How to become a marketing consultant – role, types, skills

There may come a time where businesses find themselves at a crossroad, unsure about how to enhance their brand’s reach or improve customer engagement. It’s during those times businesses often turn to marketing consultants for guidance.

What is a marketing consultant?

These professionals are like the Swiss Army knives of the marketing universe, equipped with the tools and expertise to tackle various challenges head-on. From devising digital campaigns to coaching teams on effective marketing strategies, they’re the force behind a brand’s most effective outreach efforts.

But what sets an outstanding consultant apart? The answer lies in a unique blend of skills and know-how. This article explores the essential skills every marketing consultant should possess, offering a roadmap for those looking to excel in the field and businesses seeking the best in the game.

What do marketing consultants do?

A marketing consultant can wear many hats. They advise companies on the most effective ways to enhance their market presence and connect with their target audience. Beyond advice, they take a hands-on approach, often evaluating current marketing efforts, devising and planning digital marketing campaigns, and training internal teams on the latest marketing best practices and technologies.

Their responsibilities may also include offering unique solutions for workflows or suggesting new methods to reach and convert consumers. This multi-faceted role demands an advanced knowledge of digital marketing, spanning key areas such as paid media, SEO, analytics, optimization, and social media strategy.

Who do marketing consultants work with?

Marketing consultants are not confined to a specific sector. They lend their expertise to a myriad of industries, from tech startups to established retail giants. Whether as a freelance marketing consultant or part of a team, their objective remains consistent: to amplify a brand’s presence and impact, tailoring their approach to the unique demands and goals of each industry and company. This adaptability is not just a benefit for the consultant, but also for the companies eager to harness diverse and dynamic marketing strategies to propel their business forward.

Types of marketing consultants

Marketing consultants come in various flavours, each equipped with specialized knowledge and skills. Here’s a breakdown of the different types of marketing consultants and the unique skills they bring to the table.

1. Digital marketing consultant

Promoting brands through online channels is what digital marketing consultants excel at. They craft and oversee strategies that boost brand awareness and online sales. These consultants possess a unique skill set including social media marketing, email marketing, conversion optimization, and analytics reporting. Their goal is to elevate customer engagement, making sure every ad spend offers a meaningful return. They also play a crucial role in launching new websites and apps for startups.

2. Content marketing consultants

Content marketing consultants are the storytellers of the digital age, the brand voice that engages audiences. By crafting compelling narratives, they not only drive potential customers to websites but also convert these visits into sales. Their expertise extends to blogging, SEO optimisation, email outreach, and even the creation of high-level content, such as whitepapers and e-books.

3. Search engine marketing consultants

Want to rank higher on Google? This is where search engine marketing consultants come in. These specialists work tirelessly to optimize websites, drive organic traffic, and ensure online reputation shines. Armed with tools like Google Analytics and Google AdWords, they are the architects behind successful content marketing and PPC campaigns. Their skills usually cover local SEO, backlinking, and conversion rate optimisation.

4. Social media marketing consultants

Social media consultants steer the business effectively through the bustling social media landscape. They craft strategies that maximise ROI, ensuring every tweet, post, or video resonates with audiences. By designing social media campaigns and monitoring metrics, they align brands with current trends and best practices, all while ensuring a consistent brand voice across platforms.

5. Marketing automation consultants

Efficiency is their forte. Marketing automation consultants help businesses fine-tune their marketing processes by automating routine tasks, integrating platforms, and refining lead qualification systems. They are adept at various automation tools like Salesforce, Hubspot, and Marketo, ensuring that businesses operate seamlessly.

6. Marketing Strategy Consultant

These strategists sculpt the broader vision for a brand. Their role involves setting objectives, crafting brand strategies, defining media messages, and interpreting market research. Armed with skills in strategic marketing, behavioral psychology, and communications, they pave the path for a company’s transformation and growth.

Key skills of a marketing consultant

Starting your own marketing consultant business requires more than just passion. It’s a blend of formal education, hands-on experience, and a diverse set of skills. But what exactly do you require to succeed as a marketing consultant?

Educational Background

Most marketing consultants have a solid educational foundation, often with degrees in marketing, business administration, communications, or related fields. An MBA focusing on marketing can further enhance their credentials. Additionally, obtaining a recognised marketing consultant certification can set you apart, boosting your credibility in the field.

Extensive experience

Consultants often come with several years of marketing experience and a proven track record demonstrated in their portfolio, showcasing a history of marketing activities and success.

Strategic vision

Beyond just tactics, consultants see the bigger picture. They are adept at strategic planning, setting objectives, and determining KPIs that measure success.

Strong research and analytical ability

Consultants require keen analytical skills to dive deep into market research, competitor analysis, and brand evaluations. They translate this data into actionable insights to maximize brand success.

Digital skills

The modern consultant needs proficiency in digital channels – be it organic strategies like content marketing or paid avenues like PPC advertising. Familiarity with tools such as Google Analytics, Ahrefs, and SEMrush is crucial.

Proficiency in marketing tools

Consultants also have to be experienced in using marketing automation software like Hubspot or Pardot. Their tech-savviness also extends to CRMs, CMSs, and marketing cloud platforms.

Communication skills

Consultants have to be able to articulate ideas clearly. Both copywriting and effective communication skills are crucial for creating compelling messages and liaising with stakeholders

Emotional intelligence

A consultant’s technical prowess is complemented by their ability to listen and empathise. This ensures a deeper understanding of client needs and fosters lasting professional relationships.


Leading projects, liaising with stakeholders, and collaborating with teams demand strong leadership qualities and the ability to communicate at all hierarchical levels.

Adaptability and creativity

The dynamic nature of marketing requires consultants to be flexible, innovative, and ready to adapt to the ever-evolving landscape.

Consult with confidence and security

The path of a marketing consultant is paved with relentless learning, adaptability, and a keen sense of industry trends. As architects of brand success, their expertise ranges from strategising digital campaigns to building and maintaining interpersonal relationships. For those gearing up to step into the consulting arena, this roadmap offers a glimpse into what it truly means to shine in the world of marketing.

The path of a marketing consultant is paved with relentless learning, adaptability, and a keen sense of industry trends. As architects of brand success, their expertise ranges from strategising digital campaigns to building and maintaining interpersonal relationships. For those gearing up to step into the consulting arena, this roadmap offers a glimpse into what it truly means to shine in the world of marketing.

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This information is general only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be relied upon as advice. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording.
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