In this blog we will discuss:
- What is a marketing audit?
- Components of a successful marketing audit.
- How to conduct a marketing audit?
Let’s start with the basics.
What is A Marketing Audit?
Auditing your marketing strategy is the best way to identify problems and recognize opportunities. Just setting your strategy and forgetting it is not enough.
Marketing should always keep up with changing buying trends. Although it’s not necessary to conduct an audit every day, you should do one at least once a year. In this way, your budget won’t be wasted on tactics that don’t help you achieve your business’ goals.
You can do a general marketing audit or break it down to focus on some specifics, such as a digital marketing audit, image audit, content audit, or SEO audit.
An audit can provide many benefits to your marketing efforts: it can identify obstacles, it can help you benchmark your performance, and it can help you generate a solid marketing strategy.
A marketing audit can have hundreds of other benefits, but its main purpose is to help you take a step back and examine your entire marketing operation to help you make data-driven decisions.
So, what determines a successful marketing audit?
A Marketing Audit Should Include These Components
Even if your marketing audit varies according to your goals, there are still a few fundamental components that you need to include.
Here are 4 components to keep in mind
- Comprehensive – Your audit should cover every aspect of your marketing; you shouldn’t only focus on proving your assumptions.
- Systematic – You need to have planned steps to follow that take into account your environment, strategy, and objective.
- Independent – You want your audit to be unbiased, and the best way to do so is to have your audit performed by an external party.
- Recurring – Don’t wait until it is too late. Conduct a marketing audit regularly to stay ahead of any problems that may occur.
Even though these components appear simple, it is quite difficult to implement in practice. Companies tend to get overwhelmed with the process and begin to cut corners.
Marketing Audit: What to Do
You must look back on your past to plan for your future. Analysing your past work is essential when performing an audit.
Here are 6 steps to help you conduct a successful marketing audit:
Define Marketing Goals
It’s like putting a light at the end of your path when you set a goal. Making sure you’re going in the right direction, it guides you along the way.
Many marketers struggle with setting unactionable goals. Their goals are often too general or poorly thought out.
When creating your goals, you want them to be SMART.
- Specific – You want to make your goals as clear and specific as possible.
- Measurable – You need a way to track and measure the success of your goals. Determining a KPI is a great way to make sure you know what you are aiming for.
- Achievable – While bigger is usually better, that is not always the case when it comes to setting goals. You want your goals to be realistic. Otherwise, you will not be able to achieve them, and it can leave you feeling unmotivated.
- Relevant – You want your goals to be beneficial to your business.
- Time-based – Setting a deadline makes it easier to stay motivated and helps you to prioritize tasks.
- Not a SMART goal: “I want more customers.”
- SMART goal: “By the end of the second quarter, I want to have 20% more visitors on our website.”
Can you see how much easier it will be to achieve the SMART goal? Establish short-term and long-term goals that you want to achieve over the next few weeks, months, and years. Your path becomes more clear once you identify your goals.
Prepare a spreadsheet containing all marketing assets you wish to audit. Site maps, social media posts, blog content, email newsletters, and other assets can be included in this category.
In order not to become overwhelmed with too many assets, we recommend conducting an audit every year or every six months. If your last audit was more than six months ago, you can now focus on anything you have added since then.
Be sure to include any data that you may find useful when compiling your assets. Included in this are your URLs, KPIs, keywords, content type, and metadata. As a result, you will have all the information you need in one place when it comes time to analyse.
Determine Your Audience
Without the right audience, even a great marketing strategy is worthless. Establish what content resonates with your audience and get to know them.
One great way to understand your audience is by creating customer personas. You will learn things such as interests, pain points, demographics, and behaviors from this, which will help you understand your ideal customer.
Your current customers are important, but you should also think about who your target market might be. If your offerings are relevant to different segments that you do not currently target, you can focus your efforts on those segments.
As a business, you should never compare yourself to others, but your customers are doing it all the time. Decide on 3-6 competitors that offer products or services similar to yours.
By studying your competitors, you can identify your differentiator that you can include in your marketing strategy and promote to your audience. Consider their offers, features, and benefits, as well as the way they promote them.
Some things to take into consideration are:
- Social Media
- Paid Ads
Even though you do not want to copy your competitors, you can observe what is successful and what is not. As well, you can use this as a reference point for comparing your success and failure.
Now that you have all of your data in one location and have a better understanding of your company’s goals, it is time to analyse your data. This is where you look for patterns and identify any strengths or weaknesses.
Some things to analyse are:
- What is your audience looking for that you aren’t providing?
- What assets are not reaching your desired KPIs?
- What content is outdated?
- What content is doing well, and can you repurpose it?
In step 1, you should check your results to see if they are meeting the SMART goals you set.
To conclude, you should compare how you are doing to the competitors you looked at in step 4. You can decide if you set goals that were too high if you didn’t reach them but are doing better than your competition.
From there, you can determine if there are any threats or opportunities for your business and take action.
Make A Plan
A plan for action needs to be developed once the audit has been completed. Identifying and remediating any problems should be the top priority. Perhaps you need to revamp your website or select new keywords because yours aren’t attracting qualified leads.
That’s when the fun begins. Now you have to start taking advantage of the opportunities you discovered. Perhaps you have noticed that you can offer something your competition cannot. Perhaps your target audience is using a social media channel you aren’t using.
Reach out to a marketing agency if you’re not sure what steps to take to improve your marketing.
Conduct A Marketing Audit with Stich
Performing a marketing audit on oneself can be hard for many businesses. Identifying opportunities and admitting that you are doing something wrong can be difficult. For this reason, so many turn to third parties for marketing audits.
At Stich, we are a driven by data. By having our paid advertising experts run a digital marketing audit on your current campaigns, we show you exactly where there are holes in your current ad structure, and how much you can save by making a few tweaks.
We keep your information 100% confidential. If you are currently running campaigns in-house, or have an agency managing them for you but suspect there may be more ways to maximize your opportunities (it’s okay – we won’t tell), simply contact our team, and our digital experts will analyse your current campaigns and potential!