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Marketing Audits: What are they, and how can you perform one?

No doubt in your research or discussion with colleagues you have heard the term marketing audit. If this is a new term for you, fear not, as this article will give you all of the tools you need in order to perform your very own marketing Audit, optimized to best suit your business needs. Marketing Audits are an important part of the overall marketing process.

 

What is a marketing audit?

Marketing audits are a process widely used to improve the quality and effectiveness of one’s advertising methods. They help the business to consider where it’s leads are coming from, how it’s reaching them, and why it is using its current methods of marketing. Every business wants to improve its growth, and a marketing Audit gives businesses the tools and data they need to do that.

Whether or not you want to do a full-scale audit or perform a mini-audit is entirely your choice. Mini-audits are generally recommended as check-ins after a full audit has already been performed in the past year, but your marketing efforts may not yet be large enough to warrant a full-scale audit yet.

During an audit, you’ll examine external and internal factors that may be affecting your marketing performance and can be remediated through adjusting your marketing tools and placement of your budget. Another factor to consider when performing your audit is your team’s skills and what knowledge gaps they may have. Additional training and new tactics could help them to better connect with your customers on a deeper level.

 

How do you go about performing a marketing Audit?

By now, you have probably already heard about SMART Goals. Creating goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based is vital to successful marketing as a whole and is a strong foundation for how you may want to approach your audit. When starting with SMART Goals, you can set a baseline for yourself or your team before you look at data so that you have standards for the information to measure up to.

Once you have created your goals, consider your reach. How many digital sales do you have within the time you are examining? Are your social media posts being reshared or receiving traffic? What does your website traffic look like, and what Inbound links do you have? You can do these things in organic formats where your customers create a word-of-mouth situation, or you can opt to utilize your budget to pay for opportunities that may enhance your reach or expose your content to a larger audience.

When examining your reach, you also must consider your tools. This is where mechanics plays a role in your audit, because if you are seeing numbers that do not suit your goals you may want to reconsider the methods with which you are trying to get in touch with your potential customers. If Facebook isn’t working for your brand but Instagram is, consider which tool you would rather invest in once your audit is finished.

Content. You know the term, but do you know how important it is to your personal branding and advertising? The content you create should be a direct reflection of your brand and its goals, so if some of your photos or blog posts are outside of that realm, you should consider paring down your content until you can find something more relevant. If you do not already have a Content Strategy Plan, it is highly recommended that you find one or commission one from an expert. These plans can be helpful in focusing and itemizing the content you create to form a synonymous and effective strategy.

What do your conversion rates look like? How many of your leads are returning to your site or purchasing an item? The process involving conversion during this audit should be focused on creating a dialogue or a rapport with the customer and any changes that are necessary to facilitate that. One of the most effective ways to understand your conversion rate is to take a look at your website analytics.

Integration, the process of linking between your various channels,also is something that you should pay attention to when performing your marketing Audit. If your social media doesn’t link to your website, customers may not know where to purchase your product or find out more information about your brand. If your social media isn’t available for customers to access via your website, they may find it difficult to trust that you have direct conversations with customers or that you may not be technologically savvy enough for their interaction.

Last but not least, you will need to do a deep dive into your tracking and metrics. By examining your reports and staying informed, you can utilize this information to optimize all of your mechanics and tools through an Adjustment Strategy. These also are something that you should check outside of your marketing Audit regularly — that way you can change your SMART Goals accordingly and provide your supervisors with consistently updated information.

 

Hopefully, you are now feeling more confident in performing a marketing audit for your own organization, whether that be a full-scale audit or a mini-audit. If you are in need of more information on marketing plans and content marketing, we recommend that you read our blog posts on 5 Content Marketing Mistakes to Avoid when Posting a Blog and SMB to Enterprise: What Does Your Marketing Plan Need? .

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