No money for staff? Call a consultant

Your article about marketing consultancy (MW October 19) appeared to miss one key rationale for our profession’s services. There is an increasing demand for marketing in companies that have only recently perceived the need for it at all – and hence have no in-house marketing staff.

Category management has encouraged smaller suppliers to focus on consumer needs as a way to hold business and build category growth.

It has been noticeable to us how often buyers listen to even quite small own-label suppliers if they do this. This is perhaps because bigger, branded manufacturers are perceived as being partisan, or simply uninterested in a particular retailer’s needs.

Many small and medium-sized companies in this position can’t afford the very high fixed costs of permanent marketing staff. So, for the equivalent of a junior brand manager’s salary they can pay a consultancy for a well thought-out marketing plan and researched category approach that they can then comfortably implement.

For them, consultancy is the most cost-effective option. These types of business don’t seek the bells and whistles of big-brand marketing, simply a competent job done in a way that involves, rather than alienates, other business functions.

Roger Jackson

Managing director

Real World Marketing

Wirral

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