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How Much Should I Be Paying A Marketing Consultant?

Updated on July 23, 2013

The word consultant appears to get tagged onto a lot of things nowadays, seemingly in order to charge clients higher prices. For a firm of any size, however, the right marketing consultant can deliver real results, bringing creativity, a fresh pair of eyes and a new way of thinking to a company. With such a variety of marketing consultants around however, each specializing in their own field or industry, it can be difficult to figure out exactly what your company should be paying. There isn’t, unfortunately, a clear cut ‘going rate’.

What you pay your marketing consultant depends on a number of parameters and variables. Firstly, the size of your organization and the amount of work you require the consultant to carry out will have a major impact on the salary you agree to pay.

The consultant’s own abilities and skill sets will also dictate the amount he or she is willing to work for and this should be taken into consideration in the charges. If a consultant is going to outsource most to have to outsource and charge for employing experience in different marketing fields then this could become expensive. So if they can bring in a set of skills within their fees then this could make a considerable to difference to your costs.

Pay For Skills

For example, whilst search engine optimization (SEO) skills are fairly commonplace, only the best consultants and marketing firms will have a portfolio of success stories and happy clients.

So you need to be sure that they have experience of making a difference, if not what are you paying for? And if there is no experience you could be choosing a path which could be more costly to your business than just paying out fees. So although your company will be able to negotiate down any consultant without a proven track record by employing an inexperienced consultant your firm is taking on a certain amount of risk; this should be reflected in what you pay.


It may be difficult to find a marketing expert who matches your exact industry type so you should look for someone who has experience in associated sectors. Can they provide you with case studies of previous work? Can they provide you with contacts of businesses they have worked with previously so you can speak to a previous employer to ascertain the skills set.

The more varied work someone has then the more knowledge of marketing strategies that work and those that don't.


The uniqueness or rarity of the consultant’s skill set is also going to be a factor in his or her salary. If your business operates within a niche area of an industry or a relatively small sector of business, it is likely that you will require an expert specializing in that field. Naturally, a specialist consultant is able to charge higher rates than other marketing consultants.

The geographical location of your business and of the consultant will also play a part in your expenditure. If it is necessary for the consultant to travel, your company will be expected to foot the bill. This expenditure can quickly mount up if there is a considerable distance between the two of you or your business is located in a remote or hard to access area of the country.

Length of Contract

Finally, the type of contract you negotiate with the consultant will affect the amount he or she demands. Longer contracts can often be negotiated down as the consultant will appreciate the job security. Shorter term or rolling contracts, however, are likely to cost more per day or per week as the consultant cannot plan financially long term. In general you should consider the fees you pay as an investment in your business and as with any investment you will require a return; this can be an effective way of monitoring performance and achievement.

Setting Performance Targets

You could consider setting fees against particular targets or ensure you have some sort of allowable break of contract if you find that the person you have employed turns out not to be the right one for your business.

So to conclude, there are a whole host of factors affecting exactly how much a marketing consultant will charge per hour, per day or per week. Consider all the factors discussed in this article when choosing a marketing consultant, budget carefully and you will hopefully get great value for money!


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