Ever wondered how much a Marketing Consultant charges? Wonder no more.

Below is a guideline to help you understand the concept of what a Marketing Consultant charges.

As a business owner, you may have already established that aside from a smashing product, you 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.

Strategy Vs. 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.

However, keep in mind that while a marketing consultant can also work on executing the deliverables, they typically emphasize their work on the executive strategy development and leave you or another team member (such as a Marketing Coordinator) to do the heavy lifting on executing these tasks.

Common Pricing Setup 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.

A Marketing consultant’s hourly rate is determined by their level of expertise, experience, capacity and demand, as well as economic facts such as the geographic market and status of the economy. Ultimately, you are paying for the consultant’s time and skill while still allocating a budget for other expenses which should still allow you to remain profitable.

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. This is highly influenced by the consultant’s resume, demand, and overhead along with the previously mentioned factors. 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

Say you are looking at a 10-hour project which involves forming a basic marketing strategy for a seasonal marketing campaign. Your consultant charges $160 per hour which would bring your total investment to $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 baffled 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

Marketing strategists are generally more valuable than a marketing coordinator. As mentioned earlier, while the “strategizing” part of the marketing process is usually a small percentage of the work as a whole, it makes up for the cornerstone of your entire branding objective.The actual execution of that strategy would require much more time considering the deliverables needing to be met. But overall, carrying these tasks out would be considered a no brainer since the plan has already been set by the strategist.

A 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. Though you would also need to account for the needs that having an employee would entail which includes office space, equipment, vacation time, benefits, lunch hours, and you would also expect some time lost at the break room which can’t be tracked or recovered.

Considering all of the above, this significantly increases the cost per hour - but it is still most likely less than a consultant’s hourly rate. Lower spendings may be music to your ears at this point, but the catch is this - a respectable employee working as a marketing strategist expects a full-time living, meaning what is supposed to be 10 hours of work is further stretched into 40 hours a week for as long as that person is under your employment. Not only is this 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.

What Benchmark Should I Use To Pay A Marketing Consultant?

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The Cost of Ownership

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Getting Peanuts for Gold

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