You’ve just put your heart and soul into the biggest pitch of your career. You’re confident you nailed the creative portion, showering the prospective client with a variety of innovative ideas. Still, you’re sweating. There’s a lot riding on this deal.
If you win, you’ll have signed the largest account in your marketing agency’s history, one that can catapult you into the big leagues. And that is sure to translate into more large clients across more industries.
There’s just one hitch: Your staff doesn’t have the industry or situational expertise you’ll need to make this relationship successful.
This isn’t unusual. Marketing agencies focus on delivering high-quality creative campaigns – that’s their specialty. Because their process tends to be the same across industries, they’re usually flexible enough to adapt. So it’s common for agencies to take on clients in a number of verticals, then scramble on the back end to develop the industry expertise they need to do the work.
Bringing on an independent consultant can help agencies avoid the scramble to develop industry expertise with every new client.
One way to avoid the scramble – and set you up your agency business for growth – is to bring in an independent consultant who has the industry or situational expertise your new client needs.
Consider these eight ways engaging expert talent can help your business:
- A new pitch. An independent consultant can help you get inside the client’s head before you pitch the business. With valuable industry knowledge, they can craft a presentation that stands out from the competition.
- Manage the entire client project. Unless you’re a big name agency, most clients will want to test your capabilities before committing to you as their agency of record. A marketing consultant with specific industry experience can take the lead in designing and executing a program that drives strong results more efficiently.
- A pair of extra hands. An independent consultant can also provide strategic advice and execution assistance where it’s needed, allowing your staff to work on other parts of the account. For example, a consultant with expertise in lead generation programs can focus on delivering higher-than-expected numbers in that area.
An independent consultant brings his or her industry contacts to the table.
- PR relationships. A must-have component for product launches and brand campaigns is public relations. But you need strong relationships with key industry media, something your team may not have. An independent PR consultant brings their contacts to the table, greatly streamlining the workload while reducing the risk of negative coverage.
- Build a new practice area. Once you’ve signed a couple of new clients in the same industry, there’s an opportunity to build a new practice area for your agency. A strategy consultant with market expertise can make sure you have all the right pieces in place.
- Manage the client relationship. Clients want agency staff to understand their business environment and speak their language. A marketing consultant straight from the industry will impress the client and solidify a strong working relationship.
- Competitive market analysis. When you’re kicking off a new client’s project, business intelligence is a must. A consultant who understands the nuances in a specific sector gives you an advantage during the planning stage.
- Account planning. Keeping your new client beyond the first project means being able to see the forest – not just the trees. A marketing strategist with industry knowledge will help you put together a vision for the client’s business – and position you as worthy of becoming their agency of record.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of an independent consultant is that they can help you meet and exceed the needs of the client. In turn, this should lead to more referrals and more new business. Hiring an expert consultant might be the perfect way to keep your agency growing at a brisk pace.