Mktg SIG: When and How to Hire a Marketing Consultant



  • Come hear Liz Greer, veteran consultant and client, discuss these issues and more in a highly interactive presentation and discussion.


    Liz Greer, Principal - Greer and Company


    Presentation Overview

    When and How to Hire a Marketing Consultant

    Now that economic indicators are looking up again, demand is surging for development and delivery of high-impact marketing programs. It's clearly time to invest in marketing, but how to make that investment is not always clear. It's often difficult to determine when it's appropriate to hire full-time headcount, versus a different form of marketing resource, such as an independent contractor or a marketing agency.

    At the strategic level, you want to design a marketing team that that is timely, efficient, and cost-effective. Timely means that you are able to leverage marketplace opportunities and address threats promptly. Efficient means that you are applying exactly the right skill to the need at hand. And cost-effective means that there's no wasted resource – you're not paying for a higher level skill than you need, and you're not paying for unnecessary time. Your marketing team may sometimes be 100% internal, but it will more than likely often be composed of a blend of internal and external resources.

    At the tactical level, some of the most common questions facing clients are:


    • When is it the right time to hire a consultant?
    • Should I hire a consultant, a contractor, or a marketing agency? What's the difference and what are the implications?
    • Should I be looking at an interim resource or a project consultant?
    • How do I budget for this? Should I pay by the hour or by the project? What other forms of fee structures are there?
    • Are consultants cheaper now that the market is flooded?
    • Should I set up a W2 or a 1099 situation? What are my legal obligations?
    • Where do I get a consultant?
    • How do I determine qualifications of a consultant?
    • How do I negotiate terms with the consultant?
    • What factors determine a successful outcome with a consulting engagement?
    • How do I know when to terminate a consulting contract?
    • How do I manage multiple consultants?
    • How do I know my consultant is committed to me and not just waiting for a good job offer to come along?
    • What should I do if I'm not satisfied?

      Liz Greer, veteran consultant and client, will discuss these issues and more in a highly interactive presentation and discussion.

      In order to make the presentation as engaging and as relevant as possible, we'd like to identify some situations in advance to use as "mini case studies." If you either (a) are thinking at this time about using a consultant, but haven't started the process yet or (b) have had a previous consultant situation at your company that was very successful or (c) have had an unsuccessful experience with a consultant, please contact Liz at 415-383-7980 or [email protected]. (She won't identify your company unless you want her to.) Liz is also interested in any additional questions related to consulting that would be appropriate to address during her presentation.

      About the Presenter

      Liz Greer

      is founder and principal of Greer and Company, and has over twenty years of experience in telecommunications and information technology marketing and sales management. On the client side, Liz has held management positions at Sprint, Satellite Business Systems, IBM, Forum Systems (formerly Santa Barbara Development Labs), MCI, and, most recently, Liz was Sr. Marketing VP and CMO at Pagoo Communications, the leading broadband ASP. From the “long distance wars” of the 1980s, to the emergence of digital convergence and the Internet in the 1990s, Liz has seen technology marketing from many different perspectives.

      In 1993, Liz founded New Media Marketing, a marketing consultancy whose corporate clients included Fair, Isaac, GTE Internetworking (now Genuity), Pacific Bell (corporate marketing), Pacific Bell Wireless (now Cingular), Pacific Bell Network Integration, Sprint, Sybase, Telocity and Watson-Wyatt Worldwide. Start-up/Internet clients included craigslist, ReadyServe Computer Centers, and—along with over 200 startup participants in seminars on Internet marketing developed and taught by Liz. Clients in the emerging business category included American Sightseeing International, Cole Valley Software, Douglas Broadcasting, Rehbock Consulting, and T Line Services.

      Her newest venture, Greer and Company is the Bay Area's most innovative source for referrals for qualified marketing consultants. It was founded in early 2001 in recognition of three phenomena: the need for corporate marketing organizations to optimize current and future resource planning; the explosion of qualified professionals entering the “free agent” workforce; and the unclear sustainability of the value proposition associated with billable-markup consulting agencies.

      Event Logistics


      Mitchell Park Community Center
      3800 Middlefield Road
      (between Meadow Drive and Charleston Road)
      Palo Alto, CA


    6:30-7:00pm registration/networking/refreshments

    7:00-7:20pm announcements and introductions

    7:20-8:30pm presentation and discussion

    8:30-9:00pm wrap-up/networking



    $15 at the door for non-SDForum Members

    No charge for SDForum members and students with ID

    No registration required

    Marketing SIG Main Page