Your marketing consultant is a bit like a personal trainer for your online presence. But, instead of working on just you, they work on several things: your knowledge, your business, and your team’s collective expertise. It’s even more important to make sure they’re a right fit, because it isn’t just about your needs. It’s about the needs of your business and your team. By digging into the right details, these questions to ask your marketing consultant will help you check it’s the right fit. 

Things You Should Know Before You Get A Marketing Consultant

Would you go to the doctor without having any symptoms? Chances are, you have a specific problem related to your marketing that you need help with. If you look for a marketing consultant with your specific needs in mind, you’re much more likely to find the right person or agency to help you. 

Make the most of your internal resources, too. What skills and experience does your in-house team already have? What insight can they give on the problem that’s at hand, and what the problem could be caused by? For example, you might notice a problem because the return on investment has gotten too low. Speaking to your team could make it clear whether this is a skill problem, a time problem, or a strategy problem. 

You should approach your initial search for a digital marketing consultancy with two things in mind: your specific problem, and the specific result you’re after. Sometimes, this can be broader issues such as setting up a social media strategy. Other times, it could be relating to a specific campaign. For example, we’ve worked with clients on details as specific as finding their ideal Facebook ad target audience.

You should probably also know the answer to, what is digital marketing consultancy?

Questions to Ask Your Marketing Consultant or Consultancy

The service and level of communication you get at the start of any working relationship can be a huge clue as to what you can expect further down the line. This is a good chance to get to know the consultancy. You should understand their approach and make sure their experience is a good fit for your needs before you work together. Their willingness to talk about things and their own initiative about answering similar questions is a sign in itself to look for.

These questions are similar to those you would ask a marketing coach, too. 

Before you start working together:

We don’t consider the initial conversations to be ‘interviews’, but that’s what they essentially are. Be prepared to share enough context about your needs to help the consultant clarify if they’re a good fit. You don’t need to share all the details upfront, but the more information you give (in full confidentiality) the better the results tend to be in the long run.

  • What kinds of campaigns have you worked on?
  • What channels do you have experience with? Which channels should we be focusing on?
  • Which tools do you use and recommend?
  • How do you plan a campaign?
  • What will progress look like? How long does it take to see results?
  • Which metrics are the most important?
  • What does the consulting process look like?
  • Which areas of marketing are you able to consult on?

When you’re ready to start working together:

After you’ve spoken and you’re happy to start working together, make sure you know the nitty gritty details of what the work will look like. This is especially important if you’ve never worked with a consultancy before. 

For example, we have several channels open to clients for communication. A typical consultancy involves a couple onboarding calls and emails, relevant audits or analysis, then weekly calls at a minimum throughout the working relationship. But it can be different depending on who you’re working with and what kind of work they’re consulting on for you.

Most importantly, make sure you and the consultant agree clearly on what responsibilities are on your desk, and which are on theirs. You don’t want any delays to happen because someone was waiting on information or access from someone else. 

And, particularly for agencies like ours, it’s good to understand what other services the consultancy is able to offer. After a strategy or solution is in place, this can help you move ahead quickly as the team will already be aware of the work needed. That can save weeks of work finding, hiring, and onboarding a new team.

  • What’s the best way/place for ongoing communication?
  • What materials/access do you need from me? (ad accounts, copy, marketing schedule, analytics, etc
  • If needed, can you provide additional services – like content production, social media scheduling, graphics, video, etc?
  • How frequent are your reports?
  • Which KPIs are relevant, and what are the goals?

Keep Asking Questions

The questions don’t stop there. These questions to ask your marketing consultant are just the start. Make the most of your marketing consultancy by asking questions as you work together, too. This isn’t about micromanaging the process: it’s about making sure you understand the why’s and how’s. You’ll want to give your input, too, so that the consultancy can understand your business as much as possible. 

Everyone on your team should have at least a basic understanding of your marketing strategy. Applying this ‘why’ and ‘how’ will affect most areas of your business. This cross-channel and cross-department understanding is key in today’s omnichannel marketing landscape. Many minds make marketing work.

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Anna Simmonds
Anna Simmonds

Anna, Head of Social, knows her beans when it comes to social media. She keeps her finger on the social pulse, funnelling her knowledge and experience into creating engaging social media campaigns. She’s also pretty decent with a camera and Photoshop.