Are the marketing consultants worth the money?
This is a touchy subject. Are marketing consultants like Michael Gerber and Henry Goudreau worth the money you will need to spend if you wish to receive their full service package? Prepare to spend more than $10,000 -- and keep spending -- if you go all the way with their service offerings.
If you look at their websites, or contact their organizations directly, undoubtedly, you will discover real testimonials describing how they've improved their clients' profitability and success -- and helped turn struggling companies into truly viable enterprises. And I don't doubt they are worth every cent of the money they charge, if you are ready to implement their strategies and follow their guidelines.
But my sixth sense, and some direct experience with Gerber's organization (I cannot claim the same experience with Goudreau or other marketing gurus) is 'be aware' and recognize that in many cases you are paying a small fortune for information that is available elsewhere, or is cookie-cutter stuff where, for the same amount of money, more individualized and much more effective consulting services may be available locally.
For example, take this one less-than-positive (among other very enthusiastic) reviews about Michael Gerber's book, "the E-Myth Contractor":
It puts a hook in your mouth., Oct 21 2003Reviewer: A customer
This book is filled with wonderful ideas and philosophies. They all make sense and seem to put you on the path to the realization of your goals. The problem is that not all the keys to making the ideas work that you could actually put into practice are provided in the book. The idea of the book seems to be to get the reader excited and then point them to a web site where one can sign up for classes (at a healthy fee) to learn the fundamentals of the systems and how to put them to use. The limited scope of the book was no doubt designed to provide the author, Mr. Gerber, with more income than he receives just through book sales. I would be very cautious before getting hooked because the "rest of the story" is provided in a lengthy process that is quite expensive.
Now, I'm not going to suggest Gerber, Goudreau, and other consultants aren't worth every cent of their money -- as noted elsewhere in this blog, pricing is a complex thing, and sometimes in marketing it makes sense to charge more -- because you define your market and attract the right kind of clients. And because these organizations attract more money from people willing to pay, the culture of their organizations is that you may find real uplifting networking value. In fact, I would advocate, if you are truly strapped for cash, and you decide to use one of these more expensive consultants, you will really get your value for money -- because you will care -- and do everything you are told, simply because of the level of commitment required from your end.
But I also advocate taking your time, thinking carefully, and realizing the true cost and value for money of the various options in consulting available to you. More on this later.