How much does it cost to hire a marketing consultant

The Ultimate Guide to Understanding the Cost of Hiring a Digital Marketer: What You Need to Know

Published on February 7th, 2023


If you have landed on this blog, you should probably be wondering, how much does it cost to hire a marketing consultant? Or better yet, how much should you pay a marketing consultant?

To ensure that your business benefits from working with a marketing consultant, it's essential to be proactive and educate yourself on the common pitfalls businesses encounter. This knowledge can help you avoid common errors and enhance your marketing success.

Remember, the best marketing consultant can provide value that can benefit your company for a long time but the opposite can also be true! Here is our detailed guide to help you overcome the glitches of hiring a marketing consultant.

Why does your company need a marketing consultant?

Companies encounter the challenge of creating a more efficient approach to their marketing, branding, and advertising efforts, which could include establishing a brand identity, developing a brand strategy, or formulating a plan for a marketing campaign. To accomplish these tasks, a competent team is usually required to execute the creative work, such as designing branded materials, writing copy, and developing websites. If you're in this position and are unsure about how to allocate funds for these services, you need to hire a marketing consultant.

Businesses need marketing consultants for developing and executing effective marketing strategies. Their job is divided into planning, strategizing and implementation. However, marketing consultants usually offer only guidance and work on an “as-needed” basis. Companies are often faced with the challenge of establishing.

Pricing models of a marketing consultant

Marketing consultants can charge clients in several ways, including flat fees and lump sums, daily or hourly rates, and results-based rates. Consultants typically charge a day rate that depends on the scope of the business's requirements, and it's essential to be upfront about fees and expectations. A consultant should present a clear scope of work and agreed fees before beginning a project to avoid hidden fees or add-ons.

During the discovery phase, clients and consultants should discuss any technologies, tools, or professionals they might need to bring on board, and the decision lies with the client based on their budget.

With a flat fee or lump sum payment structure, the client pays the consultant once upfront for the project or task, which eliminates hidden costs, but the project's flexibility may be limited. Daily and hourly rates are popular among marketing consultants because they are convenient and easy to track. Results-based payment structures offer a fair deal to clients and can be completely or partially based on results, such as a fixed percentage of the company's sales growth.

Are the services of marketing consultants expensive?

While skilled labor like copywriting or design may be relatively inexpensive, devising and overseeing the strategy associated with the work necessitates greater expertise and thus incurs greater expenses. Generally, the strategy and execution are handled by different teams or individuals. Although consultants may be responsible for executing marketing or branding tasks, their primary role is to serve as an external advisor, devising and directing the strategy for all deliverables. As a result, although consultants or their teams may handle execution, their focus is generally on the high-level strategy, while the heavy lifting of executing the tasks is handed off to others.

Now getting to your bigger question.

How much does it cost to hire a marketing consultant

According to, in the US, marketing consultants charge an average hourly rate of $39.76, which is equivalent to an annual salary of $82,691. Entry-level roles typically offer a starting salary of $60,000 per year, while the most seasoned consultants can earn as much as $125,426 annually.

According to Guru statistics, an experienced marketing consultant can charge you somewhere between $100 to $200 an hour.

But why is it so expensive to hire a marketing consultant?

Charging an average of $150 per hour, marketing consultants may seem expensive compared to the hourly cost of an in-house staff member, which can be around $40. However, this higher rate can be justified in certain scenarios, such as a short-term marketing strategy that requires twenty hours of work.

In this case, the cost of hiring a marketing consultant at a rate of $150 per hour would be $3000, whereas using an in-house employee for the same amount of work would only cost about $800. However, the true total cost of a project goes beyond the hourly rate, as in-house employees require office space, equipment, and other benefits, which are not a concern for consultants who work on an as-needed basis.

Furthermore, while in-house employees are paid on a full-time basis, consultants are only paid for the hours they work, which can make hiring a full-time marketing consultant impractical for many small businesses.

Factors that influence the cost of hiring a marketing consultant

1. Objectives

It's crucial to establish clear objectives and desired outcomes before collaborating with any marketing agency or a consultant. Defining your objectives and goals will enable you to make an informed decision about which professional is the best fit for you, as well as which marketing channels (such as SEO, Facebook ads, pay-per-click advertising, etc.) will work for you. Once you have identified your key objectives, set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) goals with the marketing agency you choose to work with. This will help you and your marketing consultant stay on track and accountable for meeting your target objectives.

2. Specialization

After setting your objectives, you can start evaluating different digital marketing consultants and identify which professional has the best resources and experience to help you achieve your goals. Some parameters to use when selecting a marketing consultant can be based on your objectives include specialization and strategy.

Regarding specialization, make sure the professional has the expertise in the specific marketing channel you require.

When it comes to strategy, if you've already decided on a specific marketing strategy, ask the consultant about strategy-specific details to get a sense of their knowledge and experience in your marketing strategies and objectives.

3. Offered Services

Choosing to work with a marketing consultant relies heavily on the services they provide. It's a non-negotiable aspect because if the consultant does not offer the marketing solutions you need, your business won't see any results. Depending on your objectives, you may choose to work with a professional for some or all of your digital marketing needs.

However, it's rare for a marketing professional to excel in all services they offer. Therefore, it's recommended to work with a specialized consultant that focuses on your specific needs. For instance, if you require content marketing, it's better to work with a professional who specializes in content creation and promotion.

4. Track Record

The success of your marketing efforts may also depend on the consultant's track record. You want to work with an experienced and proven professional who can generate excellent results for your business.

It's best to avoid a consultant who uses your business to experiment with different strategies without producing results. The more experience a consultant has with clients similar to your business, the better they can meet your marketing goals with your budget. It's recommended to ask for specific details about the strategy they used and the results they achieved for their clients.

5. Timeline of Success

It's vital to have a clear understanding of the timeline of success in your marketing campaigns. This helps you set realistic expectations and avoid quitting too soon or paying for services that don't benefit your business. You should talk with the consultant you're working with and set a clear timeline for your campaigns. The timeline of success will depend on the strategy you deploy. For instance, paid ads can generate immediate results, while SEO campaigns may take months to see any results. Therefore, it's essential to have a realistic timeline and communicate it with your agency.

6. Domain/Niche Expertise

It's crucial to hire a marketing consultant with experience in your industry or niche. Although marketing fundamentals are constant across industries, it's essential to have industry knowledge to market to your target audience effectively. When searching for a consultant, use specific industry-related keywords to help you find an experienced marketing agency for your business' needs. For instance, if you're a B2B company, it's better to work with a B2B SEO professional that knows how to target keywords specific to your business audience and generate high-quality leads.

7. Costs and Contracts

It's essential to be aware of the typical costs of hiring a skilled marketing consultant and their contracts before engaging with them. These individuals charge based on their experience and previous results they have generated. Your goal should be to find a competent marketing talent within your budget range to ensure you get more leads, clients, and sales while staying within your budget. Monthly retainers are the most common way small businesses pay marketing consultants to manage their marketing efforts and run campaigns. Some marketing consultants require contracts that can range from a few months up to a year. It's crucial to consult with your in-house team and other colleagues before engaging in any lengthy arrangement with a marketing consultant

Types of marketing consultants your business needs

1. Consultant for Marketing Strategy

For businesses to succeed, effective marketing strategies are essential. Since businesses have limited resources, it's crucial to concentrate on the most promising opportunities. This is where efficiency comes in.

Marketing strategy consultants will take the time to understand your industry, market, and external factors that influence marketing conditions. They will also identify any weaknesses and problems in your business. This research and analysis form the foundation for an effective strategic vision.

Having a professional to identify the right marketing strategies that align with your budget and resources and to assist you and your team in implementing and managing them can be invaluable. The best way to optimize your company's marketing efforts is to hire a marketing strategy consultant with finely tuned management and leadership skills and a focus on goals and objectives.

2. Consultant for Market Research

A marketing research consultant can help businesses overcome blind spots. They can uncover problems and identify new opportunities and trends in your niche, which may involve studying your competitors, customers, or strategies. This research can help you make marketing decisions and adjust your marketing approaches to increase your sales or generate new leads.

3. Communications and Public Relations (PR) Consultant

With a communications and PR consultant, you have the opportunity to change perceptions of your brand or improve your relationships with current and potential customers. They are responsible for making the public aware of your brand or news related to your business.

Due to the pandemic, consumer behaviors and preferences have changed, and businesses today must build deeper relationships with their customers online if they want to outperform their competitors. Such a professional c7an assist you in developing a comprehensive strategy to improve customer interaction through various channels (social media, website, etc.).

4. Inbound Marketing Consultant

Inbound marketing attracts new customers to your business through valuable content and experiences, from social media posts and infographics to blog posts and e-books.

This includes innovative inbound marketing strategies for top-of-funnel content (TOFU). Thus, an inbound marketing consultant is the best professional to hire if you want to develop and implement an effective content marketing plan.

5. Outbound Marketing Consultant

An experienced outbound marketing consultant can help your business grow by generating revenue through direct marketing methods. Such a professional will assist you in developing effective push messages that drive sales.

This type of marketing includes strategies such as email newsletters, deals and discounts, cold calling, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, and social media advertising.

6. Digital Marketing Consultant

Digital marketing is one of the most complex areas of marketing in 2022, encompassing various marketing approaches. A digital marketing consultant can identify the most effective ways for a business to promote through different digital channels and techniques. They assist with research, planning, development, and optimization.

With advertising, for example, a digital marketing consultant can suggest improvements for existing campaigns or assist you in developing and testing different strategies to determine the most effective one for your business.

7. Branding and Creative Consultant

A brand consultant is a skilled professional who can assist you in strengthening your brand and increasing your influence. A brand consultant will also conduct market research and assist you in creating the perfect brand elements (logo, fonts, colors, messages, etc.).

By the end of your collaboration, you will have a deep understanding of your customer persona and will have aligned your brand with their preferences.


Opting to hire a marketing consultant can either be a smart, high return-on-investment decision, or a costly mistake for your business. The key lies in selecting the right professional who can deliver excellent results and attract new customers. Conversely, choosing the wrong consultant can result in a loss of thousands of dollars, as well as valuable time. This is where Hirequotient can help, whether you are choosing to hire an in house marketing consultant or a freelance consultant, you can run them through our assessments library to evaluate the skills of your hire. We have put together specific assessments for every possible case scenario a marketing consultant is expected to crack.

For more hiring related tools and solutions, get in touch with our team today.



Radhika Sarraf

Radhika Sarraf is a content specialist and a woman of many passions who currently works at HireQuotient, a leading recruitment SaaS company. She is a versatile writer with experience in creating compelling articles, blogs, social media posts, and marketing collaterals.

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