If you’re business lacks the resources of an established marketing department or even the expertise, don’t let it stand in the way of executing your strategy. Help can be readily available from a strategic consultancy that will assist in marketing your company without the permanent staffing overhead. In fact these external consultants are far more compelled to deliver results as their business relies and thrives on giving their customers what they want. Think of them as an expert outsourced marketing department that is there to deliver value and results and they can be a useful part of your business, helping you to plan deliver an effective working strategy.
There are basically two types of marketing consulting companies which range from individual consultants to much larger agencies. You may be surprised by the results that these two extremes can deliver and the cost differences and it is why many small to medium sized business work with freelance consultants as they provide the same if not better marketing skills than there larger counterparts and without the huge price tag. However, that does not preclude larger businesses from using freelance consultants. In there case they would probably need more than one consultant to deliver different components of the plan due to the size and scope of each step.
Developing A Strategy
Whether you are not sure where to start or have an outline of where you would like to go, many SME business are not sure how to put the whole thing together and get it delivered as they are too bust with the day to day running of the company. Once you have a plan though, things get much easier as you have a track to run and focus on and this is where your consultant can help deliver that much needed focus and distill the early marketing ideas into a written working strategy which is built between you and your new marketing partner.
Each step in the plan will have some kind of reasoning behind it which will usually be founded on research, performance metrics or financial data that your consultant will help you to establish and together you will fine tune the plan so that you have a way of actually reaching your desired goal, founded on rock solid reasoning.
Implementing The Strategy
Once you have a formal plan for getting your business onto the next step of the ladder, its time to get it delivered. It may involve your current sales and marketing teams and resources or instead you may choose to outsource this completely to your consultant depending on your company and its specific needs. None the less the consultant will be part of your business during the execution phase to deliver what should be a range of marketing activities which will cover your message, the channels for delivery and the target audiences. Where possible you should use all methods that can deliver you a result, not because of any preconceived ideas or beliefs.
During the delivery phase data will be feedback concerning the effectiveness of what has been done. It may be that some ideas did not work as well as initially thought so they may need improving or alternative ideas sought. Results will take a little time to get a true reflection of what is going on and as a rule of thumb expect to see a cleared picture after a couple of months.
Now is the time to really asses performance as a comparison to what was happening before and where the business is headed. The plan can be adjusted as necessary.
Evolving The Strategy
Once things are beginning to generate positive results and the business is moving in the desired direction its time to look at evolving the strategy. Can things be improved now that you have a bench mark to test them against. Are there other markets that can be look at, new products or services that can be created for customers, partner and alliances that can be extended. You have an A road now for your business, which you will want to build into a motorway over time with the help of your consultancy.