Strategic Marketing Consultant: What do they do? (2023)

How to become a strategic marketing consultant

What is a strategic marketing consultant

A strategic marketing consultant helps organizations plan and execute an effective marketing strategy. They are experts in marketing but considered generalist consultants. Therefore, they will have expertise in various marketing activities and channels.

For example, if a company wants to build a cold email lead generation strategy, a strategic marketing consultant might not be hiring the best person. That company would benefit from hiring a consultant specializing in email lead generation.

However, if a company needs to develop an integrated marketing strategy after conducting market research, voice of the customer, and competitive intelligence, then hiring a strategic marketing consultant would be a good option.

The strategic marketing consultant would have the skills and multi-channel marketing expertise to execute this project.

What does a strategic marketing consultant do

The primary role of a strategic marketing consultant is to use research, data, and analytics to help companies develop marketing strategies. The consultant will identify a company’s goals and objectives, market trends, and competitive insights.

Then, the strategic marketing consultant will use that information to formulate a marketing strategy to exceed the company’s goals and objectives.

The consultant could recommend segmentation, targeting, pricing strategies, marketing channels, messaging, and more.

How much do strategic marketing consultants make

Most strategic marketing consultants work for a firm or are self-employed. Often, strategic salaries can vary depending on experience and location. But this is changing because of virtual and remote work capabilities.

For example, I’m a marketing consultant living in Oklahoma, but my clients are worldwide.

If strategic marketing consultants charge by the hour, starting rates range from $100 to $300 per hour. As a consultant gains experience, those hourly rates increase.

Some consultants also work on a project basis, charging a flat fee for their services. If the client is a medium to a large client, a single project could be $30,000 or more. Sometimes (not always), early-stage startups try to pay consultants less.

Strategic marketing consultants can easily make $100,000 per year. But how much a consultant makes depends on how hard they work, their pricing strategy, and how well they can sign clients.

Many marketing consultants make more than $200,000 per year.

How to become a strategic marketing consultant:

There are many different ways that you can become a strategic marketing consultant. For example, you could work for a consultancy firm or start a business.

The steps below are more aligned with starting a business.

Step 1: Research the role of a strategic marketing consultant

Research is an integral part of becoming a consultant. You will need to have a good understanding of what the role entails and what skills are required. This will help you decide if it is your right career path.

And you’ll need to research if you want to work for a consulting firm or start your own business. There are a lot of benefits to starting a consulting firm. However, it’s harder to get started.

Working for a consulting firm has certain advantages. For example, you will have a support system in place, and you may have access to resources that you wouldn’t have if you were self-employed.

But, as an independent consultant myself, I’d always recommend going out on your own.

Step 2: Obtain a relevant qualification

A strategic marketing consultant needs to have a deep understanding of marketing principles and how to apply them in a business context. A relevant qualification will give you the theoretical knowledge and practical skills required for the role.

A “qualification” could be a traditional degree from a university or certifications. You don’t necessarily need a business or marketing degree. As an independent consultant, I’ve never had any difficulty gaining clients because of my degree in Political Science.

My experience, marketing expertise, and performance are most important to my clients.

Step 3: Gain industry experience

As previously stated, experience is essential for becoming a consultant. In addition, you will need to understand how businesses operate and the challenges they face.

A good consultant will understand how marketing impacts finance, sales, accounting, product, and vice versa. You can’t make decisions and recommendations in a vacuum or marketing bubble.

The best way to gain this experience is to work in a marketing role within a company. This will give you first-hand experience of businesses’ challenges and opportunities. You don’t need to spend 20 years in the industry before moving into a consulting role (firm or self-employed).

For instance, you could spend five years in a marketing role for a small business. In those five years, you might gain a broad perspective on business and marketing. Your experience could be enough to start a marketing consulting firm for small-to-medium-sized businesses.

Or, you might start at a large company and spend ten years moving from role to role across the marketing organization. Those ten years could give you enough experience to consult large enterprise companies.

Step 4: Build a personal brand

You compete with other consultants and firms for clients as a strategic marketing consultant. Therefore, it’s critical to develop your personal brand. 

Personal branding will make you more visible to potential clients and help you stand out from the competition.

If you’re with a company and considering starting a consulting firm, build your personal brand now!!!

There are many different ways that you can develop your personal brand. For example, you could start by creating a website or blog where you share your insights on strategic marketing. 

You could also build a presence on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Step 5: Develop a niche

Although strategic marketing consultants are generalists, having a niche will make you more attractive to potential clients. Businesses look for consultants who have specialist knowledge.

Strategic marketing consultants could focus on industry niches, including healthcare, technology, retail, and financial services.

Or, you could focus on business-to-business (B2B) clients instead of business-to-consumer (B2C).

There are all different types of niches to explore. But it’s essential to pick a niche. Then, you can expand later in your career as a consultant.

Step 6: Find clients

One of the most challenging activities for a new consultant is finding clients. Consultants can use many channels to generate leads and find new clients.

Some of the most effective methods include:

  • Tapping into your network
  • Creating a lead-generating website or blog
  • Leveraging social media platforms
  • Speaking at events and conferences
  • Writing articles or whitepapers
  • Participating in online discussion forums

Finding new clients as a consultant takes time and effort. But it’s essential to keep up the outreach and marketing activities. These activities will help you build your brand, find new clients, and grow your business.

By following these initial steps, you’ll be on your way to becoming a successful strategic marketing consultant.

Education for a strategic marketing consultant

Most strategic marketing consultants have a bachelor’s degree in marketing, business, or a related field. However, some consultants may have a master’s degree or MBA.

Most consultants have extensive marketing and industry experience before they become consultants. So, the type of education or specific degree becomes less important than experience and expertise.

Certifications for a strategic marketing consultant

Marketing certifications might help you stand out from competitors and build your brand. But, which certifications you pursue will depend on your niche, experience, and goals. Below are a few examples of certificates to consider:

Strategic marketing consultant skills

Some of the skills that you will need as a strategic marketing consultant include:

  • Strategic thinking
  • Analytical skills
  • Communication skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Market research skills
  • Writing skills

Demographics for a strategic marketing consultant

According to Zippia, the average age of a strategic marketing consultant is 38.8.

51% of strategic marketing consultants are male, which means there’s almost an even number of female consultants.

Strategic marketing consultants are located all over the world. However, the majority of them are located in the United States.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a strategic marketing consultant

A strategic marketing consultant helps organizations plan and execute an effective marketing strategy. They are experts in marketing but considered generalist consultants. Therefore, they will have expertise in various marketing activities and channels.

What is the role of a strategic marketer

A strategic marketer is responsible for developing and executing an organization’s marketing strategy. They work with other marketing team members to create campaigns, track results, and optimize performance.

How to get a job as a strategic marketing consultant

There are many ways to get a job as a strategic marketing consultant. You can start by pursuing a degree in marketing or business. Then, gain experience working in marketing for an organization. After that, you can begin your consulting business or look for jobs with consulting firms.

Strategic marketing consultant salary with MBA

According to, the salary range for a strategic marketing consultant with an MBA is $93,705 – $103,218. But, strategic marketing consultants with an MBA can earn significantly more depending on years of experience.

The salary will vary based on location, certifications, industry, and other factors. And, if you’re an independent marketing consultant, your salary will depend on your pricing strategy, number of clients, and how well you sell your services.

Stewart Swayze
Stewart Swayze
Stewart Swayze is the Founder and Chief Editor of The Weekly Consult. He's a B2B Marketing Consultant that supports large companies and private equity firms. He conducts market research, collects VOC, and creates go-to-market strategies. Stewart also conducts commercial due diligence projects for private equity firms. He's lived, traveled, and worked all over the world. In his spare time, he enjoys trail running, walking his dog, dinners with his family, and woodworking.

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