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Marketing consultants advise businesses on sales strategies based on their analysis of market conditions.

The average marketing consultant salary exceeds $63,000 a year, with strong projected growth for marketing consultant jobs through 2028. This page introduces careers for marketing consultants, including education requirements and job duties.

Essential Career Information for Marketing Consultants
Median Annual Salary $63,120
Employment Growth Forecast from 2018-2028 20%
Number of New Jobs from 2018-2028 139,200
Average Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor's Degree
Annual Salary of the Highest 10% $121,080
Annual Salary of the Lowest 10% $34,310

Source: BLS.gov: OOH, May 2018

What is a Marketing Consultant?

A marketing consultant is a marketing, business, and research specialist who recommends marketing strategies to businesses. Marketing consultants help companies determine consumer demand, pricing strategies, and the effectiveness of marketing strategies. They also analyze data to understand marketing and sales trends.

Marketing consultants may work under several different job titles, including market research analyst, marketing analyst, and marketing forecaster. Marketing consultants can also specialize in several areas, including digital marketing, social media marketing, and internet marketing. Marketing consultants often work in a team to analyze and present data. The position generally requires normal business hours.

Marketing consultants help companies determine consumer demand, pricing strategies, and the effectiveness of marketing strategies.

Marketing consultants bring several key skills to their position. The position requires a sales and marketing background, often through a bachelor's degree in marketing or a related field. Marketing consultants also draw on research and analytical skills to collect, analyze, and present data. Additionally, strong communication skills help marketing consultants work with executives and other decision-makers.

  • Market Research Analyst
  • Market Research Specialist
  • Marketing Analyst
  • Marketing Consultant
  • Marketing Forecaster
  • Marketing Specialist

What Does a Marketing Consultant Do?

Marketing consultants use analytical skills to help businesses market their products and services. They measure consumer demand, evaluate pricing strategies, and forecast sales trends. Marketing consultants also assess the effectiveness of a marketing program or strategy using data analytics and statistics.

Many marketing consultants collect data on consumers, market conditions, and competitors. They gather data through methods like surveys and opinion polls and analyze their findings. After analyzing the data, marketing consultants create written reports, recommendations, and visual presentations of the data for managers and executives.

In specialized roles, such as digital marketing consultant and social media marketing consultant, professionals can shape an organization's internet marketing strategy through market research, data analytics, and consumer demographics.

In addition, marketing consultants can work as market research analysts or marketing forecasters to help companies determine their standing in the marketplace through competitor research. A market research analyst evaluates prices, sales strategies, and product demand to improve an organization's market share. A marketing forecaster may recommend that businesses invest in new markets, change their pricing strategy, or develop new products to respond to consumer demand.

In specialized roles, such as digital marketing consultant and social media marketing consultant, professionals can shape an organization's internet marketing strategy through market research, data analytics, and consumer demographics.

Marketing consultants often complete a bachelor's degree in marketing to build the analytical and research skills required for the position. During a bachelor's degree, prospective marketing consultants study topics like statistics, data science, and data analytics.

How to Become a Marketing Consultant

Most employers require a bachelor's degree for entry-level marketing consultant jobs. Some employers prefer candidates with a master's degree, such as an MBA or a master's in marketing.

Marketing consultants typically major in marketing, market research, or a related discipline like statistics or mathematics; however, some professionals enter the field with a business administration or social science degree. During a bachelor's degree, students should build strong math and analytical skills through classes on topics like statistics, research methods, and economics. Coursework in marketing, consumer behavior, and communications also help marketing consultants succeed.

Prospective marketing consultants should choose accredited programs. The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs accredits business and marketing programs that meet the highest standards for educating students. Many employers prefer to hire candidates with an accredited degree.

Before applying for marketing consultant jobs, many candidates build professional experience through marketing internships. Both undergraduate and master's programs incorporate internships to strengthen students' marketing research skills. Marketing consultants can also pursue voluntary certifications to demonstrate their abilities.

Associate Degree Programs

While most employers prefer marketing consultants with a bachelor's degree or higher, an associate degree offers foundational training for the career. During an associate program, marketing students take introductory courses in marketing, business, advertising, and research. Associate programs also incorporate general education courses in areas like mathematics, English, statistics, and communication.

Most associate programs in marketing take two years for full-time students to complete. Completing lower-division courses at a community college helps marketing students prepare for a bachelor's degree in marketing while saving money on tuition. Graduates can pursue entry-level roles in business or transfer into a bachelor's program. Transfer students with an associate degree can often earn a bachelor's degree in two years.

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Bachelor's Degree Programs

A bachelor's degree meets the entry-level education requirement for most marketing consultant jobs. While many prospective marketing consultants major in marketing, several other disciplines offer the training necessary for the career, such as statistics, communication, and business administration with a concentration in marketing.

During a bachelor's program, students complete general education and major coursework. Prospective marketing consultants should choose courses that strengthen their statistical and analytical skills. Many programs incorporate a marketing internship to help students build a professional network and gain career-ready skills. A bachelor's degree typically takes four years of full-time study to complete. Graduates qualify for positions like market research analyst, digital marketing specialist, and social media marketing specialist.

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Master's Degree Programs

Some employers prefer to hire marketing consultants with a master's degree. A graduate degree also qualifies candidates for leadership positions within marketing research. Graduate students can choose a master's in marketing research, statistics, data analytics, or marketing to prepare for a marketing consultant career. Prospective marketing consultants can also pursue an MBA with a concentration in marketing.

During a master's program, students complete advanced coursework in marketing research, statistics, business analytics, and data science. Many programs also include a marketing internship to strengthen students' professional skills. A master's in marketing helps marketing consultants demonstrate advanced skills and stand out in the job market. Most master's programs take two years of full-time study to complete, though some accelerated programs offer shorter completion times.

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Professional Licensure and Certification

Though not required, marketing consultants can pursue certifications to demonstrate their expertise to potential employers. For example, consultants can earn the professional researcher certification (PRC). Candidates for this credential must hold at least three years of marketing research experience and pass an examination. They must maintain the credential by completing 20 hours of continuing education courses every two years.

The American Marketing Association also offers certifications for marketing professionals, including the digital marketing certification, which recognizes professionals with analytics, social media marketing, and online advertising expertise.

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