As unemployment rates increase across the US and the globe, it is obvious that marketing professionals are being engaged as a marketing consultant. As a newly minted marketing consultant, what are the services that can be provided and to whom does it make sense to offer your services?
The initial conversation a marketing consultant will have with himself or herself is whether they will offer their services to small, medium, or large businesses. Many will answer that they will offer their services to anyone that is willing to pay for services rendered. We have to keep in mind that these are professional marketers and that they have the knowledge that being everything to everyone is a losing strategy. Marketers understand the need to segment their prospect list and will establish where they have the greatest probability of winning paying clients.
As unorthodox as it sounds, the marketer must now determine how they will market themselves! Being an employee at a large company is in sharp contrast to being an independent marketing consultant that is only paid when they are performing billable services. Once it's established who the target will be, it is now time to devise a strategy to attack that focus market. The marketing professional will typically create a strategy that attacks using multiple weapons. They can include on-line marketing, off-line marketing, guerilla public relations methods, trade shows, telemarketing, and many others.
With online marketing, there are numerous options that a marketing consultant can direct his campaign. He can use tools such as email marketing, search engine optimization, social media like facebook, twitter, yelp, and multiple other resources. Email marketing will require a database of emails to send to. This may take time to procure or the marketer may choose to purchase a list of emails. Search engine optimization will have the greatest return, but is never quick or easy to accomplish. It is not uncommon to put 6 months of effort in to search engine optimization exercises until your website becomes relevant and recognized by search engines. That generally means that your keyword search terms will appear on the first or second page results.
A marketing consultant will never discount the effectiveness of an off-line campaign. This can include postcard or letter mailing campaigns. As companies are deluged with more and more online campaigns and emails, the results of offline mailers may show better results. A postcard will be most effective in that it does need to be taken out of an envelope in order to get your message to its recipient. If the postcard is effective in holding the attention of the intended recipient, it can be a very effective marketing tool. The other point of importance with postcards is that they must have a call to action. That means that the recipient should feel compelled to pick up the phone or visit your website as a next step. Finally, it should be noted that a postcard campaign would not yield great results on the initial mailings. Most studies show that you should expect to have low results until your recipient has repeatedly seen your postcard and gains awareness of whom you are. Solid results will typically not be seen until after the fourth or fifth mailing.