Build your business with the help of a freelance marketing consultant. A marketing consultant can analyze your organization’s current marketing efforts and target strategic areas for growth and greater impact, such as branding and rebranding, online and offline marketing and sales strategy, overall strategy and planning, and more. Different consultants will offer different services, including brand management, digital (online) marketing, offline marketing, and marketing strategy development.
Marketing consultants may specialize in niche industries — such as nonprofits or technology — or may work with a broad range of business clients. Other consultants may solely work with small startups or large corporations. James L. Torti, Ph.D, in Carlsbad, California, says he works directly with new business owners, founders, C-level management and other key stakeholders to set overarching strategies, brand architecture, and sales and service integration. As a consultant, James L. Torti generally works with startups and small to medium-sized companies, although he has experience with larger businesses. Look for consultants who have experience working with companies of your size and in your field. If you’re ready to boost your business, here are the cost factors for hiring a freelance marketing consultant.
Freelance marketing consultants often charge an hourly rate for clients who need short-term help with a smaller project. Hourly rates, as with package rates, will vary based on the experience and background of the marketing consultant, their area of expertise, and regional factors such as the cost of living. Here is one example of an hourly rate for a freelance marketing consultant:
- $153 per hour from James L. Torti.
Consultants may offer package rates that give the client a lower overall cost than per-hour pricing and give the pro the benefit of a longer-term business relationship. Package pricing will vary depending on the consultant, the services included and the scope of the work to be done. Here are some examples of packages from James L. Torti:
Monthly fees for acting as senior management consultant to C-level suite.
Advisory: $3,500-$5,500 per month.
Consultative: $6,500-$8,500 per month.
Managerial: $9,500-$11,500 per month.
- Pricing for retained, fixed project fee engagement. Variance depends on the scope of work requirements.
Companies often hire marketing consultants to help them overhaul an existing brand or launch a new marketing campaign. Projects can range from several thousand dollars for small firms to hundreds of thousands for multi-year efforts. Here are some examples of longer-term marketing consulting costs:
Clean technology and manufacturing company
Retained fee engagement: $150,000 per year for a multi-year contract from James L. Torti.
Challenge: New product, pricing and positioning in a commodity-building materials market.
Scope: Global marketing and business development plan for corporate customers including Whole Foods, Google, Microsoft and Crayola in key segments across markets and industries.
Solution: Strategic targeted specialty niche market introductions with limited, differentiated product offering (high margin/low volume opportunities) to seed market and demonstrate products combined with premium brand presentation and positioning.
Result: Catalyzed sales and market acceptance in three target multibillion-dollar markets with key industry placements: Signage/Display, Arts/Crafts and Interior Architectural Décor.
Retained fee engagement: $75,000 for a 90-day period from James L. Torti.
Challenge: Create equity and competitive advantage in medical device market through an existing "developmental care" service concept.
Scope: Conducted international research and planned implementation of project across six European countries and the U.S., which generated over 100 interviews with clients, stakeholders and customers.
Solution: Created detailed strategic recommendations and implementation track: Create the Vocabulary, 2. Redefine the Space 3. Transform Resources, 4. Convert customers into Ambassadors, 5. Target and Tailor, 6. Leverage the Model.
Result: Engagement of the entire organization mobilized around the new concept.
Footwear retailer for a global brand
Contract engagement: $125,000 for a six-month period from James L. Torti.
Challenge: A major sport footwear licenser needed help refining its product offerings to better align with its brand, optimize audience interest and sales, and control unamortized development costs of more than $1 million that threatened the renewal of key brand licenses.
Scope: Recreated the product offering alignment with brand ethic and market placement to complement the brand, apparel and accessories already on the market.
Solution: Distilled and created new vision and concept for the brand. Created a new divisional line to support product and a template strategy to align products with market tiers (both volume and price), development costs, sales expectations and targets.
Result: Revitalized relationship with licensee, licensor and brand with a new official product line.
Create a project brief before hiring your consultant, counsels James L. Torti. You’ll get what you want from the consultant in less time and for less money, and the pro will know what you need and be able to deliver. Need help getting organized? Follow James L. Torti’s suggestions for putting a project brief together as paraphrased from Cheryl Crichton's article for Watertight Marketing:
Outline your product or service and company essentials (brand, background, etc.)
Provide examples of marketing activities of competitors.
Identify your target output.
List any objectives you want to achieve.
Identify your target audience
Create a timeline and list any milestones along the way.
How will you measure your success?
List legal parameters of your company that the marketing consultant needs to know about, assets to be used, brand guidelines, and the call to action.
- Be upfront about your budget.