How to become a marketing consultant (Definition and skills)

Updated 23 May 2023

A marketing consultant works with clients to develop advertising materials, increase sales and develop the company's customer base. This career requires expertise in the marketing field so you can advise companies and their marketing departments on how to better engage with their audience. Learning the steps you can take to become a marketing consultant may help you determine if this career path is right for you.

In this article, we discuss what marketing consultants, how much they can make and how to become a marketing consultant with a list of skills to develop and tips to help you become more successful.

Related: 8 essential marketing manager skills

How to become a marketing consultant

Use these steps to guide your career path and learn how to become a marketing consultant:

1. Earn a degree in marketing

Most marketing consultants need a bachelor's degree in marketing, business or communications to get started. While it's sometimes possible to work as a marketing consultant without a bachelor's degree, most companies require marketing professionals to have a bachelor's degree. A degree programme for marketing, business or communication can teach important principles of sales and advertising and how to manage budgets. You also develop soft skills such as communication, problem-solving and analysis.

2. Get relevant work experience

Employers often prefer consultants to have experience working in the marketing field. It's helpful to pursue internship opportunities while earning your degree or working in an entry-level position at a marketing firm or a company's marketing department. This type of experience provides an individual with more knowledge about developing marketing campaigns and marketing content.

Related: How to write an internship cover letter (With examples)

3. Develop your skills

Once you earn your degree and some experience, consider learning all the skills you need to be an effective marketing consultant. Most marketing consultants have a fairly broad focus, so it's most helpful to gain various skills rather than concentrating on one area.

These skills include everything from copywriting to mastering the latest marketing technologies. However, if you work in a specific industry that you want to remain in as a marketing consultant, you may also decide to include skills related to that. For example, if you are going to work in healthcare to market products related to health, you may develop skills such as medical terminology knowledge.

Related: What are marketing consultant skills? Examples and advice

4. Earn certifications

You can consider earning certifications to increase your credibility and gain more expertise in the marketing field. For example, you can earn certification in analytics or financial planning. There are also specific certifications you can earn for marketing software. Since most marketing campaigns operate online, it's wise to earn a certificate in digital marketing. You can take courses online and become qualified for many of these certifications.

5. Search for consulting positions

Marketing professionals ready to become marketing consultants have to decide if they want to work independently as the owner of their own consulting business or if they want to work for a consulting firm. Each option has pros and cons, and the right answer is usually a personalised one depending on your area of expertise and situation. Consulting firms offer a bit more stability and find work for you. However, you may not have as much choice regarding what type of work you do as you would if you own your own business.

Related: How to become a digital marketing analyst (With skills)

What does a marketing consultant do?

A marketing consultant can have a range of duties depending on your clients' needs and can also specialise in specific areas of marketing, such as digital marketing. A marketing consultant may work with the existing marketing department at a company or help to train new marketing professionals the company employs. As a marketing consultant, you might make recommendations for improving current marketing strategies, plan and execute a new marketing campaign or suggest new practices and workflows to improve the company's marketing efforts. Marketing consultants then use analytical tools to measure the success of your initiatives.

Related: Digital marketing skills: Definition and examples

Average salary

As a marketing consultant, you can earn an average salary of £28,012 per year. Your salary may vary depending on where you work and how much experience you have in the industry. If you're an independent consultant and find high-profile clients, you may increase your profits. You can also choose how often or little you work as an independent consultant, which affects your income. Marketing consultants that work in a consulting firm may receive more stability and have a reliable client base to work with, which provides a more dependable income.

Work environment

Marketing consultants work in consulting firms or may work in their own business. Both of these options allow you to work indoors in an office setting. Consultants travel to meet with clients but may also have meetings virtually. This is a very social and collaborative career. Marketing consultants speak with marketing departments and other clients about developing campaigns, content, engagement strategies and help write policies.

Related: What is a marketing environment?

Marketing consultant skills

Marketing consultants must be experts in their field. It's important to develop knowledge and skills relating to creating advertisements and strategising for marketing campaigns. Marketing consultants also have soft skills to complement their technical abilities. Here are the top skills you need as a marketing consultant:

Customer service

Customer service skills involve communicating with consumers and solving problems they may have with products or services. These skills help inform strategy to make connections with consumers and better serve them. Marketing consultants can help companies develop these skills to improve their brand and reputation. Great customer service encourages consumers to repeat business with a company.

Read more: Customer service skills: Examples, definition and how to demonstrate


Copywriting is an essential skill for professionals in marketing. The ability to write compelling copy for advertisements helps a marketing campaign become more successful. Copy is any messages or words in an advertisement. This is used to motivate consumers to purchase products and services. As a marketing consultant, your primary responsibility is to help companies increase sales, so this ability is advantageous.

Read more: Copywriting skills: Definitions and examples

Communication skills

Marketing is a communicative field. The ability to speak and write well enough to convey meaning effectively is essential to selling products. Marketing consultants use communication skills to speak with clients and colleagues. With strong communication skills, they can also help clients develop these abilities.

Marketing automation software

Marketing automation software helps marketing departments by performing routine tasks such as tracking sales and customer activity. It's useful for marketing consultants to know how this software works and how to use it to inform marketing strategies. Marketing consultants may also recommend automation software to their clients, so it's important to keep knowledge of this software current.


Marketing consultants help their clients resolve issues with advertising and marketing. For example, a marketing consultant may have to help a client resolve an issue if the client's advertisements aren't gaining leads. To fix this, a consultant may gather market research and learn about the target audience to make recommendations for improving marketing content and increasing lead generation. Problem-solving skills are essential since clients hire consultants to help them and resolve specific issues.

Read more: Problem-solving skills: Definitions and examples

Social media

Social media management is a useful skill for those in marketing because social media platforms are an effective and inexpensive tool to advertise products and services. The ability to create content and schedule posts to engage a target audience helps increase sales. A marketing consultant may use social media skills to develop campaigns and teach clients how to interact online with consumers to grow their customer base.

Marketing research

Marketing research involves gathering data about the industry's market, customer activity and history of sales for similar products. It's important to perform market research because this data helps marketing departments set a budget and develop a campaign. Marketing consultants often do market research before advising a company.

Related: What KPI stands for and how to use it in your career


Creative skills can help a marketing consultant design unique strategies and campaigns for clients, which may help achieve more successful results for their clients. Having creative skills is essential for professionals in marketing because they create content or are involved in the creation process. Often unique, beautiful content resonates better with an audience and can be more successful in motivating them to perform an action such as making a purchase.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries‌ ‌may‌ ‌‌vary‌‌ ‌depending‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌hiring‌ ‌organisation‌ ‌and‌ ‌a‌ ‌candidate's‌ ‌experience,‌ ‌academic‌ background‌ ‌and‌ ‌location.‌

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