How is your marketing strategy performing? Is it effectively reaching the potential customers you want to reach? Or do you feel like you might be wasting your time on some elements of your marketing? It’s always important to keep an eye on the analytics of your digital marketing. Sometimes, however, you have to take a closer look. That’s where a marketing audit can come in handy.
In today’s blog, let’s talk about what a marketing audit is and how to tell when you might need one.
A marketing audit is a comprehensive, organized examination of all aspects of your marketing practices. A marketing audit can help you see what’s working and what isn’t. It can also help you optimize your budget and your marketing ROI. For instance, if there are parts of your marketing strategy that are costing more money than they get back in profit, your marketing audit will show that. You can then cut those elements. If you need to expand your marketing budget, your marketing audit may be able to justify that to the executives.
A marketing audit can be conducted internally, or by a third party. Generally, a third party marketing audit is recommended. A third party can give you an unbiased, external assessment. If they regularly perform marketing audits, they can also bring that context of experience to your audit.
So how do you know when you might need a marketing audit? There are a few situations in which a marketing audit might be called for:
Are you struggling to bring in new clients, but you’re not sure exactly what’s going wrong? You’ve done the market research, you’ve crafted a great strategy, but nothing’s working. There is likely an underlying issue, but you might not be able to see it clearly on your own. An audit can clarify exactly what’s going wrong and help you find ways to start getting results from your marketing.
Often, however, it’s not a matter of your entire marketing strategy failing or succeeding. It might be that some areas are bringing about great results, while others are underwhelming. If you’re putting the same effort into both areas, you might be frustrated by the varying results. An audit can pinpoint why one tactic works better than another, and how you might be able to bring them both up to new heights.
The truth is, sometimes you need to have a marketing audit even when nothing seems to be going wrong. Think of an audit like a medical checkup. If there’s a problem with your marketing practices, an audit might be able to catch it early — before you lose too much from the issue. So it may be a good idea to schedule a time to have regular marketing audits: such as at the end of a year or even the end of a quarter.
Once you know whether or not you need a marketing audit, next you need to know how to conduct one. If you choose to hire a third party, they will have their own process, though you may give input or need to follow them through that process. If you conduct an internal audit, this framework can help you know what to do:
- Set Your Goals and Objectives. What are the goals that you try to achieve with your marketing practices? Are you trying to get the best ROI? Trying to bring in as many customers as possible? Or trying to reach a particular demographic? You’ll need to keep this in mind for your audit, as these will form your key performance indicators (KPI).
- Assess Your Current Performance. For most audits, you would make a list based on your KPI. Then you assess each number on the list for performance. Take a look at what’s performing well and what isn’t. This is also a good time to assess any gaps in your marketing.
- Review Documentation. Are you thoroughly documenting your marketing process and your performance? A lack of documentation can cause your marketing performance overall to drop. Part of your audit will be reviewing documentation and making sure your marketing is better documented in the future.
- Assess Your Budget. Next, look at the budget. Do you have enough to do everything you need for marketing? Are you spending too much and are there ways you could cut costs? Or do you need more resources?
- Make Recommendations. Once all of this is complete and evaluated, you can look at the big picture of your marketing strategy. From there, you can make recommendations to improve it.