Marketing is exceptionally important during recessions and other uncertain times, but are you getting the most bang for your buck? A company’s marketing needs change regularly and continually using the same approach is a poor idea if you value continued growth.
So how can you figure out the right changes that you need to make? The answer is to carry out a marketing audit.
When you carry out a marketing audit, you’ll take a critical look at your business’ marketing strategies and see whether they’re still working or whether you need to change.
In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at what a marketing audit is, how you may carry out a marketing audit, and why they’re important. Are you ready to learn more and start working on refining your business’ marketing efforts? Then read on.
What Is a Marketing Audit?
A marketing audit is, at its core, a comprehensive review of a business’ marketing efforts. For objectivity’s sake, it’s better if an audit is carried out by a third party. The auditor needs to take a look at every aspect of the company’s marketing, not only where it is succeeding, nor only where it is failing.
There may be hidden problems in your marketing’s successful aspects, as well as salvageable aspects from areas where you’re going wrong. There may also be ways for one to support the other. Similarly, you shouldn’t wait until a downturn before you carry out an audit: they’re something that you should be doing regularly.
The result of a marketing audit is a truly objective view of your company’s strengths, weaknesses, and the causes of both. There should be strong data and analysis that you can then use to reshape your marketing strategy as necessary to help you achieve your goals.
How to Carry Out a Marketing Audit
So we’ve looked at what a marketing audit actually is, but how do you carry one out? Let’s take a closer look at the key steps in the process.
Define Your Goals
The first step of a marketing audit is all about defining the goals that you want to achieve. What would you like to achieve with your marketing? You should set SMART goals, meaning that they are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Limited.
Some examples of SMART goals could be:
- Boost your company’s sales by 20 percent within a year
- Double your audience within two years
- Generate 50 percent more sales leads within six months
Consider the Subjects of Your Audit
Every business will have its own needs and marketing style. Consider the way that you market and what you’re going to need to look at. Some examples that your audit should include (if relevant) include:
- Staff performance
- Marketing channels
- SEO strategy
- Website design and usability
- Social media performance
- Offline, physical marketing
Choose Competitors to Analyze
A great marketing audit should take your competitors into account. They are a crucial part of your marketing environment, so comparing your marketing and theirs is a great way to see where you’re going right and where you’re going wrong.
It’s probably not feasible for you to analyze every competitor, so take a look at your closest competitors. The ones that are approximately the same size as your company and that target the same sort of customers.
How Do Your Products and Services Compare?
Different products and services require different marketing approaches. Take a look at your products and services in comparison to those of your competitors. Think about how well they compare and whether your marketing strategy is tailored to fit your services or if you’re aping that of another company.
Why Carry Out a Marketing Audit?
We’ve taken a look at some of the key steps of the marketing audit process. After you’ve gathered your analysis and data, you can then use that to reshape your company’s marketing efforts, yet what are the real rewards of doing this? Why should your company carry out a marketing audit at all?
Easier to Keep Track of Your Marketing Efforts
Most companies take a multi-faceted approach to marketing. Your marketing team most likely adds new tools, strategies, and practices regularly, which can become overwhelming to all of those outside of the team. A marketing audit lets you inventory your marketing tools and strategies so that you can get a birds-eye view of your entire marketing approach.
See Where You Need to Improve
An audit offers you a critical view of your shortcomings. Knowing where you are going wrong, especially in comparison to your competitors, allows you to course-correct before these errors become critical or business-threatening.
Spot Problems Before They Occur
An audit lets you see where you’re succeeding but it should also take changing marketing climes into account, as well as general economic changes. This lets you take a look at where you’ll need to change in the near future, and gives you the time to formulate a new marketing strategy in advance.
Make the Most of Your Resources
No one has an unlimited marketing budget, so you need to make the most of your limited resources. A marketing audit shows you where your money is going to waste and lets you redivert that capital into something more fruitful.
Audits Are a Vital Part of Business
Marketing audits are as vital to your business as employee performance reviews. You wouldn’t keep an underperforming employee, so why should you stick to marketing approaches that aren’t benefiting you?
Our experts are here to help you audit your business, offering professional, objective, and constructive criticism that will help make your business more efficient. For more information, or if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us.