Are Management Consultants actually helpful?

Many Business Owners are reluctant to engage Consultancy Services for various reasons. Reluctance to share confidential information, cumbersome procedures and long meetings, mistrust of outsiders are some common reasons preventing many Small Medium Enterprises from seeking consultancy engagements.  

Chart on size of global management consulting marketing from 2011


Statista is a leading provider of market and consumer data and it charts the size of global management consulting industry from 2011 to 2020. The consultancy industry is worth a whopping 160 billion US Dollars in 2019. So how can professional consultants add value to your business? 

Here are seven reasons why you should consider hiring a Management Consultant in 2021 (Hint: Read till the end for a Bonus Tip!)

1.      Consultants Bring In-depth Expertise

Consultants usually specialise in a specific domain, one where they are longtime experts. Being specialists in a particular industry (I.e., Digital Marketing or Social Media Marketing) or work function (I.e., Human Capital Development, Compliance or Marketing), Consultants usually have in-depth knowledge in their respective verticals and is aware of the latest trends and developments in their area of speciality. 

 2.      Consultants Have Field Experience

Most consultants are experts in their field with 5 or more years of industrial experience under their belts. They would probably have worked on similar projects or consulted clients who face similar problems as your firm. This means they would have seen the common pitfalls or heard of the industry best practices that can help in alleviating your pain points. 

 3.      One-Off Project Implementation

Small and Medium Enterprises can tap on consultancy services to implement one-off projects. Most SME has manpower shortage concerns or lack of specialised staff to lead a particular project implementation. Instead of hiring a full-time employee immediately, Business owners can engage external consultants to plan and implement a fresh initiative before considering adding to the headcount permanently.  

For example, business owners can consider engaging a Brand Agency such as Visual Studio to conduct a Brand Audit and develop a Brand Identity, before hiring a Brand Manager to maintain the Brand assets at a later stage. 

Visual Studio - Five steps to building a brand strategy

4.      Neutral Point of View

External consultants have no added incentive to say what the business owners want to hear. Consultants are often neutral in their assessments and provide more effective diagnosis of the issue. This allows them to make the most objective recommendations to bring the business forward, something that a long sitting team might not be able to provide. 

 5.      Contentious Decisions

Businesses may encounter contentious or emotional situations where it is difficult for management to make a call. Situations such as marking job redundancies or adopting automation can be damaging for team morale if the call was made internally. In such situations, external consultants are less emotionally attached and their recommendations are often seemed as less biased by the employees affected, thus generating higher buy-ins. 

 6.      Cost Efficiency

While consultancy services charge a fee to administer the project, the business owners do not have to incur permanent overheads, hiring and training costs or fixed costs such as providing a workspace or specialised equipment. 

 7.      Zest of Life

Having the same team working on the same issues for a long period can bring stagnation or lead to Herd Mentality. This Ogilvy article talks about the Implications of Herd Mentality. In this study, Dr Toyokawa concludes that people may rely more heavily on following the herd rather than learning for themselves when dealing with difficult tasks and within big groups.

The last thing you want when working on a difficult strategic plan is a group of executives thinking and saying the same thing. External help can bring a fresh perspective to the discussion and spark a stagnated team. This zest of life can sometimes be the catalyst for bringing the entire project forward.  

8.      Enterprise Singapore Grants **

If your business is registered in Singapore, here is a bonus reason why you should consider engaging a consultant. Companies can engage an Enterprise Singapore-recognised consultant and apply for Enterprise Development Grant support (up to 70% of qualifying costs) to fund consultancy-related projects such as Brand and Marketing Strategy Development. Certified consultants, such as those from Visual Studio, are recognised by Enterprise Singapore to have the right knowledge, competence and ethics to support businesses in their growth strategies. 

In short, Consulting is definitely more than just providing advice. Good consultants can bring in-depth expertise and experience to build a sound foundation for your business so that you, the business owner, can concentrate on doing what you are good at to grow the business.

Original Image & Video Credit: Statista, Annoying Orange

5 Things about Social Media Marketing

Do you know that over 86% of Singaporeans aged 16 to 44 actively engages with at least one social media platform?

This upward trend will only continue into the post-Covid-19 era. If you have not included social media marketing into your suite of marketing strategies, it is time to reconsider. 

Here are five things you want to know about Social Media Marketing.

1.    What is Social Media Marketing?

Social Media Marketing is defined by Wikipedia as the use of social media platforms and websites to promote a product or service. The terms E-marketing and Digital Marketing are sometimes used interchangeably. 

As with traditional Marketing, it is recommended to kickstart a Social Media Marketing Campaign by first setting up your goals. What do you want from your social media campaign? 

😎 Create Brand Awareness?
🚗 Drive Sales?
📞 Lead Generation?
🙋‍♂️ Customer Support?
📢 Public Relations?
💻 Etc.?

Every platform attracts a different group of users and can be effective in many ways if you use the platform wisely. If you are just starting out, it will be challenging to manage a number of social media platforms simultaneously. The best integrated marketing campaigns engage 1 to 3 social media platforms and concentrate on generating intriguing content to its target audience. 

2.    What Social Media Platforms are there?

There are many social media platforms, and even more being developed right this moment. Check out the following report by Hootsuite for the most-used social media platforms in 2020.

Most-Used Social Media Platforms by Hootsuite


Every social media platform offers different content and thus attracts a different user segment. Whatsapp, FB Messenger and Line are primarily Chat applications whereas Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat provide image-heavy content. Skype, LinkedIn, and Twitter are used widely for B2B outreach whereas Facebook, Instagram and Line are more effective in driving B2C sales campaigns. 

Consider building a Customer Avatar or Persona as you plan your Social Medial Marketing Campaign. A Customer Avatar will help you to zoom in on the demographics, consumption patterns and online behaviour of your customers. Know where and how they search for information will help you to position your Brand strategically, and effectively. 

3.    Common Social Media Metrics

One key advantage of Digital Marketing versus Traditional Marketing is the availability of Data. Most, if not all, Digital Marketing strategies should be data-driven. Data such as demographics (I.e., Age, Gender, Annual Income, etc.) and purchase patterns (I.e., Average Basket Value, Customer Lifetime Value, etc.) will be helpful in steering your Social Media Marketing campaigns towards your target market and achieve your campaign goals. 

Common Social Media Marketing Metrics

Since every campaign has slightly different goals, there is no hard and fast rule on which metric to use in evaluating your campaign. You should understand the common metrics and select the most appropriate metric according to your goals. Alternatively, you may consider hiring a Digital Marketing Strategist like Visual Studio to drive and manage your Digital Marketing Campaign for you.

4.    Common Social Media Marketing tools

The good news is there are many tools available to help you with your social media marketing. While most of these tools work on a subscription basis, many provide free accounts with limited functions. Usually, these free accounts are good enough to get you started. 

Popular content generation tools include Ubersuggest, Socialanimal and Google Trends. These tools will help you understand the trending topics using keywords that your Customer Avatar might be interested in or searching for. 

To make your content attractive, try adding interesting images and pictures to your post or ads. Some common design & image editing tools include Canva, Adobe Spark and Pixabay. You can use these tools to customize a digital banner, design an article header or even create an Facebook ad. 

Sparke Adobe


Most social media platforms come with a variety of tracking tools. Google Analytics is one of the most common and insightful analytical tools. It measures your advertising ROI as well as track social networking sites and applications. If you are using Facebook for your business, you need to use Facebook Analytics (Also known as Facebook Insights). This Facebook tool tracks likes, page views, and tells you who your audience is and how they are interacting with your page.

5.    What is Community Management?

One key feature of Social Media Marketing is spontaneous engagement with your community, otherwise known as Community Management. It may include your potential clients, existing customers, or the public in general, and you need to manage such engagement well. 

Managing community engagement well will attract Fans to your Brand. This will generate valuable Social Capital in the long term. Remember the terms Impression and Reach? Every time you engage your community, it creates more content and potentially more Impressions and Reach for your Business.

However, you might want to be careful when dealing with negative comments on social media. Bad comments can spread quickly like a Fire. When faced with a complaint, do not sit on it because the drizzle might become a thunderstorm by the time you decide to draft a reply. Consider drafting a Community Engagement policy (I.e., Reply to all complaints within 48hours, task somebody to view and respond to all comments) to guide your responses and engagements.  

In the modern digital landscape, Social Media Marketing should be part of your Integrated Marketing Strategy. It is a long-term project but one that can bring tangible results and benefits to your Brand. Start exploring the various platforms and increase your company’s visibility today.