How much does a marketing consultant cost?

It’s never easy knowing whether what you have been charged is value for money and particularly when determining the cost and usefulness of a marketing consultant.

Despite what many would have you believe, cost and value frequently couldn’t be more dissimilar.

High price does not always equate to high value, although there is merit in the adage that “you get what you pay for.”

There are a variety of aspects to be taken into consideration in order to strike the correct balance between a marketing consultant’s cost and value. For example, you must carefully analyse how they justify their rates, what you anticipate they will do, and what you anticipate the outcome to be.

You can tell whether a marketing consultant is charging fairly and moderately by looking at the responses to the following questions:

  • How many years of marketing experience do they have?
  • How applicable is their past work to your business?
  • What is their track record?
  • How are they helping you?
  • Where are they located,
  • How do their costs stack up against those of their competitors? 

We’ll provide you with some general pricing guidelines for marketing consultants and explain what you can expect at each price point. We will also go over the various price structures and compare their benefits and drawbacks.

Marketing Consultant daily price ranges

Here is what you can anticipate if the marketing consultants you are evaluating employ a per-day pricing approach, which is very typical:

Daily range: £150 to £250

At this price range, you should expect to work with a recent graduate with at least a year of experience. They should be able to carry out day-to-day marketing activities such as updating websites, proof reading content, posting on your social media and other basic duties. 

Daily range: £300 to £450

These marketing consultants should be experienced project managers. Able to implement your strategy.

To be considered value for money they should have a minimum of five years’ worth of experience as well as demonstrable expertise in developing integrated execution plans.

Daily range £500 to £1500

If a marketing consultant or consulting firm charges more than £500 per day, they should have more than ten years of experience, a track record of success, and experience working with large organisations.

Additionally, they will have experience working with companies that have substantial marketing budgets, showcasing their capacity to oversee extensive campaigns.

Please keep in mind, however, that the amount of time spent working does not always indicate quality, but it does suggest that they have had enough experience to be exposed to a variety of situations to be able to offer advice from.

Other pricing structures

However, there are other pricing structures which consultants can use. For example some prefer to charge by the project or the hour.

You should thoroughly weigh your options because some may appear less expensive at first glance but end up being much more expensive overall.

For instance, if you and your marketing consultant haven’t set clear objectives and boundaries, the hourly rate model could easily become out of hand.

A good marketing consultant will give you reasonable notice if they need to put in more hours than they first disclosed to you, and you should expect them to communicate the reasons the project is taking longer than anticipated.

If this is the case you should strongly consider contracts or retainers. You can hire a marketing consultant on a month-to-month basis or on an annual contract.

It is crucial to ask these questions, check that any contract clauses are understandable, and make sure that the exit terms are reasonable and open.

Resources and time-based pricing

A fixed day rate or hourly rate is typically used in time and resource-based pricing models to determine how much you will be paid.

You should anticipate being charged for the precise amount of time performed along with any material costs when using this type of strategy. The following is a list of the benefits and drawbacks of time- and resource-based models.


  • Value can be more easily verified because you can check how much time was spent on each task.
  • Pricing is logical and straightforward.


  • Trust is necessary because a consultant could provide you false information about the amount of time spent on a work.

  • Your consultant could decide to move slowly.

  • If there are any delays or errors, you might have to pay for them. 

Project-based work is usaully priced using time and resource-based pricing. 

Fixed Fee Framework

A well-liked substitution for variable time-based pricing is the fixed fee approach. If your marketing consultant uses this arrangement, you may anticipate paying the pre-set fixed fee agreed upon for your project—neither more nor less.

For instance, your marketing consultant would quote you a fee for completing the entire project if you asked them to write content for your website.

Cost-plus and value-based are both optional forms of fixed-fee pricing. These two pricing structures differ significantly from one another, and each has its own set of benefits and drawbacks.

If you feel that knowing which of these models the marketing consultant you deal with uses to determine your fixed fee could help you make a decision, be sure to inquire directly.

Cost plus framework

Cost-plus is probably the most used fixed-charge pricing. It involves the marketing consultant estimating as precisely as they can how long and how much effort the project will take them to finish. After applying their markup, they provide you with a set price quote.


  • You will be fully aware of the fees involved.
  • Typically, you’ll have a firm deadline so you know when to anticipate project completion.


  • The consultant might request more money if something goes wrong or if they underestimated the time and resources needed, which could lead to arguments.
  • Since cost is not based on effort, consultants are less motivated to produce their best job.
  • Their time estimates are not guaranteed to be accurate, and they may overestimate to increase the cost.

Value-Based Fixed Fee Value-based fixed fee models apply a profit margin based on the client’s assessment of the worth of the engagement and deliverables. Utilizing this strategy, a marketing consultant effectively bases their fixed fee quote on the value the solution offers in order to set their price.


  • You will be fully aware of the fees involved.
  • Typically, you’ll have a firm deadline so you know when to anticipate project completion.
  • Increased attention on business results


  • If there is an underestimation of the time and resources needed or if your brief was unclear this could lead to conflict.
  • Since cost is not based on effort, this could mean consultants are motivated to get the job done quickly rather than produce the best results for their clients.
  • Some consultants might overestimate their time to increase the cost.

Again this type of pricing is suited to projects.

Risk/Reward Diagram

Risk/reward pricing is when you consent to pay a base cost as well as a risk/reward fee that ought to be in line with the campaign’s or project’s outcomes.

The risk/reward component of the charge is likely to be based on time, scope, cost, risk, benefits, quality, or a combination of these factors. It can be either variable or fixed.

Despite the fact that the risk/reward model has several advantages for you as the customer, the majority of consultancies do not use it.


  • Since the client and consultant share in the risk that marketing campaigns can bring. This model exhibits confidence in both the client’s product/ service as well as the consultant’s ability
  • An excellent means of motivating your marketing consultant to ensure maximum effort


  • Since the risk is higher for the consultant the reward must be really as high
  • This is more complicated than other models
  • Rigorous monitoring and measurement procedures are necessary.
  • Conflict can occur with your consultant about how valuable what has been achieved is.
Retainer Model

A retainer is a fixed fee that the client agrees to pay based on their anticipated need for a marketing consultant. The fixed fee is either a single advance payment, a recurring monthly fee, or an annual fee.

For instance, you might pay a monthly fee of £2,000 for 15 hours of assistance.

When you need a marketing consultant on a regular basis to cover a variety of work this model works the best the retainer model works the best.


  • You build a strong relationship with your marketing consultant through ongoing work and communication.
  • You are aware of the regular and fixed amount you will need to pay
  • It can also work as a payment plan, spreading the cost of larger projects across several months.


  • It’s not good if you are using a marketing consultant for the first time. 
  • Over time, a marketing consultant could grow stale or prioritise other clients.
Which Model Suits You Best?

The best pricing model for a marketing consultant depends on several things such as your preferred method of working with service providers, budget, cash flow, the type of work required, and the level of trust you have in the consultant. It’s important to keep in mind that the right model may not be clear at first and may change over time.

For example, you may initially believe a retainer model is best for consistency, but find that a hourly or day rate model offers a more direct correlation between cost and value. Ultimately, the pricing model is not the sole determining factor in choosing a great marketing consultant. If you find a consultant who meets your expectations, their pricing model should not be a hindrance.

To determine their ability, consider giving them a small, low-risk project. If they deliver effectively, balancing cost and value, the pricing model becomes less important. The ultimate goal is to work with a consultant who can achieve your desired results.

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