The Case For An In-House Marketing Consultant

Your business is special, and there’s no reason why you should have to settle for anything. If you need an expert to develop prosperous marketing channels and strategies, you should be able to get great results without paying an arm and a leg.

An In-House Marketing Consultant Can Do What Others Cannot

If your company has begun to grow, have you ever considered how to approach the inevitable need to expand in a more serious way into marketing and brand-building enterprises?

A Chief Marketing Officer or CMO can be a massive addition to the marketing team of any business, firm, or enterprise. Their skills and talents are vital for the success of any long term broad spectrum marketing strategy.

  • The CMO’s abilities and skillset allows them to take command of an operation and lead from the front.
  • Their innovative ideas and creative engine help them draft a wide range of plans and strategies fast.
  • Their knowledge set of all necessary tools, mediums, and requirements allows them to implement a plan across multiple marketing dimensions.
  • Their tireless energy can help push all kinds of big projects over the line.
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How does a CMO fit in to your business?

Stationed firmly within a given company, the CMO:

  • Embodies and understands stated growth goals, objectives, company values, branding, and culture.
  • They understand exactly where the strengths, limitations, and opportunities lie within the business’ culture – presenting it in the best light when dealing with outside entities or customers.
  • Finally, the CMO has access to all of the data centers within a business, giving him or her quick access to the records and reports needed to accurately plan for success within their marketing strategies.

Audience demographics, keyword research, and other important sectors of data find quick understanding and utilization in the mind of the CMO, as he oversees all marketing operations and can act on the data from a command station.

However,

CMO salaries can run high – really high, something not every mid-sized company can afford. Success aside, you might find that after 5 months, marketing funnels and campaigns are all running smoothly but you still have to fork over $125,000 plus incentives a year to a CMO whose workload is slowly and steadily dwindling.

Another situation is that CMO’s will need a marketing team to work with which makes the entire marketing operation an even more costly affair.

PICTURED: A Glassdoor search for CMO salaries. Yikes.

The Big Firm vs The Big Man: Who can best handle your content

Some might think the answer is to hire a consulting firm that will take care of your branding, content strategies, and marketing campaigns.

There are plenty of advantages with this approach that include a much lower expense compared to the services of the professional, top-quality CMO.

  • They’ll normally appoint some copywriters, content strategists, and marketing experts to work with you to help build a thorough platform to launch your forays into the market.
  • They remove the need to hire additional employees to support the CMO.

This could be a game changer if that meant passing certain thresholds like the Affordable Care Act requirement for providing health insurance to employees of a firm once they reach a certain number of staff members.

However…

There are also several drawbacks to working with a consulting firm rather than a payrolled CMO.

  • Normally they are run out of their own offices, meaning that person-to-person contact is limited and the option to simply run down to hall and ask a question is no longer there.
  • Further still, the consulting firm requires resources to be given by whoever on your team possesses them, such as any creative (images, copy, etc.) data and reports from your various operations and platforms, as well as requirements for things like compliance.
  • There are factors like a division of labor, meaning that both you (the CEO or team manager) and they (the chief consultant) have a number of people working essentially on the same team, but who don’t have easy means of coordinating, interacting, planning or brainstorming together.

Beyond all this, you have simple interferences which can be altogether small, crippling, and unsolvable.

  • The team manager at the firm might be a bad cultural fit for your brand.
  • Their strategies might be out of line with the ones you’ve already worked to establish.
  • They are not built into the company’s networks, and require permissions and access to different parts of the operation.
  • More simply, you might just not get along that well.
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What Is The Solution?

The solution is, as the Taoists in the East, and Nietzsche in the West suggest: somewhere in the middle.

The full-time CMO is too expensive, and the marketing firm is too separate and divided. What’s there to be done?

The answer is to hire an in-house, marketing consultant a fusion of the two, and a service that isn’t often found in the marketing world.

A marketing firm wants a big operation so they can deliver as much as is necessary to charge large consulting fees.

The salary of the CMO is derived from his remarkable and broad skillset – a salary which might not be affordable for your organization on a continual basis.

What does an in-house marketing consultant do?

The in-house marketing consultant is an outside, part-time sort of CMO, who comes in-house a few hours a week, and runs through content strategies, owned and paid media campaigns, and discusses overall marketing practices.

  • The in-house marketing consultant works in the office of the business long enough to absorb corporate values and business culture, but doesn’t draw the salary requirements of the full-time employee.
  • The in-house marketing consultant draws on his considerable knowledge and experience to ride shotgun as an advisor to marketing managers should they exist, and take the reins when they do not.
  • Being present in the office during work hours allows the in-house marketing consultant to quickly contact and exchange data, ideas, and information across departments and employees, as well as offering that vital service of being able to quickly answer questions/put out fires due to proximity.
  • Unlike the large overhead of running a firm, and the salary demands that come with the skillset of the CMO, the in-house marketing consultant can have his economic demands met at a fraction of the costs levied by the other two.

The in-house marketing consultant brings the best of both worlds.

Reasons you might need an in-house marketing consultant

If successfully deployed, a wide-ranging marketing strategy can yield three-times as much as what you paid into it. This is because the pay cap for many services involved in profitable marketing tools like email marketing software is fairly low.

For $20-$100 a month, you have a chance at creating value of many fold more than what you spent.

If you run a doctor’s office, you could easily be crediting hundreds of dollars per person who responds to your offers.

In the first two situations, much of these returns would go to EITHER:

  1. The firm with their office, staff, toolkits, and other things that create a large overhead,
  2. Or the broad salary requirements of a professional CMO.

The in-house marketing consultant on the other hand charges far less, mainly because of the limited amount of hours required for the consultant to wind up and release the marketing cogs within your operation.

Another perfect situation where an in-house marketing consultant would thrive is if previous attempts at establishing a strong marketing operation or digital presence were halted, delayed, ground to a stop, went unfinished, or failed, but the company still has all the threads and projects lying around.

A marketing firm will want to start over from scratch, while a CMO’s creative force might also dictate scraping existing projects.

The in-house marketing consultant is flexible, and has the skills and the patience to revitalize or finish off past projects, saving time, money, and creative force.

A useful skill indeed if thousands of dollars already went to a team designing all of these systems.

As a business looks to expand, the in-house option is very desirable, so a really ideal situation is for a business to hire a junior marketing agent, and bring in the in-house marketing consultant to work side by side until such a time as when the junior becomes the senior.

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Who might benefit from an in-house marketing consultant?

All kinds of people can benefit from choosing an in-house marketing consultant as opposed to a large firm or a CMO.

If you run a mid-sized company an in-house marketing consultant is the perfect choice to quickly get your content strategies off the ground, earn some ROI in the process, learn how to manage it and what to look for if you don’t have experience in digital or content marketing, and save some administration costs.

If you run a small firm – such as a law practice or legal consultancy, the in-house marketing consultant perfectly typifies the intelligent way to expand your business.

Legal advertising is fraught with legal dangers, since many states like New Jersey, New York, and Arizona have legislation preventing all kinds of different ad strategies from being implemented by law firms.

Having a marketing professional to take care of this sticky situation is a boon for any small legal consultancy looking to expand their business.

Another small firm that would do well to hire an in-house marketing consultant is any small medical practice or dentist office. One of the major reasons for this is that, like the legal office, the ROI for a successful marketing strategy is massive since legal consulting and medical procedures are expensive but vital services.

A chiropractic office, a dental practice, or an athletic recovery and performance location are all perfect examples of small, out-of-the way medical practices that could use the help of a broad, get-the-word-out marketing strategy.

And if you have no administration budget at all…

Certainly non-profits or charities – organizations that don’t have much in the way of administrative budgets at all, would benefit from the in-house marketing consultant. His presence within the organization will infuse his actions with the mission, culture, and compassion of the non-profit while keeping costs low.

In conclusion

The in-house marketing consultant offers something in between two options that are beyond the scope of many different businesses and organizations. His toolkit is surgical, enabling him to get in, make precise adjustments, start bringing in sales, and expanding brand awareness all while keeping costs low and teaching those that will take over after his term is up how best to deploy their marketing platform.

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