Addressing the Five Biggest Conspiracy Theories About Consulting

Insights / 2019.07.26

The truth about marketing is out there. We're starting a new series called the T-Files where we help you sort marketing conspiracy theories from proven theories using Tandem Truths.

The first topic we’re addressing is perhaps one of the most mystifying services out there - consulting. We’re shedding light on what it is, whether it’s valuable, and who needs it.

Companies hire consultants all the time for a variety of reasons, from troubleshooting a specific business or marketing problem to temporarily stepping in on a project. Despite that fact, many companies struggle getting past the stigmas, or myths, attached to hiring a consultant. Many are concerned that hiring a consultant puts senior leadership’s abilities and authority into question. Others think they’ll get a pre-baked, one-size-fits-all solution. Some even think there’s no way a consultant could truly know their company, industry or market.

Are any of these concerns valid? Like in any industry, there are some bad apples, so some consultants may fulfill those predictions. However, when done right, consultants can move a company’s business forward in alignment with their goals and missions, all without breaking the bank.

Here are the five biggest myths about consulting and how we address them.

Conspiracy Theory #1: Consulting doesn’t provide concrete value.
Tandem Truth: Good consultants provide actionable insights and roadmaps.

Tandem Theory has an overall roadmap approach that has been honed over many years. Throughout our engagement, you’re going to have a plan supported by insights. Our approach goes a little something like this:

  1. Research and Discovery
    We learn about you and your business, objectives and market.

  2. Customer Understanding
    We go deep on your customers’ wants, needs, motivations and beliefs.

  3. Divergent Initiative Planning
    We assess what we could do to build a strong brand-customer relationship.

  4. Convergent Initiative Planning
    We decide what we should do to build a strong brand-customer relationship.

  5. Roadmap and Recommendations
    We prioritize and plan our client’s initiatives with them.

Conspiracy Theory #2: Consulting is generic
Tandem Truth: With the right approach, consulting is transformative.

At Tandem Theory, we take a right-sized approach using an in-depth discovery process to develop a customer journey that's as unique as your brand. Consulting that's custom - as it should be.

There’s a number of potential activities we would conduct, all unique to your business’s needs:

  • Conduct stakeholder interviews.

  • Document the brand.

  • Access and analyze first-party customer data.

  • Request relevant documentation on current and past marketing efforts, with outcomes and reasons for success/failure.

  • Conduct secondary research on industry, market and competitors.

  • Conduct a technology infrastructure audit, focusing on customer data collection, handling and sharing.

  • Conduct a marketing technology audit focusing on the purpose and value of all MarTech (including homegrown and processes embedded in infrastructure technology).

  • Conduct product review(s).

  • Perform a customer service audit.

Conspiracy Theory #3: Consulting is only for the financially troubled.
Tandem Truth: Hiring a consultant is a financially savvy decision for most companies.
Consulting is actually for the financially savvy – those who understand an evolving digital space with increased consumer demands requires proactivity. Here’s the truth. We thrive only if our clients thrive. So being in the business of results-based growth requires us to meet clients at their point of need and that includes their budget.

When your company starts wondering whether or not to bring in a consultant, the question you should really be asking is, “Who is the right consultant?”. If you’re an action-oriented company wanting to quickly develop the right roadmap to success, Tandem Theory is the answer.

Consulting Myth #4: Consulting only results in a PowerPoint deck
Your business is valuable to you and therefore any investment into the business should result in added value. Here are a few of the deliverables we may create, depending on the engagement if it makes the most sense:

  • Business Summary

  • SWOT Analysis

  • Market and Competitor Analysis Summary

  • MarTech Ecosystem Map (if appropriate)

  • Customer Data Flows and Architecture Diagrams

  • Segment and Cohort Definitions

  • Customer Experience Map

    • Shows all touchpoints, customer empathy maps at key touchpoints

  • Current Sales Funnel, with Opportunity Analysis

  • Single Frames of Potential Initiatives

  • Future Sales Funnel Planning Document

  • Single Frames of Planned Initiatives

  • Pro Formas for each Planned Initiative (to the level of detail possible)

  • Prioritization Matrix

  • Roadmap of Initiatives

    • Shows dependencies

  • KPI Matrix:

    • Documents what the outcome measures of each planned initiative are

    • Highlights how the planned initiatives ladder up to the business objectives roadmap, showing dependencies


Consulting Myth #5: Consulting takes forever
Good news! Because our process has been tried and proven, and because of the organization’s focus, we’re able to shorten timelines and get to market faster. In some cases, our deep knowledge of a client’s category/vertical (be it CPG, QSR, Retail, Technology, etc.) allows us to cut through faster and provide insights from the outside that are not always readily visible to those within.

If you’d like to learn more about how we can revolutionize your digital media approach through consulting, send us an email at maddison.tailor@tandemtheory.com.

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