6 Reasons to Hire a Media Consultant
By Nick Pietropinto
To quote Bob Dylan, “The times they are a-changin’” — particularly for direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands. Rapid changes on the D2C landscape can lead to challenges and uncertainty when it comes to making key strategic decisions that impact growth. Let’s take a quick look at some of major sources of this uncertainty, starting with the economy.
While predictions of a recession may be waning, D2C brands are still wary of inflation and fluctuating interest rates. JP Morgan data shows that around 79 percent of business leaders said business costs are still on the rise, and interest rates rank as a top concern for 25 percent of them. Rising global conflict and geopolitical tensions only add to economic woes — disrupting stability, supply chains, and consumer confidence.
Rapid changes in media and technology, including the emergence of AI and the demise of third-party data, are further contributing to uncertainty. Consumers’ media habits have undergone major shifts in recent years and will continue to do so. Smart phone ownership has increased 41 percent globally since 2019; a record 4.9 billion people are now on social media; linear TV is in decline while streaming is expected to see 13.8-percent growth in 2024; YouTube and Twitch are gaining major traction; retail media continues to make a surge; and young consumers are spending more time on their gaming consoles than ever before. The result is a fragmented, complex, and ever-evolving media landscape that makes D2C marketers’ heads spin.
The common instinct for D2C brands during uncertain times is to wait it out and hope for a return to stability. This can lead to a state of paralysis, when — in reality — it’s more important than ever to keep moving forward when confronted with challenges and change. It’s also important that those moves be directed by strategy.
In times of uncertainty, hiring a media consultant may be one of the smartest strategic decisions a D2C brand can make. Here are six reasons why.
1. Control Costs
According to a recent World Federation of Advertisers survey, 73 percent of businesses say they’re heavily scrutinizing their budgets in fear of an economic downturn, and 30 percent of advertisers cut their budgets in 2023. Working with a media consultant will save you the cost of hiring a permanent full-time marketing manager. A savvy media consultant will also bring the experience, connections, and strategies to help lower your customer acquisition costs and make your media budget go further.
2. Drive Revenue
Change can bring challenges, but also opportunities. The right media consultant will help you: confidently navigate today and tomorrow’s complex, fragmented, and ever-shifting media landscape; find your target customers wherever they are; and drive conversions, which — in turn — drives your sales and growth. Your media consultant should also offer strategies for increasing lifetime customer value which helps offset those customer acquisition costs.
3. Fill Labor Gaps
Data shows that 56 percent of businesses cite labor shortages, recruiting, and hiring among their biggest business obstacles for 2024. Research also reveals it can take up to 44 days on average to hire a new employee, and up to a year to fully onboard them. And there’s always the risk that your new hire turns out to be the wrong fit.
If you’re struggling to find the right executive talent, then an experienced media consultant offers a cost-effective solution for quickly filling that gap and expanding your team’s knowledge. Media consultants aren’t as expensive as you might think, either — and surely less costly than an annual executive salary.
4. Find More Time
The best D2C media consultants will bring years (if not decades) of experience and specialized expertise, as well as value-added resources and relationships they can leverage to your advantage. Entrusting a media consultant to lead and drive strategies will additionally free you and your leadership to focus on other business-critical activities and goals.
A good media consultant can help unite your teams and keep their eyes on the prize. You’ll spend less time managing vendors, supervising media activities, and wondering if your marketing staff is doing what they need to get done. Considering that the average marketer works with 28 different vendors, having a media consultant manage these providers will save you significant time, headache, and costs.
5. See Continual Results and Improvement
The right media consultant will be able to demonstrate ROI for your media investments and marketing efforts. To that end, look for a media expert who employs a data-driven methodology that incorporates analytics to measure results, see what’s working, and identify opportunities for improved performance across your media placement and marketing. Leveraging this data, your media consultant will be able to continually refine and recalibrate media mixes and marketing programs to generated sustained returns.
6. Be Agile and Innovative
Uncertain times call for innovation and agility, not paralysis. An outside media consultant with a fresh, unbiased perspective can help you help you tackle challenges and think differently about your D2C media and marketing strategies (or help you develop one). A seasoned media pro will call on years of experience and best practices to show you smarter, more effective ways to grow your brand with a smaller budget and fewer resources. They can also help complete projects faster, avoid costly mistakes, and fast-track results without sacrificing quality.
Rather than a replacement for a CMO or other marketing executives, a media consultant should be a collaborative partner who works closely with your current team to help them think and act more strategically, creatively, and efficiently. With a focus on media management, your consultant can also help you quickly adapt to and anticipate an ever-changing media landscape to optimize your mix, message, and reach.
At Double Diamond VIP, that’s exactly how we approach our media consultancy — as collaborators and partners who serve as an extension of our clients’ teams. With more than two decades of D2C leadership experience, we’re ready to hit the ground running, keep our clients’ businesses moving forward, have an immediate impact, and turn times of uncertainty into catalysts for opportunity. Learn more at www.TryD2C.com.
Nick Pietropinto is the founder and CEO of Double Diamond VIP. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.