depending on the needs of the company.
They may implement the different strategies themselves or outsource the various techniques to a range of different providers. A consultant may also provide a service to analyze the results of the marketing campaign in order to evaluate the success of the techniques and strategies that have been put on place. Changes to the strategy or tweaks may be made relevant to the success or failure of a specific technique or as the marketing campaign evolves.
Over and above this, a marketing consultant needs to source their own leads, take care of their own invoicing and finances as well as any other necessary functions that are part and parcel of being a self-employed individual.
How To Become A Marketing Consultant
While it isn’t entirely necessary to have formal qualifications to become a marketing consultant, there are some certifications and degrees that are a bonus when it comes to sourcing new business, especially in a corporate environment or when looking at big businesses. The most common degree for a marketing consultant is an MBA or Master in Business Administration. Undergraduate degrees in communication, marketing or business are also a good start.
These qualification support the consultants’ ability to do the job. However, there is nothing quite like experience to qualify for the job. The more experience in various fields of marketing a consultant has, the more likely they are to be successful. Experience helps develop the following skills necessary to be successful:
– Digital or online marketing
– Social media marketing
– Traditional marketing such as radio, television and print media marketing
– Public relations and communications
– Direct response marketing
– Copy writing
Other skills that are of consequence include:
– Ability to strategize and implement a marketing campaign
– Project management skills
– Organizational skills
– Time management skills
A good place to start is with copy-writing or providing content to clients. These clients may be marketing consultants or request writing services directly. Working with a marketing consultant is a good way to learn the ropes and other necessary skills.
Content writing can easily be developed in to providing digital marketing services such as SEO (search engine optimization). Digital marketing paves the way to learn social media marketing techniques. Traditional marketing, public relations, direct response marketing and communications are skills that will take some time to learn.
However, a marketing consultant can specialize in a specific field of marketing. For example, a digital marketer may outsource the traditional marketing needs of a client and vice versa.