Marketing Consultant Career Profile

Marketing consultants, are experts in the whole process of creating, branding, promoting and selling products. The process of marketing is both a creative and a business type of work, including everything from brand image to market research demographics.

The Work Environment

Typically, marketers earn their stripes up and spend some parts of their careers in each of the “4-Ps” (product, price, promotion and place) areas of marketing.

The 4-Ps define the areas of marketing.

1. Product: This is the product information area, related to all market information available regarding a product or service. Marketers create product identity, conduct product research and create brand images, forming the basis of marketing strategy.

2. Price: All products are researched for a working price range. This involves  market research, price banding (price ranges or bandwidths), competition issues, supply chains, and profit margins.

3. Promotion: The most visible part of the marketing process, this includes:

  • Advertising
  • Promotional campaign strategies
  • Media
  • Copywriting
  • Graphics
  • Promotional events

4. Place: Literally, product placement in the market. The area of the market related to the product or range, including niche markets, market segmentation analysis and consumer demographics.

This is a big, diverse, client-based business, and client needs can vary immensely. You may be marketing shoes one day and aircraft parts the next. The professional marketer, either as an account manager or one of the marketing team, has to act as an interpreter and guide to marketing processes regarding the client’s products

Wages: Extremely variable, particularly for independent consultants and business owners in the industry. A median range is $44 to $62 per hour based on Bureau of Labor Statistics figures. It should be noted that many people in the industry now work on flat fees and commissions, as outsourcing to contractors increases.

Hours: Long, involving considerable time on product demography and in many cases creative issues.

The Career Environment

Marketing contains so many skill sets and different roles that the profession has to be categorized into different areas.

  • Creative marketing: This area includes advertising, promotional, media, and other creative products, designs, and event staging.
  • Demography, market research and statistics: All specialist roles, the “number crunching” area which drives market analysis.  
  • Accounts and operations: Marketing operations are a hybrid form of account management and project work. The actual marketing work is conducted by teams within a corporate structure, or outsourced through contractors on the same basis.
  • Business management: The operational business side of the marketing business itself is pure business management.  

These career streams are somewhat simplified, because people in marketing often work in several roles. Career progression can be achieved directly, within the industry, or through specialist skills.

Career progression requires:

  • Experience and formal qualifications for each level of the professional streams
  • Strong portfolio materials for job mobility
  • Good networking and professional contacts
  • Industry credentials in terms of achievements

Marketing is a very big money business. The baseline level for career advancement to the top levels of marketing consultancies is managing multi-million dollar corporate marketing campaigns.

Market consultancy is one of the most rapidly expanding areas of growth in the US, particularly in the sciences, technological services and health care.