Marketing consultant or contractor – what’s best?

December 8, 2022
Marketing communications

We are often asked how to approach a short term marketing task or brand project, and whether a contractor should be “employed,” or whether a consulting firm or consultant would be more appropriate. So we’ve created a quick summary on the different strengths and weaknesses of both.

At the end of the day the decision  depends on the nature and size of the task and the future requirements of the business or marketing going forward. 



  • Accountability & transparency – fixed project stages, deliverables and timelines
  • Speed, experience and specialist knowledge
  • Flexibility – turn on and off more quickly
  • Breadth of knowledge – from different categories/industries
  • More timely and contemporary knowledge – eg digital trends, marketing measurement, lead generation and lead nurturing software
  • Easier to have the tough conversations – a supplier, not employee
  • Access to best in class tools/case studies and the entire firm for ideas, insights, suggestions
  • Business based, less employee based recommendations
  • goes to a broader understanding of costs and implications around ROI
  • Responsiveness – capacity can be dialed up and dialed down
  • Other aligned skills of the firm engaged – easily and seamlessly


  • Single point sensitivity – if the contractor doesn’t work out the entire process starts again
  • Finding a person with the right balance of skills around strategic insight versus day to day implementation can be difficult
  • Commitment – frequently contractors take two day a week opportunities whilst seeking a 5 day one…
  • Employee mindset versus accountable mindset, often prevails
  • Isolation
  • marketing often benefits from cross flow and interrogation of ideas across marketers



  • Accountability around fixed cost
  • Seen as part of the team – more seamlessly able to become one later, if this is the intent
  • Committed and organised
  • In for two or more days a week
  • Specialist, knowledge can be obtained based on individuals resume and specific experience


  • Hourly cost
  • Commercialism – proactive consultants are appropriately looking to grow fee revenue
  • As with contractor, quality of the output is directly attributed to the quality of the consultant assigned from the firm


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