Let’s be frank. When you care about your business, it can be hard to keep an objective view on its performance.
That applies to operations in your office, to the wider market you’re working in, your internal training and development practices – and, most importantly, how your marketing is contributing to the business’ success.
When you have such a broad view of your business and its marketing efforts and are tracking overall performance, it’s almost impossible to determine whether each individual element of your marketing is optimised, purposeful, relevant and useful to your audience. What if there’s something you could do better? How do you discover what tactics your competitors are deploying? Could there be opportunities you’re missing?
A marketing audit can help provide neutral, objective answers to those questions. Expert analysis will not only provide you with clarity on how you’re performing and what to do next, but also highlight any gaps in your current efforts so you can fill them, ensuring all bases and opportunities are covered.
So, whether you’re struggling to optimise your marketing budget, having difficulty overcoming resistance to change from colleagues within your business, or are unsure how to increase your efficiency, a marketing audit can help.
The hygiene check for your marketing
Just like your bi-annual visit to the dentist, an audit ensures your marketing is not only healthy, but is in great condition, and any potential problems are nipped in the bud.
By helping to identify your strengths and weaknesses as a business, as well as opportunities and threats in your market, a marketing audit helps you plan for the future with clarity. So you can optimise your marketing efforts and achieve your business’ growth, innovation and scale.
Plus, the report delivered from your audit can help you educate your business’ board members, too. You can use the information collated to keep your stakeholders informed about both your current performance and your intent moving forward. So, you can make a powerful business case for further investment – or for the redistribution of your current budget.
Marketing audits aren’t a one-off event
Just like those oral hygiene visits, you should complete a marketing audit at regular intervals.
It’s not glamourous, but if you leave it for five years – or until you already have a problem – it’s going to be costly and take longer to get back to top condition. By leaving a marketing audit until your results start slipping, you’re doing your business a huge disservice. You’ll be missing out on opportunities to build your brand-customer relationship and maintain peak ROI.
However, there are a few times when it’s especially important to have an audit performed – and that’s usually when your business is going through a time of change.
- Updating your brand. Significant changes to your brand means changes to your marketing strategy too. There could be changes to your tone of voice, channel selection or audience niche – and updating your marketing strategy in light of a refreshed brand look will give your business a total facelift. Plus, just like the turn of the decade, this is a great time to pull everyone together with restored inspiration and determination.
- Under new leadership. If you have new management, an internal restructure or your business has undergone an acquisition, you’ll need to perform a marketing audit. Not only does this ensure everybody is on the same page strategically, it helps in defining everyone’s role in the process – and boosting confidence and morale, too.
- Undergoing expansion. Whether you’re expanding into new markets or new physical territories, you’ll need to perform an audit. With the resulting intelligence and guidance, you’ll be able to refine your plans, and optimise your outcome.
- Experiencing a lull. A lull in trade or engagement can happen to any business. And, in fact, you may be expecting it given external factors such as the time of year or market conditions. But that doesn’t mean you should wind down your outreach: this is prime time for a review, regroup and redeployment of your marketing strategy.
- Needing more from your budget. Have a feeling you could be getting a better ROI on your marketing budget? An audit can show you the gaps in your current strategy and highlight where your current practices can be optimised. It will also give you the confidence to make new decisions and try something different, whilst still justifying your spend.
- Conflicting ideas on strategy. Sometimes, it’s hard to get everyone to agree on one course of action. This is compounded even further if your marketing teams are based in different locations. An audit provides an unbiased review, so you can define the best decisions for your business moving forward.
It’s not just what’s on the inside that counts
When working with an independent specialist, you will share everything about your business’ current marketing practices. That includes your objectives, your goals, your planning and management.
The process will also include a review of your activities against those of your competitors in the sector. This is what allows you to gain a 360 view, along with more context around your market position and performance.
For example, your competitors could be retargeting only a specific part of their target audience or website. Does this effect your own business’ audience selection? Should it effect your targeting or positioning? Or perhaps it might help to develop your USP?
There could even be differences between your competitors’ digital presence and your own. Maybe their website has a blog and yours doesn’t, or perhaps they support multiple languages.
From the tools your competitors are using, to the keywords they’re ranking for, their social strategy and what channels of communication they use: a comprehensive market and competitor analysis provides a ‘macro’ view which helps you contextualise, optimise and manage your own marketing activity. Understanding how other successful businesses within your sector are communicating – and building relationships – with their audience can reveal insights allowing your own business to get ahead.
New year, new you – and that goes for your marketing, too
It’s easy for businesses to get stuck in their ways. When you have a million and one things to think about, performing an in-depth review is the last thing you’ll want to spend your time on. But that’s precisely why having an independent external partner do it for you is so worthwhile.
P+S conduct marketing audits that are in-depth, unbiased, methodical and illuminating. You’ll benefit from a comprehensive review of your business’ performance, a complete internal and external market analysis, and you’ll learn how to save time, money and resources.
From tips on how to optimise your current marketing for greater impact, to advice on expanding your reach, automating operations and increasing ROI. We provide our partners with the tools they need to develop stronger audience relationships, build a stronger brand, and reach your goals.
Want to find out more? Or fancy chatting about our other tips for 2020 and beyond? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org today.