Marketing Consultant Rates, Pricing, Fees – How Much Does it Cost?

June 1, 2014

Perhaps you’ve been watching other businesses improve their brand visibility online and in the market, increase traffic to their websites, and increase sales. Or maybe you’ve watched how successful content marketing can grow a business and wonder what marketing consultant rates typically cost.

As with most service-based businesses, the cost of hiring a marketing consultant can be quite variable. The fees a consultant charges will depend on different factors including experience, duties, and the standards in the local market. For example, a seasoned marketing consultant with an extensive portfolio of work will typically charge higher fees than a novice, while a North American marketing consultant will charge much more than a consultant from India or the Philippines.

If you are unclear about the role of a marketing consultant, read this article about  what a marketing consultant is and this one about what a marketing consultant does.

WHAT ARE A TYPICAL BUSINESS INTERNET MARKETING CONSULTANT’S FLAT RATES OR HOURLY FEES?

The role and responsibility of a marketing consultant, as well as the complexity of the project and the time involved in accomplishing the objectives will all determine how the marketing consultant determines rates.

  • Hourly fees range from about $75 to $500, depending on the experience and background of the marketing consultant and the type of project undertaken.
  • Some consultants will agree to a flat rate, or project-based fee. Again, fees will fluctuate greatly depending on the scope of work and the expertise of the consultant.

Generally, most marketing consultants will charge a small- to medium-sized business somewhere anywhere from $1,000 to $20,000 per month on retainer. Larger corporations, with arguably more staff requiring mentoring and training and more complex campaigns, could expect to pay a retainer of between $5,000 to $50,000 per month.

Does that sound expensive? Take a minute to consider the cost to your business if you are not yet using the internet, social media, and content marketing to their full potential.

If you hired a consultant who really maximized these opportunities to produce measurable results, attract more clients and increase sales, what would the return on investment be?

IS A MARKETING CONSULTANT OR AN IN-HOUSE MARKETING EMPLOYEE BETTER?

If you are looking to hire a marketing professional, you need to ask the right questions. While hiring a marketing consultant with years of experience may seem pricey at first glance, consider the benefits of hiring a strategic marketing consultant instead of a marketing manager on staff.

  • The annual salary for a seasoned marketing professional at a management level will range from $50,000 for a small company to over $150,000 for a large corporation. Naturally employers also have to consider the additional costs of benefits, holidays, bonuses, and profit sharing – which will calculate roughly to an hourly fee of between $50 per hour to $150 per hour or more. Plus there is usually a recruiting fee to pay to an executive search firm that runs about 30% of the annual salary – and sick days or general productivity are always unknown variables with full-time staff. Then add in the hidden additional costs of office overhead and administrative support.

Finding the perfect employee takes time and the interview process does not always yield the calibre of employee you seek in the end. When you hire one person for the job you are also hiring a specific set of skills.

Now consider the benefits of hiring an experienced local marketing consultant:

  • When you hire a marketing consultant you get to pick the exact skill set you require for a project for a set period of time, usually with an option to renew for additional or continued work. If measurable goals are not met, you terminate the contract and find a different consultant who is better qualified.
  • You need only pay for the work you require, which is a very cost-effective approach to marketing your business.
  • A seasoned marketing consultant will have a wealth of experience as well as a team of other associates and sources to troubleshoot any challenges as they arise. You aren’t usually hiring one person, but rather a person with a team of experts that operates like a complete marketing department.
  • You do not have to pay recruiting fees, benefits, or termination packages and marketing consultants are not vested in internal politics or company bureaucracies.

Marketing consultants are an excellent way to deal with a variety of situations including developing strategic plans, launching new products, setting up social media content campaigns, troubleshooting challenges, and marketing start-ups or new companies.