In-House Marketing Teams Are Strained
Marketing managers are under constant pressure to provide more and better results. With tough competition and the rise of data, execution of a cohesive marketing strategy is vital. But when there’s no time to plan, how do you know what to follow through on? No matter their level in the organization, marketers spend so much time on execution that resources just aren’t there for research and planning. This is why it’s so critical to engage an outside marketing consultant for strategy assistance.
An Outside Viewpoint Helps
Am I suggesting that you outsource your go-to-market strategy entirely? No, but an outside consultant provides three major benefits that in-house marketers need to create better strategies. They break through the “echo chamber” inside the team, have resource availability to focus on the right planning tasks, and see what’s going on from the outside. And these three things are exactly what your team needs to form a better marketing plan.
Escaping the Echo Chamber
One drawback of working on marketing strategy only in-house is that you tend to only talk to yourselves and get the same viewpoints reinforced over and over. It’s an echo chamber. While you and your marketing team know your products better than anyone else, it may be difficult to consider alternative strategies. When you see what has worked in the past, it’s tempting to do the same thing over and over again. A marketing consultant will come in with different experiences and can more easily suggest new courses of action.
Seeing Things As They Should Be, Not As They Are
On a similar note, internal pressure has the tendency to make in-house marketing departments somewhat myopic, in that they see the goals and tasks in front of them but it’s difficult to see beyond the current quarter — especially if your company is public. This short-term thinking is detrimental to marketing strategy. An outside consultant helps this by being able to look at longer-term trends in your industry and in marketing in general.
Time and Resource Availability
Yes, it’s obvious that a marketing consultant will bring additional time to the table that your in-house team doesn’t have. But what’s most important about hiring outside is that your consultant has the
right kind of time. Hire for critical projects like strategy development and research, and you’ve suddenly gained hundreds of hours for your team to finish work and think more critically about the marketing plans in front of them.
Help With Long-Term Planning is So Useful
While you may be able to get by without hiring outside marketing consultants in the short term or even over a couple of years, eventually the gains you’ll get by hiring one will far surpass the investment. At the very least, it’s helpful to engage with a consultant periodically as a check on your current state, take on critical projects, and assist with making on-the-fly course corrections where needed.