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April 26, 2021
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What is digital consulting?

Samara Bolling
VP, STRATEGY & UX

As a leader in your company, you need to be an expert in your industry. But it may not be a requirement to stay on top of constantly changing digital trends—that’s where a consultant comes in.

For example: Marketing technology platforms emerge and evolve at an incredibly rapid pace. You may have seen the martech graphic that outlines digital solutions by category—but have you really looked at it? Since 2014, the number of available digital solutions has grown by 745%! It’s unrealistic to think that CMOs or CIOs can keep up with 8,000+ platforms.

 

Graph showing the growth of martech platforms from 947 in 2014 to 8,000 in 2020

 

If you need to upgrade or re-evaluate your martech stack but aren’t sure where to start, call in the reinforcements. In fact, we recommend consultants for any digital knowledge gaps you’re looking to fill.

Digital consultants can help you better understand your industry, your competitors, your customers, and your business. They can also help you find ways to improve your website, your product processes, and your customer experience. Digital consultants aren’t just experts in martech—they’re experts in using digital solutions to solve real business problems.

 

Digital consultants must understand your industry, competitors, customers, business to improve your website, product processes, customer experience

 

Need to increase your ecommerce sales? A digital consultant can evaluate your online shopping process. They can conduct user experience research to identify exactly what should change in your digital ecosystem to get your customers to spend more money. They can evaluate your website against your competitors and identify new ways to elevate your brand.

Are your product and marketing teams living in spreadsheet hell? A digital consultant can help you evaluate the current state of your product data and streamline your internal processes. With insights like these, you can save time and money—and get products to market faster, meaning increased revenue.

With the right consultant, there’s nothing you can’t do. Whatever business challenge is keeping you up at night, it’s worth a 30-minute discovery call with a digital consultancy. Explain your issue. See what their initial ideas are. If they have a solution that’s right for you, it’s worth the investment to get the help.

 

Tiered roadmap for digital transformation

 

A digital consultant can help you create a tiered digital transformation roadmap to take your business from wherever it is today to wherever you want to be. They can empower you and your team to execute the plan on your own or they can stick around and guide you along the journey.

That’s the nice thing about digital consulting—you’re in the driver’s seat and the consultant is your copilot. You know where you need to go, and your consultant helps create the custom plan to get you there.

How to choose a digital consultant

Not all consultants are created equally. Like any businesses across any industry, we each offer different services and have experience in different areas.

 

Steps to choose a digital consultant: define problems, define budget, identify short list, reach out to colleagues, evaluate short list

 

To select the right consultancy, you must first define the problem(s) you want to solve. Identify what you can do on your own with your current team and where you need to phone a friend. Having your business goals and challenges mapped out ahead of time will ensure that you select the right firm with the right expertise.

Then, define your budget. Can you afford McKinsey? If so, give them a call. With more than 5,000 team members across more than 60 countries, they’re one of the best in the biz. But if your company has any budget constraints, consider selecting a smaller consulting firm that has experience working with businesses your size, in your industry, solving your specific problems.

From there, it’s time to identify your short list of possible consulting partners. As with anything else in life, we recommend starting with Google. Search for the specific problems you need to solve. See who’s published content on those topics.

Then, reach out to current and former colleagues. Who have they worked with? What were some of their best consulting experiences? Which agencies would they recommend and why? Peer-to-peer referrals are common in the consulting industry, and recommendations from a trusted source should pay dividends.

And lastly, evaluate your short list to select your consulting partner. Just because you got a recommendation from your trusted network doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do your own research. For each firm on your short list, visit their website. Look for case studies and client testimonials. Request demos. Call their references. Think of this like a really thorough, invasive job interview. Many digital consultants look good on paper, and it’s your responsibility to select one that walks the walk.

Obligatory shameless plug

It should come as no surprise that Ntara offers digital consulting services. (Why else would I write this article?) To save you some leg work in researching us, here are some quick examples of problems we help our clients solve.

If you need to select a new software platform that meets your unique business needs, that’s us. If you already have an enterprise resource platform (ERP) and are deciding whether to fund product information management (PIM), customer relationship management (CRM), or an ecommerce upgrade next, that’s us. If you need to identify the expectations of your most valuable customers so you can increase your online sales, that’s also us.

 

Ntara capabilities: research, UX design, PIM, web dev & integrations, managed services

 

Ntara has digital consultants across research, user experience design, product data process and governance, website development and software integrations, and digital consulting. We have been doing digital for businesses across multiple industries since 1999, and we have proven frameworks for uncovering the most profitable opportunities for your business.

If your business needs a digital consultant and you’re not sure where to start, drop us a line. We’ll talk through your requirements and evaluate whether or not we’re a good fit. Either way, this type of discovery will get you one step closer to finding a digital consultant.

Speak to a digital consultant today.

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