Ever wondered how much a Marketing Consultant charges? Wo
Wonder no more. Below is a guideline to help you understand the concept of what a Marketing Consultant charges.
We appreciate that as a business owner, you may have already established that aside from creating your smashing product or sensational service solution, you will also need an effective and just as smashing marketing strategy to help share just how terrific your business is with a carefully targeted or niche audience.
This is where Marketing Consultants swoop in. Depending on what your company needs, you may be looking for someone to map out the right branding strategy for your business, or perhaps you are needing someone to execute marketing plans and do the heavy lifting for your brand.
Inventive Strategy Vs. Resourceful Execution
To keep it simple, Marketing Strategists are highly skilled professionals with a wide array of expertise to back up their ability to brainstorm and develop what marketing strategy will harmonise best with your brand as well as identify the key and ideal customer population to target your goods and services to. Marketing Coordinators on the other hand are in charge of the labour including the execution of a range of marketing activities such as providing creative work including copywriting, website development, email and social media marketing, and graphic design of branded materials.
Most of the time, a marketing consultant will leave the laborious part of executing the tasks to either you or another team member such as a marketing coordinator. This is because marketing consultants emphasize their work on the executive functions of strategy development.
Common Pricing Set-up for Marketing Consultants
There are two ways on how a marketing consultant can charge for his services - the first would be an hourly rate, and the second would be project based.
When factoring in the costs for a marketing consultant and to assure you still remain profitable, you want to make sure that you are still allocating enough budget for other expenses as well. While generally a marketing consultant’s hourly rate is determined by their level of expertise, experience, capacity and demand, as well as economic factors, ultimately - you are paying for the consultant’s time and skill.
Project based pricing is set for a specific turnaround time and is usually calculated by multiplying the consultants hourly rate by the total number of hours needed to complete the proposed project. This type of pricing model is used for short term marketing projects or seasonal campaigns.
Diving into specifics, in our experience, the hourly rate for marketing consultants can range between $65-$300. Just like any professional, each marketing consultant will value themselves uniquely based on their resume and demand in the market.
These fees can come as a shock if you are comparing it to an employee’s salary which might be closer to $30-$50 an hour, though it is important to keep in mind all the processes that are involved in making the project come to fruition.
Let’s say you’re planning to launch a new product for the upcoming Easter holiday and want to kick it off with a witty and distinctive campaign to up your brand’s exposure. Your friend has referred you to an excellent marketing consultant named Jerry who works under a major marketing firm at let’s say, Same Day Marketing (for argument's sake), and specializes in exactly your industry. He charges $160 per hour as a base rate. According to his calculations, to meet your objectives he would consider this a 10 hour project excluding the time it will take to execute the campaign itself.
This will bring your total investment to a whopping $1600. Now, if you were to place this fee next to the costs it would take for an in-house marketer to accomplish this (which would be about $500), you might be bewildered by the difference.
I know what you’re thinking, why wouldn't you just stick with in-house talent since it’s cheaper anyway?
Let’s take an even deeper dive, keep reading.
Compare & Contrast the Costs
With lower spending, Having an in-house marketer may seem like music to your ears at this point, especially for a business. But you must consider all the other factors that play in when adding a member to your workforce.
When you hire an employee, you are committing to accommodate all the necessities that will allow him or her to have a quality work life to therefore provide quality performance. This includes work headquarters, equipment, benefits, vacation and sick leave, lunch hours, and don’t forget about those minutes lost at the break room small talking with colleagues that can’t be tracked or recovered.
In addition, employees will expect to be holding down the job for a stable amount of time with the prospect of a promotion later on. What would have been a 10 hour project stretches into 40 hours a week of paid work time lasting for as long as they are under your employment.
An in-house marketing coordinator could demand an annual salary of $40k to $70k, while a strategist can demand an annual salary of $100k up to $180K. That’s a general rate of about $25 an hour versus $70 an hour respectively. When you are planning for seasonal or project based campaigns, not only do these expenses and tenure necessities become cost-prohibitive, but having the “brain power” or more strategic person on staff on a full-time basis is an ineffective use of resources and is hardly ever necessary in the long term.
Now you have to remember, the “strategizing” process of creating a marketing plan makes up a small percentage of the work process as a whole. but this step is not to be underestimated as it makes up for the cornerstone of your entire branding objective. It is what lays down the foundation for a successful brand or product launch.
This is what you invest in when you go to a marketing consultant for professional advice.
Measuring the value of a Marketing Consultant
Ideally, you would want to do business with a marketing consultant who can work smarter than work harder. Marketing consultants will typically charge two or three times the hourly rate of an in-house marketing specialist.
This is because independent marketing consultant firms and freelancers will typically gear their services to create a marketing strategy that is well researched and expected to have a high turnover rate as an outcome. In this sense, while it may seem like their time is expensive, keep in mind that they are there to assist you as needed, only during the time you need them and for the campaign you signed them for.
This is why project based Marketing consultants are typically more economically productive.
Let’s circle back to the importance of finding a marketing consultant who can work smarter than harder. You might be taken aback with some consultancy firms or freelancers who may have a seemingly disproportionate hourly rate to the billable hours actually worked. You have to understand that each marketer will value their hourly rate based on the quality and effectiveness of service they can offer with a handful of other factors contributing to their success and therefore cost.
Would you pay a dime for a nickel?
To put things into perspective, remember our good old friend Jerry from Same Day Marketing? It is now 10 years later and he has gained years more experience, a broader client with major luxury brands, and a sparkling reputation for his turnover rate. He now charges $30,000 as the base rate for a 10 hour project where he will develop a unique marketing plan that will speak volumes to your niche audience. This project is expected to bring in a $150,000 increase in profits.
On the other hand, you have also found an online post for a local marketing consultant who charges $2000 for a week's worth of consultation and conceptualization time with you but is unable to guarantee a notable estimated return on investment. Are you willing to break the bank for a deal that is pretentiously productive or one that has a steep cost with realistic margins for a steep return?
If Jerry from Same Day Marketing can give you large scale profit results in the short span of 10 hours of brainstorming and strategizing, you are paying for his high precision and quality of work which means he knows how to work smarter rather than harder.
Remember that the better deal is always the one that will require you to invest based on value and not just the amount of time or materials used. I hope we provided you with just enough information to start finding the right marketing consultant for you and your business!