What is a Digital Marketing Consultant?

What is a digital marketing consultant?

In this blog post … you will learn about digital marketing consultancy.

So let’s begin …

What is a digital marketing consultant?

A digital marketing consultant is a marketing professional with knowledge, skills and abilities pertaining to online business, web analytics, UX/UI, SEO, conversion rate optimization, social media marketing, email marketing and other practice areas. The consultant provides digital marketing advice and services to clients who need support.

A client may encounter 3 types of digital marketing consultants.

Digital Marketing Consultant – Type ONE

The digital marketing consultant who has a full-time job and moon-lights as a consultant. There are pros and cons to this type of consultant.

Pros

The consultant is likely knowledgable about digital marketing best practices, resources and tools. They’ll be good at giving you a high level presentation and pointing you in the right direction.

Cons

Since the individual has a full-time job, your project may come a distant second in their mind. You may not get the hands-on attention your project requires to be successful. You’ll most likely be responsible for conceiving and executing your digital marketing strategy by yourself.

Digital Marketing Consultant – Type TWO

The digital marketing consultant who is an independent consultant and practitioner. There are pros and cons to this type of consultant as well.

Pros

The consultant is likely an autodidact, which means they immerse themselves into digital marketing frameworks, methodologies, conferences, best practices, resources and tools. They’re often connected and visible in digital marketing influencer circles. This type of consultant is perhaps the best at rolling up their sleeves and taking the most hands-on approach with their clients. They are expert digital marketing practitioners and technical marketers.

Cons

Although the independent consultant is well connected within his influencer peer to peer network, they are often perceived as too small and unable to service larger projects. In some cases this may be true, in other cases it may be just the opposite. Often times it requires a digital marketing expert to solve complex online business problem and improve the key performance indicator (KPI) results. The independent digital marketing consultant typically works until the project scope is completed, for short-term consulting engagements.

Digital Marketing Consultant – Type THREE

The digital marketing consultant who works for an agency or consulting firm. Like the other two, there are pros and cons to this type of consultant.

Pros

The consultant who works for a digital marketing agency can help with your digital marketing strategy and execution. This type of individual is better working within the agency environment, where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Cons

Digital marketing agency consultants are expensive. The agency business model and hourly rate system is designed to focus on producing activities, rather than producing results. Agency consultants and their production teams get paid by the hour. Therefore, it’s debatable if it’s in the agency’s best interest to solve business and marketing problems expeditiously.

What does a digital marketing consultant do?

What does a digital marketing consultant do?
An expert digital marketing consultant partners with clients to create a strategy and plan to acquire online market share. An inexpert digital marketing consultant does the opposite.

Expert Digital Marketing Consultant Scenario

A digital marketing professional who is an expert uses workflow frameworks, methodologies and processes. They will first seek to understand your business problem and needs. They might interview you to discover your critical path, goals, objectives, assets, SWOTs, etc. They use web analytics to learn about your website users, customers, target markets and competitors.

A smart digital marketing consultant would use the business intelligence he learned to create digital marketing strategy to solve your business problem and grow your business. A technical digital marketing consultant would work hands-on with you to create and develop the assets required to execute the digital marketing strategy. After the strategy goes to market, the digital marketing consultant is often retained to help manage, analyze, and optimize the client’s digital marketing campaigns.

Inexpert Digital Marketing Consultant Scenario

A digital marketing professional who is an inexpert uses ad hoc digital marketing techniques. They usually work in a rush and with guesswork, instead of pragmatically and with research. They are typically a digital marketing specialist and good at producing digital marketing activities. Inexperts typically do not execute multi-channel digital media campaigns, use web analytics, or optimize for improved performance.

What skill-sets should a digital marketing consultant have?

What skill-sets should a digital marketing consultant have?
Like all other professional trades, there are different skill levels of digital marketing consultants. I like to classify the different skill levels into three types of digital marketers.

Digital Marketing Specialist Skills & Abilities

Digital marketing specialist typically have 1 to 5 years experience. They are often employed for an agency or company in an associate, assistant or intern position; they are beginner and intermediate digital marketing professionals with a growing knowledge and skill-set.

Most digital marketing specialists are millennials. Which means, they grew up using technology and they’re good at it. They may have close to an expert’s understanding of 3 or 4 digital marketing practice areas, but their likely to be still growing in their business acumen.

Specialists are often good at graphic design, social media, content writing, pay-per-click campaigns, project management, SEO, and other tasks.

Digital Marketing Generalist Skills & Abilities

Digital marketing generalist typically have 5 to 10 years experience. They are often employed for an agency or company in a director or manager position; they are intermediate and advanced digital marketing professionals with a wide variety of skills.

Digital marketing generalist most likely have an expert’s perspective on digital marketing. They’ll have a dense understanding of digital marketing best practices, strategies and tactics; and they can probably speak eloquently about what they know. They’re likely to have an experienced business mind and the ability to execute a multi-channel digital marketing campaign.

Generalist are often proficient in many skills such as strategic planning, user experience design, email marketing, social media, content marketing, pay-per-click campaigns, project management, SEO, and other practice areas.

Technical Digital Marketer Skills & Abilities

Technical digital marketers typically have 10 or more years experience. They are referred to as digital marketing practitioners or growth hackers. They consult, work for, or own growth-centric online businesses.

Technical marketers have a hybrid skill-set. They’re half marketer and half coder. They have the ability to write HTML and CSS code … and can hack JavaScript, PHP, SQL, and APIs. They can execute highly targeted campaigns across owned, earned and owned digital media channels. They are web analyst who use data to modernize, optimize and monetize customer experiences to increase online revenue.

If there was such a thing as the Navy Seals or Army Rangers of digital marketing, it would be the technical digital marketer. They have the highest digital marketing acumen and mastery of skill-sets.

What are the digital marketing service areas?

Digital Marketing for Business

Digital marketing is a combination of 14 practice areas. Below you will find them along with their pragmatic definition.

1. Web Analytics

The analysis of quantitative and qualitative data from your website and the competition, to drive a continual improvement of the online experience that your customers and potential customers have, which translates into your desired outcomes, but online and offline (– Avinash Kaushik).

Learn more about Web Analytics 2.0.

2. Digital Marketing Strategic Planning

The process of using web analytics insights, company vision, and project objectives to produce ideations, wireframes, prototypes, copywriting, and visual concepts for the stakeholder approval; and deployment frameworks for the creative and development team to execute.

Learn more about Digital Marketing Strategic Planning.

3. User Experience (UX) Design

The process of using the strategic planning materials to design the mobile, tablet, and desktop user interfaces. The UX team is responsible for creating a multiscreen user experience that achieves the business objectives.

Learn more about User Experience Design by Smart Digital.

4. Web Application Development

The process of using the user experience designs to develop web sites and applications.

Request more information about Web Application Development.

5. Search Engine Optimization

The process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s “natural” or un-paid (“organic”) search results.

Learn more about Search Engine Optimization.

6. Content Marketing

The process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action. (Content Marketing Institute)

Request more information about Content Marketing.

7. Conversion Rate Optimization

The technical digital marketing process of improving the user experience of a website or landing page, with the goal of increasing the percentage of visitors that convert into subscribers, leads and customers.

Learn more about Conversion Rate Optimization.

8. Email Marketing

A digital marketing communications activity from the company to their customers with the intent on producing a favorable outcome, such as a website visit or customer order from the email recipients.

Request more information about Email Marketing.

9. Mobile Marketing

A digital marketing and communications practice of targeting smart phone and handheld device users with promotional content, typically as a component of a multi-channel digital media campaign.

Request more information about Mobile Marketing.

10. Search Engine Marketing

A digital media channel for companies to advertise their websites on Google, Bing and Yahoo search engine result pages based on a keyword search term and pay-per-click model.
Learn more information about Search Engine Marketing.

11. Social Media Marketing

A two-way digital media channel for companies to increase their brand awareness by distributing likable and shareable content to customer groups on social networks, with the purpose of increasing brand awareness, website traffic, and customer retention.
Request more information about Social Media Marketing.

12. Online Public Relations

The digital marketing and communications practice of creating and maintaining a favorable online reputation of a company by shaping the brand perception and influencing online information about that entity.
Request more information about Online Public Relations.

13. Online Business Modeling

The digital marketing and online business process of implementing sophisticated website revenue generators designed improved profits (also know as growth hacking).
Learn more information about Growth Hacking.

14. Relationship Marketing

The digital marketing process of creating of long-term value for a company from their prospects, customers, and markets by deploying lead nurturing and marketing automation campaigns that emphasize customer retention and satisfaction, rather than a dominant focus on sales transactions.
Request more information about Relationship Marketing.

What are digital marketing consultant rates?

Digital marketing consultants bill their hourly rates on a wide range. Some consultants may charge as little as $50 per hour, others may charge as much as $2,500 per hour. Each digital marketing consultant will have different experience levels, reputations, and client pools which will affect their hourly rate. Higher hourly rates however, do not necessarily equate to better digital marketing methodologies, services, and results.

The best digital marketing consultant pricing model are value-based and results-based. Consultants who have invested interest in the performance and outcome of digital marketing campaigns have a great incentive to excel.

That’s it for this post on digital marketing consulting. Thanks for reading. If you found it useful or have feedback, please leave a comment, i’ll promise to reply. All the best!

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