How Much Do Marketing Consultants Make?

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A marketing consultant works with businesses to assist in creating the strategy for the marketing, branding and advertising of a particular business. A marketing consultant is solely focused on the client and works to help them drive customer engagement and figure out what a customer wants. Once that's established, the consultant helps the client develop (and implement) a plan to meet customer need.

Salaries for marketing consultants vary but are most often determined by demonstratable skills and expertise.

Marketing consultants have to be both creative and analytical. It's a balancing act between right brain and left brain activity. Tasks include: 

  • Marketing Research 

  • Planning Marketing Events 

  • Managing Press Conferences and Developing Press Releases 

  • Reviewing and Implementing Marketing Initiatives 

  • Reviewing Brand Creation and Development 

  • Monitoring Return on Investment of Advertising Campaigns 

  • Facilitating Client Marketing Strategy Meetings 

The salary range for consultants ranges from $40,000 a year to $100,000 a year, and sometimes more. The salary a marketing consultant commands depends on their level of experience, specialty in a particular field and knowledge about their client's business. 

Marketing consultants can either work for themselves or in a corporation. An example of salaries in a corporation as reported by Glassdoor include the following for internal marketing consultants: 

  • Dell - $95,000 to $104,000 annually 

  • Wells Fargo - A starting salary of $75,000 annually 

  • Wachovia - A starting salary of $55,000 annually 

Marketing consultants are paid in one of two different ways, either by the hour or by the project. If you decide to work independently your salary is derived solely from the fees you charge clients.

Consulting fees range anywhere from $25 an hour to $200 (or more) an hour. If you're unsure how much to charge I suggest charging an hourly rate in keeping with your years of experience and expertise. Here is an example of hourly rates charged by marketing consultants: 

Entry Level 
1 to 2 years experience 
$35 to $50 an hour 

Manager Level (Product or Marketing) 
2 to 5 years experience 
$50 to $75 an hour 

Director / Senior Level 
6 to 10 years experience 
$75 to $125 an hour 

VP Level 
11+ years experience 
$125 and up 

In order to charge the higher rate, you must be able to not only have ten-plus years of experience but be able to show examples of your work, have 2-3 client recommendations and a proven track record of success. 

Marketing consultants often work as contractors or freelancers after leaving a corporate job, but if you're planning your career path and think working as a marketing consultant is a stepping stone to a corporate job, here's the hierarchy of marketing consultant positions:

  • Marketing Manager
  • Marketing Director
  • Senior Marketing Manager
  • Marketing Communications Manager
  • Vice President, Marketing

A career as a marketing consultant is both challenging and rewarding. To be a successful marketing consultant you must be comfortable with strategic planning, management, developing internal and external communications campaigns and have a keen understanding of the world of digital marketing.