The more experience you have in a certain industry, the more clearly you can identify "red lights", or signs that a company will likely have a rough path ahead. Hearing consulting partners brag about their staff number is one of those.
This is incredibly outdated and demonstrates a lack of focus and a sound strategy. The most successful and profitable consulting firms now understand that you need access to skills, not ownership.
It's all about flexibility and speed. Having the capabilities you need while keeping a lean structure. Being able to learn and iterate strategy as the market changes increasingly fast.
Modern boutique consulting firms are looking at their marketing the same way.
Many are hiring one or two people in-house, and outsourcing a huge amount of work to outside contractors and specialized agencies. This allows them to scale initiatives on-demand. But it also creates new challenges.
More and more consulting partners I speak to are asking themselves:
- Where should we invest our resources to maximize ROI? How to create a long-term plan of action that works for us, and translates into pipeline and revenue?
- Who and how should we hire to implement initiatives? What is it preferable to do in-house? How can we vet and qualify contractors and outside agencies?
- How do we oversee execution and make sure these parts work together? What are the KPIs we should pursue? How do we speak the same language with specialized consultants?
Chances are, you are not the right person to answer those questions. But that doesn't mean you need to hire a Head of Marketing. You just need access to one.