Here is a list of key competencies you should look for when hiring a Marketing Firm:

Are they tactical or have a strategic skill-set? 

Having a sound understanding of how to implement marketing campaigns is an important tactical skill but this skill can be picked up quickly or outsourced easily. Setting up a sound marketing strategy and an active marketing plan is a skill that is more difficult to acquire. Having a marketer that can build a strategy to attract leads and envision how you are going to interact in a digital way with prospects is vital in todays landscape. At the end of the day, it is all about attracting and converting leads into profitable customers and every business needs a plan to do this effectively.

Do they have business analytical skills? 

Today marketers need to have very good business analytical skills. Knowing how to use tools like CRM, Google Analytics, Facebook, lead scoring, social media tools amongst others to drive to a revenue result is critical. Understanding trends, tweaking campaiticalsis skills.

Marketing Technologist  Are they a power-user of technology? 

If they are, they will look at new ways to do business by optimising your use of technology, e.g. using the marketing automation system, lead scoring, profiling you database. Marketing is going through this incredible transformation right now. Marketers need to use multi-technologies to run successful campaigns. They need to be able to leverage the technology to meet the needs of your business. Marketing automation systems are powerful and in order to get the most out of them you need to have a technical skill-set. You need to have HTML, CRM skills to mention just two technologies.

Are they a Nurture Specialist? 

Nurture specialists are obsessed with creating an intimate digital dialog at all phases of the buying cycle and with providing qualified leads to the sales team. This role focuses on the long-term digital relationship with prospects and customers and must effectively work with all team members to pull campaigns together.

Are they a Content Specialist? 

Content specialist means that the marketing consultant is responsible for all the content associated with a campaign. Content marketing is the fuel for nurture marketing. The key here is using the smallest piece of content that will create an exchange of value, that gives the opportunity for the prospect to show behaviour, which then can be tracked and scored as an intent or level of interest.

Content specialists know that the right message at the right time will keep prospects and customers engaged. They think about the buying cycle and persona types and how they will interact in each channel.

Are they a Creative Specialist? 

Creative specialists want to know how effective the demand generation is. What will perform best. Testing what works. Marketing Consultants drive and enhance the communications from the customersÕ point of view.

Are they Brand Experts? 

Branding is all about creating a feeling between the company and the customer. A marketer who is interested in building a brand persona, that is consistent and represents value consistently in all its touch points, is a very great asset to any team. Someone to hold you accountable for the brand attributes is vital to keeping a brand real.

Questions to ask when interviewing Marketing Consultants:

1. Are they recognised by an official Marketing organisation? In Australia that would be Certified Practicing Marketer by the Australian Marketing Institute

2. Do they use a marketing dashboard to measure the results for each client; leads generated, conversions, and cost per lead per program, etc? Do they talk about demand generation as a pipeline?

3. Do they have a good social media profile: LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, u-tube, quota etc?

4. What marketing tools do they use for their own marketing: CRM, Blog, Content Management System, advertising, SEO, branding, podcast, articles, tools and resources?

5. Do they have good customer success stories and testimonials? If they do, do they talk about real results, leads generated and covered to customers?