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Choosing a Marketing Consultant

by in Business Marketing
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Choosing a Marketing Consultant

When I first moved to Fort Collins, CO over 13 years ago, I joined a women’s business networking group.  Standing on the luncheon buffet line, I turned to the woman in back of me and introduced myself.

“What do you do?” I asked.  She replied, “I’m a marketing consultant.”  

“Oh, so am I,” I returned.  For whom do you market?  She said, “I work with small businesses and help them with their Marketing Plans.”  “Wow,” said I; “we do pretty much the same thing.  So tell me more about your clientele and how you help them.”

Then she began to flounder a bit.  After a couple of sentences, the truth surfaced.

When she finished, I countered with, “So you’re really a sales representative for an advertising specialties company, who writes proposals for companies to benefit from your specialty products.  You’re not a marketing consultant; you’re a sales rep.”

She was not happy with me, and I could have cared less.  That brief exchange made me wary; and, sure enough, the woman turned out to be the first of many people I’ve encountered over the years, who go around masquerading as marketing consultants and really are anything but.


Beware of the web designer or graphic artist or media advertising rep or social media expert or anyone from a single marketing spoke of the total marketing umbrella who calls him/herself a marketing consultant.  They’re representing their own companies, either as owners or employees; and their primary purpose is to push their own products and/or services.

`A true marketing consultant, on the other hand, understands marketing as a whole.  This person listens to as much information as you can provide about your company, how you’ve marketed previously and with what results.  You get the idea.

A good marketing consultant asks lots of questions, then provides outside objectivity, since it’s often difficult to see the forest for the trees from within one’s own company or position.  A good marketing consultant sells you time and expertise, crafts a total marketing program for you and your firm.

Someone who works in one marketing area will push that strategy above all else.  This person is not a marketing consultant.

Now don’t get me wrong.  When I say “a total marketing program,” it doesn’t have to cost lots of money.  A marketing program, or Marketing Plan if you will, meshes with your specific budgets of money, people and time.  A marketing consultant prescribes what’s right for your company and what’s comfortable for you.

So . . . the next time someone tries to sell you an isolated strategy, run in the other direction.  You need a Plan first, to see how such a strategy would integrate into your current marketing activities.

Here’s another warning: just because a colleague is having a degree of marketing success doesn’t mean you have to do the same thing.  Owners waste huge sums of money that way, trying to emulate someone whom they think knows the marketing score.  Maybe yes, maybe no.

Next up: I’ll cover some of the questions to ask, so you can be assured you’ve hired the right marketing consultant or firm.


Need some help with your Marketing Plan.  

Visit www.azobleassoc.com for information on our “Do-able Marketing Plan” workbook and “10-Minute Marketing Plan” program.  You may also visit Udemy.com to sign up for our sessions on “Easy Market Planning,”  “The Best Use of your Marketing Dollars” and “Summertime Marketing.”

Big news!

We’ve just been approved for our fourth course on Udemy.com, “Over 100 Ways to Grow your Business”!  Now through February 2nd, you can register for just $23.00, instead of the usual $29.00 cost.  It’s time to jumpstart your business!  Use code 20OFF100WAYS or just click here. 

And don’t forget to order our 2015 e-Schmoozing Calendar, just $17.95.  The Calendar will offer you 12 months of ideas of whom to invite for breakfast, lunch or coffee every week.  There’s a script that’s pertinent to one of each month’s schmoozing suggestions, to make those initial calls easier for you.  Our Schmoozing Calendar is a terrific bargain and a great way to embark upon face-to-face, immediately effective marketing!



Adrienne was a New Jersey public speaker and business expert for over THIRTY years. Now she’s a marketing and referral consultant. Denver and Northern Colorado have depended on her since her arrival here over 12 years ago.

Consulting and speaking to business owners and executives of growing businesses throughout the United States since 1977, Adrienne Zoble has guided companies toward marketing strategies that help them work smart, not hard.