Five questions to ask when seeking an effective marketing consultant

Mark Schaefer
4 min readJun 6, 2024

Everybody knows there is a lot of marketing consultant guano out there. The entry barriers to becoming a social media guru or marketing consultant are extremely low. If you can create a website, you can call yourself an expert!

Normally I ignore this fluff. The fakers will eventually pass. I mind my own business, stay centered, and focus on doing good work.

But this week I had a wake-up call that was too awful to ignore. A self-proclaimed social media marketing guru sent me a “pitch” with advice that was SO BAD and SO WRONG that it was laughable. It made me wonder if there are people out there actually buying into this dangerous schlock!

I thought about the advice I give my friends when they are looking for a marketing consultant and decided to share it here. It seems like an obvious subject, but one that I’ve never covered before.

Here are five important things to look for if you’re hiring a marketing consultant.

1) Do they have a plan? (They shouldn’t!)

If a marketing consultant comes to you with a pre-determined plan to run your social media operations, run away.

This is by far the biggest problem in our field. Marketers / content specialists /…



Mark Schaefer

Keynote speaker, marketing strategy consultant, Rutgers U faculty and author of 10 books including KNOWN, Marketing Rebellion, and Belonging to the Brand!