9 Questions to Ask When Hiring A Marketing Consultant

Private Equity and VC firms, startup enterprises and other capital-raising projects will inevitably reach the stage where top-level marketing expertise is needed. It might be to help shape the go-to-market strategy, evaluate potential target markets, develop a solid marketing plan, or produce materials for that all-important pitch to investors. Knowing what questions to ask when hiring a marketing consultant will help you make the best hire.

Since we operate an online platform that connects finance and marketing professionals with companies engaged in raising capital, we’ve gotten a pretty good sense of what kinds of chops our clients are looking for when they need a seasoned expert with industry-specific experience.

Below are some point-specific questions to ask when hiring a marketing professional within the investment banking sphere.

1. What previous experience do you have with marketing analysis and operations?
Do they have experience with any top-tier professional services firms like BCG, McKinsey, Bain, Goldman Sachs, or Morgan Stanley?

2. Specifically, you might ask about their experience in any of these that apply to your project: quantitative analysis, optimization, advertising operations, performance marketing, media buying, lead generation, or related spaces.

3. Are they familiar with market analysis and market segmentation? Or, if this is for an investor presentation, can they identify the value proposition and ROI concerns most important to investors?

4. Do they have experience managing teams? If they’ll be supervising others like data analysts or ad buyers, make sure they’ve got good coordination skills.

5. Do they have Excel skills,  and are they comfortable with data analysis/data visualization? Good marketers not only need “soft” creative skills, but also should have the “hard” skills to measure the prospective return and profitability of their efforts.

6. Do they have previous startup experience, if yours is a startup? The unique challenges of startup marketing require someone who’s been there, done that so they can help the entire team avoid making rookie mistakes.

7. Can they furnish proof of having driven sales for past clients? Ask about their accomplishments in terms of hard, verifiable numbers.

8. How familiar are they with statistical analysis software? Ask them to name any relevant tools they have used before.

9. Have you ever suggested a new marketing strategy that the company didn’t want to follow? What happened? This is your “character question.” Will they be a cooperative team player, or will there be a contest of wills? This will help you know whether their business personality and philosophy can support what you’re trying to accomplish.

Graphite’s broad talent pool of highly vetted top-tier marketing professionals gives you a wide range of professionals to choose from. You can browse our talent, or post a project and let resumes start coming to you within 24 hours.

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Greg Andrade

Greg Andrade handles Graphite's marketing and communication programs. A graduate of the University of Michigan, he worked in corporate marketing for 15 years before turning his focus to virtual marketing consulting for startups and global businesses.

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