How to Develop a Marketing Plan for Your Consulting Company

Marketing-Plan

Your marketing plan can be the difference between the success and failure of your consulting company. With the right plan, you can gain new clients on an ongoing basis. With the wrong plan, not only will your firm struggle to generate sales, but you will waste valuable time in misguided marketing efforts.

This article will show you how to develop a winning marketing plan for your consulting firm.

 

What is a Marketing Plan?

A marketing plan is a document that outlines your marketing strategies and goals. It includes information on who your target audience is, how you will reach them, what you will offer them, and how you will measure your success.

 

Why Do You Need a Marketing Plan?

A well-crafted marketing plan can help you achieve the following:

  • Attract more clients
  • Increase sales
  • Differentiate your business from the competition
  • Stand out in a crowded market
  • Improve your bottom line

If you need to raise money from investors, a detailed marketing plan will also demonstrate that you have a solid understanding of the market and how your business can succeed in it.

 

How To Write a Consulting Marketing Plan

The marketing plan for a consulting business should include the following components:

Each component will be discussed in detail below.

 

Executive Summary 

The executive summary is a brief overview of your marketing plan. It should include the following:

  • Who you are and what you do
  • What is your target market
  • How you will reach your potential customers
  • Your unique selling proposition (USP)
  • What you will offer your target audience
  • How you will measure success
  • The financial projections for your business

This section should be no more than 2-3 pages long and is generally the last section you will actually write. 

 

Target Market Segments

Your target market is the group of people you are selling to. In order to create an effective marketing plan, you need to understand who they are and what they want. You need to consider the following:

  • Location – where is your potential client base located?
  • Gender – is your target market male or female?
  • Age – what is the age range of your target market?
  • Income – what is the income range of your target market?
  • Education level – what is the education level of your target market?
  • Interests – what are the interests of your target market?
  • Business Details – If/when serving B2B (business to business) clients, you need to know what size of companies you will serve and what functions within these companies (e.g., HR managers) are your ideal audience. 

When selecting your customer base, it is important to choose a group that is large enough to generate significant sales, but small enough that you can reach them effectively.

Your target market should also be a group that you can afford to serve. It is not cost-effective to try and market to everyone. You need to identify a specific group of people that you can focus your efforts.

Once you have identified your target audience, you need to understand their needs and wants. What are they looking for in a consultant? What problem are they trying to solve? What are their biggest concerns? The more you know about your potential customers, the better you can position your business to meet their needs.

 

Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Your unique selling proposition (USP) is what makes your company different from the competition. It is what sets you apart and makes people want to do business with you. When developing your USP, you need to consider the following:

  • What do you do better than anyone else?
  • What are your unique qualifications or experience?
  • What do you offer that is not available from the competition?
  • Why should someone do business with you instead of someone else?

Your USP should be something that is relevant to your potential clients. It should be something that they care about and that is important to them.

As an example, FedEx’s initial USP was “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.” 

 

Pricing and Positioning Strategy

When setting your prices, you need to consider the following:

  • What is the market value of your specific services?
  • What are your costs?
  • How much do you want to make per hour?
  • What are your competitors charging?

It is important to price your services appropriately. If you charge too much, you may lose customers. If you charge too little, you may not be able to cover your costs and earn healthy profits. You also need to consider how you want to position your business. Do you want to be seen as a premium consulting service or a more affordable option?

 

Distribution Strategy

How you distribute your service offerings is important. You need to consider the following:

  • Are you going to offer in-person consultations?
  • Are you going to offer online consultations?
  • Are you going to offer phone consultations?
  • What countries are you going to target?
  • What language will your consultations be offered in?
  • Will you offer your services through partners?
 

Offers

When developing your marketing plan, you need to consider the types of offers you will make to your potential clients. Will you offer a free consultation? A discount for first-time customers? A package deal?

It is important to create offers that are attractive to your potential customers.

 

Marketing Materials

Your marketing materials are the tools you use to promote your business. They should be designed to attract attention and generate interest in your professional services. Some of the most common marketing materials include:

  • Logo
  • Brochures
  • Flyers
  • Business cards
  • Website
  • Press releases
  • Email newsletters

It is important to design your marketing materials in a way that is visually appealing and easy to read. It is critical that your materials match the branding (e.g., premium) you are trying to achieve.

 

Promotions Strategy

This section should include the mix of marketing activities that will generate interest in your professional services. Some of the most common promotions include:

  • Radio Ads
  • Newspaper Ads
  • Digital Marketing (see below)
  • Public Relations
  • Webinars
  • Teleseminars
  • Seminars
  • Trade shows
  • Networking events

It is important to consider your target audience when developing your promotions. What type of activities will they find appealing?

   

Digital Marketing Plan

In today’s digital age, it is important to have a strong online presence. This includes having a website, establishing a social media presence, doing online advertising, conducting email marketing, and using search engine optimization (SEO) techniques. When developing your digital marketing plan, you need to consider the following:

  • Branding: How will you create a website that reflects your company’s brand? How will this be reflected on your social media profiles?
  • Content Marketing: What type of content will you post on your website and social media pages? How often will you post new content?
  • Online Marketing Strategy: What are the best online marketing techniques for your consulting company? What types of digital marketing campaigns will you run? For example, will you use pay-per-click advertising? Cold email? Direct outreach on LinkedIn, etc.?
 

Conversion, Referral, and Retention Strategy

In order to be successful, you need to have a strategy for converting leads into customers, getting referrals from current customers, and retaining new clients for future consultancy services. When developing your conversion, referral, and retention strategy, you need to consider the following:

  • How will you track conversions?
  • What will you do to try to maximize your conversion rates (e.g., offer bonuses to new clients)?
  • How will you encourage referrals from current customers?
  • What are the best methods for retaining customers?
  • How often will you review your conversion, referral, and retention strategy?
 

Financial Projections

When developing your marketing plan, it is important to project your income and expenses for the next year. This will help you determine if your marketing efforts are generating a profit. You should also track your progress over time to see if your marketing plan is effective.

 

Marketing Plan Examples for a Consulting Business

Below are sample marketing plans for consulting firms.

 

Example #1 – CloudNet, an IT Consulting Business

CloudNet offers quality IT consulting services that will help your business grow. We have over 10 years of experience in the industry and our team of experts is ready to help you achieve your goals.

 

Executive Summary

As a leading IT consulting business, CloudNet offers quality services and solutions that will help your business grow. Our team of experts has over 10 years of experience in the industry, and we are dedicated to providing each client with the best possible solution for their needs.

Our pricing strategy is to offer quality services at a fair price, and we are positioning ourselves as a premium IT consulting business. We partner with several local business associations and chambers of commerce, as well as attend trade shows and networking events. We offer a free consultation to any businesses who are interested in our services. We also provide a variety of marketing materials to our potential customers which are available for download on our website and include an overview of our services, case studies, brochures, flyers, presentations, and more.

Outside of our traditional marketing efforts, we also plan to engage in SEO, paid search, social media marketing, and email marketing to help attract new customers as well as retain our existing clientele. All conversions and referrals will be tracked through the use of our CRM in coordination with Google Analytics. In order to be successful, our conversion, referral, and retention strategy will be implemented on an ongoing basis. With an advertising budget of $2,500/month, our financial projections show that we will remain profitable thanks to our marketing efforts.

 

Target Market Segments

CloudNet specializes in providing IT consulting services to mid-sized businesses and large enterprises. Our goal is to provide each client with the best possible solution for their needs. We focus on serving IT managers who have limited internal staffing.

 

Unique Selling Proposition (USP) 

CloudNet offers quality IT consulting services that will help your business grow. We have over 10 years of experience in the industry and our team of experts is ready to help you achieve your goals.

 

Pricing and Positioning Strategy

CloudNet’s pricing strategy is to offer quality services at a fair price. We believe that our clients should receive the best possible value for their money. We are also positioning ourselves as a premium IT consulting business. This means that we offer the highest quality services and solutions in the industry.

 

Distribution Strategy

CloudNet’s distribution strategy is to partner with local business associations and chambers of commerce to reach small and mid-sized businesses. We will also be attending trade shows and networking events to reach larger businesses.

 

Offers 

CloudNet is currently offering a free consultation to all businesses who are interested in our services. We believe that this is the best way to determine if our services are a good fit for the client’s needs.

 

Marketing Materials

CloudNet has a variety of marketing materials available for download on our website. These materials include:

  • An overview of our services
  • Case studies
  • Brochures
  • Flyers
  • Presentations
 

Promotions Strategy

CloudNet is currently running a promotion for all businesses that are interested in our services. We are offering a free consultation to all businesses who are interested in our services.

 

Digital Marketing Plan

CloudNet’s digital marketing plan includes the following components:

  • SEO
  • Paid search
  • Social media
  • Email marketing
 

Conversion, Referral, and Retention Strategy

In order to be successful, CloudNet needs to implement a variety of marketing strategies on an ongoing basis to encourage customers to convert, refer and remain loyal customers. We will be tracking conversions, referrals, and retention through the use of a CRM system. We also have a number of methods for encouraging referrals and retaining customers, including:

  • Offering discounts to current customers
  • Encouraging word-of-mouth marketing
  • Offering loyalty programs
  • Sending out customer surveys
 

Financial Projections

In order to remain profitable, CloudNet’s marketing efforts will need to generate an annual revenue of $150,000. Our financial projections show that we will be able to achieve this goal with an advertising budget of $30,000. We anticipate that our largest source of revenue will come from our IT consulting services, which account for 85% of our total sales. The remaining 15% of our sales will come from our other services.

We anticipate that our gross margin will be 50%, which means that we will earn a profit of $75,000 after covering our expenses. We expect to have a net income of $50,000 after paying taxes. This will allow us to maintain a healthy cash flow and increase our equity.

 

Example #2 – Fund Your Future, a Personal Finance Consulting Business

 

Executive Summary

Fund Your Future is a personal finance consulting business that offers a comprehensive suite of services tailored to meet the needs of families with children, single parents, retirees, and college students. We are committed to helping our clients achieve their financial goals, and we believe that our high level of customer service will set us apart from our competition.

Our unique selling proposition is that we offer a comprehensive suite of services that are tailored to meet the needs of our target customer segments. We provide our clients with personalized service, which means that they can rely on us to help them make sound financial decisions. Our pricing and positioning strategy is to offer our services at a competitive price while positioning ourselves as an affordable alternative to larger financial institutions.

We plan to distribute our services through a combination of direct marketing, referrals, and online marketing. We will be attending local events and networking with key influencers in our target customer segments to generate leads. We will also be running a series of radio ads and online ads to promote our services.

Our goal is to earn a total of $120,000 in revenue during the first year of operations. This will allow us to cover our expenses and generate a profit of $25,000. 

 

Target Market Segments

Fund Your Future is a personal finance consulting business that specializes in helping individuals and families save money and improve their financial situation. Our target customer segments are:

  • Families with children
  • Single parents
  • Retirees
  • College students

We are committed to helping each and every one of our clients achieve their financial goals.

 

Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Our unique selling proposition is that we offer a comprehensive suite of services that are tailored to meet the needs of our potential clients. We provide our clients with personalized service, which means that they can rely on us to help them make sound financial decisions.

 

Pricing and Positioning Strategy

Fund Your Future is priced competitively, and we are positioning ourselves as an affordable provider of personal finance consulting services. We believe that our high level of customer service will set us apart from our competition.

 

Distribution Strategy

Our distribution strategy is to partner with local business associations and chambers of commerce to reach small and mid-sized businesses. We will also be attending trade shows and networking events to reach larger businesses.

 

Offers 

We are currently offering a free consultation to all families who are interested in our services. We believe that this is the best way to determine if our services are a good fit for the client’s needs.

We also offer a monthly webinar series geared towards helping retirees, low-income and single-parent families, and college students save money and improve their financial situation. This webinar directly ties in with our unique selling proposition, and we are confident that it will be a valuable resource for our customer segments.

 

Marketing Materials

We have a number of marketing materials that we will be using to promote our services, including:

  • A website that is designed to appeal to our target customer segments
  • A series of brochures that highlight the services that we offer
  • A PowerPoint presentation that can be used for presentations and as a sales tool
 

Promotions Strategy

To generate leads, we will be running a series of radio ads and online ads. We will also be distributing promotional materials at local businesses and events.

 

Digital Marketing Plan

We are currently in the process of designing a website that will be launched in the near future. The website will be designed to appeal to our target customer segments, and it will include a section where clients can download our brochures and PowerPoint presentation.

We are also in the process of setting up a social media profile on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. We will use these profiles to promote our services and to connect with potential clients.

 

Conversion, Referral, and Retention Strategy

In order to increase our conversion rate, we plan to offer a free consultation to all prospective clients. We will also follow up with all of our clients to ensure that they are satisfied with our services and that they would be willing to refer us to their friends and family.

 

Financial Projections

We expect to earn a total of $120,000 in revenue during the first year of operations. This will allow us to cover our expenses and generate a profit of $25,000. 

 

Summary

As you can see, there are a number of things that need to be considered when developing a marketing plan for a consulting firm. By taking the time to create a detailed plan, you can be sure that your business will reach its target customer segments and generate a healthy profit.