27 August 2022

Are marketing consultant services the right choice for your business?

Julie Brook
Written by Julie Brook

Julie Brook is Regional Director for The Marketing Centre. She specialises in growth activation in small-to mid-size businesses. She has more than 30 years of strategic marketing and growth coaching experience in sectors from food and drink, retail and on-line gifting, to manufacturing, technology, business support, and growth funding. Her marketing expertise and innovative approach has driven growth initiatives with large corporates, mid-sized, early stage, turnaround businesses and brands, including Grand Met, Bass, RHM Foods, Bisto, Greenall’s, Scrumpy Jack, Yates Wine Lodges, Link-it, Kids Allowed, Snap-a-Jack, Envestors and The NorthWest Fund. She now leads a team of highly experienced Marketing Directors with the aim of impacting growth in small to midsized businesses in the North West of England.

Should you outsource your business’ marketing or keep it in-house?

You might expect us to answer this question with an emphatic response of ‘yes, you should outsource your marketing to marketing experts’. But here’s where we might surprise you.

Marketing encompasses everything a business does to drive sales and promote its brand. This means advertising, direct marketing, digital marketing, market research, PR, product development, and even distribution methods. When you consider how fundamental these elements are to the core functions of any business, the idea of outsourcing the marketing function in its entirety might seem counterintuitive.

After all, you know your business. You work on it every day, and so you’re best placed to develop a cohesive marketing strategy.

At The Marketing Centre, we firmly believe a business’ owner or its senior leadership team should maintain ownership of the marketing strategy. But when it comes to delivering that strategy, there are many benefits to calling in external help.

Here’s how to strike the right balance between in-house ownership and outsourced delivery of your business’ marketing.

The benefits of in-house marketing

Marketing is your business. Without buyers or prospects, brand or reach, you have no business.

If your marketing strategy isn’t up to scratch, your bottom line will suffer and you won’t achieve your growth potential. That’s why it’s crucial that there’s someone in-house who owns and oversees your marketing at a senior level. It’s also equally crucial that there’s constant communication between this individual and the rest of the senior management team.

Marketing doesn’t work in a bubble—it needs to be fully integrated with all other aspects of business. So, it’s vital that the rest of the team understand and engage with the marketing strategy on an ongoing basis.

If you don’t have a senior marketing expert in-house, you can hire someone specifically for this role. Or, you could consider a part-time marketing expert from an organisation like The Marketing Centre. This not the same thing as hiring a marketing consultant.

The Marketing Centre’s Marketing Directors don’t offer a consultant-style approach. Instead, they become part of your in-house team, getting involved with the day-to-day working of your business. Hiring one of our marketing experts to develop and execute your strategy will make a big difference in driving business growth.

However, you can (and should) still oversee all marketing efforts and remain involved at a strategic level.

What marketing consultant services can do for your business

This is not to say marketing consultants are never useful. Outsourcing a specific project to someone with targeted experience can be very helpful. Especially if you’re trying to break into new geographical markets or launching a completely new product. It will also cut through long hiring and onboarding times that can derail such a project.

But that doesn’t mean you hand over the reins to your strategy entirely. The right outsourced marketing professional should complement your business. They can help you shape and drive your strategy forward, but with you firmly at the helm.

Working alongside your team

Our marketing directors, as distinct from consultants, will embed themselves in your company. They’ll work alongside your existing staff to understand your business’s priorities.

But with that, they also bring an external perspective. As an outsourced professional, they’ll have experience of a multitude of markets. They're also skilled and bringing the customer view into your business.

As such, they can create a strategy that will realise tangible business growth. They’ll achieve this through both short- and long-term goals. And, they’ll identify the metrics to track so that you can measure your success, and if the actions you’re taking align with your strategic vision.

Ensuring the success of your deliverables

The differences between marketing consultant services and one of our marketing directors are many. Not only do we help create your strategy, we also help deliver it.

That’s not to say that our marketing directors will necessarily execute the deliverables. Rather, they’ll use their experience and insights to select qualified professionals who will deliver the best results. This might mean:

  • handing tasks off to existing members of your team
  • hiring new staff members to address skills gaps
  • or outsourcing to professionals outside your company.

These tasks will tend to be in areas like web development, PR, copywriting and branding. And, unlike a consultant, our marketing directors will be on hand to oversee and review the work. They’ll make sure your deliverables align with your new strategy and take you closer to your business goals.

The benefits of outsourcing a marketing director

If you have a senior marketing person driving and delivering your growth strategy, then outsourcing for deliverables is likely all you need. But this scenario is rare, especially in small businesses. And marketing consultant services can be great if you have a pre-defined project you want to work on.

But if you’re looking to drive long-term growth and achieve measurable ROI from your marketing efforts, then having an experienced marketing director with a proven success rate embedded in your team is the route to take.

Outsourcing a marketing director from The Marketing Centre brings a myriad of benefits for your business:

  • You get access to specialists who focus on their particular area of expertise every day. Their experience and knowledge can be especially valuable if you have specific pain points that you’re struggling to alleviate.
  • You can learn competencies from outsourced support which are then transferred to your in-house team. If a marketing expert comes in and creates new processes, this is something that can continue even after they leave.
  • Outsourcing elements of your marketing allows your existing team to focus on their areas of expertise. (And they no longer have to wing it in areas that they’re not so expert in.)

Streamline your marketing efforts

Marketing is the lifeblood of your business. At a strategic level, the CEO or business owner must oversee it, or at least the connection from the marketing strategy to the business strategy. But that doesn’t mean that you can't outsource the individual components of that strategy. In fact, when you engage a marketing director from The Marketing Centre, you benefit from an amalgamation of services. This means you can realise real growth that wouldn’t otherwise be possible for many small and medium sized businesses.

Since 2010, The Marketing Centre has helped business leaders make more informed decisions and deliver marketing strategies that drive real results. Why not check out our case study page and see first-hand how the service we offer has had a tangible positive impact on the businesses we work with. 



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Since 2010, we’ve helped business owners make sense of marketing.
To make smarter decisions and make the most of their investment.

So if you’re tired of switching from one thing to the next hoping one will stick, maybe it’s time to try a different approach.