Strategy, Effectiveness & Budget: 3 Questions to Ask a Marketing Consultant

When you hire a marketing consultant, you are investing in the future of your company. That investment will pay off in the long run because you get an outside, independent perspective that will help you avoid costly and time consuming mistakes.

However, not all marketing consultants are created equally. To get the most from a marketing consultant, ask questions that get to the heart of your marketing strategy, effectively generating leads, and your budget.

Below are 3 questions to help get you started.

Question #1: Strategy - Where is our current marketing strategy missing the mark?

You’ve probably tried a few of your own ideas, and you might be wondering why none of them are working. A marketing consultant is able to see what you haven’t been able to.

Fresh eyes that are properly trained will identify weaknesses or missing elements in your current marketing strategy.   

Don’t let your ignorance, ego, disinterest or pride get in the way. When owners feel this way, they usually end up doing what everybody else is doing, just to get it over with. Marketing is not about your preferences but about the preferences of your target audience. This is a common mistake that owners make, falling back on opinion, and what feels natural. 

Start by asking the consultant about your overall marketing strategy. Many consultants will recommend tactical activities that you can do to improve your marketing, but by asking them about your overall strategy you can get a sense if they understand what it will take for your marketing to be focused and on point in your business context.

Even if you think your ideas are substantially better, you should keep your vision in mind. Ask them how they might go about helping you see your vision. Their ideas/answer to that follow-up question can be more valuable than anything they said prior.

Every agency is different, and so are their ideas. But the more “specific” the agency can be helping you meet your vision, backed by plausible and data-driven ideas, the better.

Additional resources

Question #2: Effectiveness - What specific improvements could be made to increase conversions?

Marketing agencies worth their salt know what it takes to appeal to the audience, and there are generally things that a marketer can do that should drive conversions. Conversions are what matter most, and a marketing consultant can tell you why some things have been effective for you and why some things haven’t. If you don’t ask any other question, ask this one.

Before your interview with the marketing agency, it’s a good idea to have your own answer to this question prepared. After you’ve discussed what you’ve been doing wrong, this question comes naturally.

A good marketing agency should have a level of expertise and awareness that you don’t. You may not be aware of this, but there is an entire field within marketing dedicated to improving conversions - known in the industry as Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). A good marketing consultant or agency should be able to help you improve your conversion rate optimization.

Additional resources

Question #3: Budget - In our current plan, what can be removed with little impact to the overall results?

This question always speaks directly to the effectiveness of your budget and plans. Once you’ve decided on a marketing agency, you still need to consider your overall marketing budget. 

It’s smart to regularly review your spending to find out which activities have the most impact, and which have the least impact. 

There are a few reasons why you might ask this question:

  • You want to identify the most income-producing activities
  • To get an opinion on what activities are not essential
  • Free up space in the budget for activities that will generate a real return

The part of your marketing plan that’s generating the most conversions will typically be the top priority. But you should still get the marketing agency’s opinion on which service(s) can be removed with the least impact on results. 

You might be surprised to find out that what you thought was least important is actually most important.


Additional resources

Not sure where to start? 

Tired of feeling like all you’re doing is asking questions about your marketing strategy, and never getting clear answers? 

Fixyr designs marketing strategies perfectly suited for accounting and advisory firms of all types - national, regional, or local CPA firms, boutique tax specialists, fractional CFOs, and business advisors.  If you are evaluating a marketing agency or consultant and have any questions we’d be happy to answer.

Contact the Fixyr team to find out more about our results oriented marketing plans


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