As marketers, we’re all the time in search of ways to enhance our game plan. But with so many tactics and channels available, knowing where to focus our efforts may be difficult.
Ultimately, no marketing strategy is ideal. A marketing audit gives you a holistic view of your marketing efforts, including what’s working, what may very well be improved, and where latest opportunities are present.
Here, we’ll take a more in-depth have a look at marketing audits, one of the best time to conduct one, and a number of best practices to tug one off.
Table of Contents
What’s a marketing audit?
A marketing audit takes an objective have a look at your current marketing activities, strategies, and performance. The goal is to judge the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and discover opportunities for improvement.
A marketing audit identifies the most important strengths and weaknesses of your current strategy. It highlights what plans, processes, and practices are simplest at meeting goals. Just as importantly, it builds a foundation for future decision-making by identifying opportunities, gaps, and areas for improvement.
To get one of the best results, your marketing audit must be objective, systematic, and recurring:
- Objective to make sure your it’s freed from bias
- Systematic to make sure your audit is structured, organized, and measurable
- Recurring so you possibly can discover and address problems early on
Consider that a marketing audit can encompass your entire operation or a subset of it — comparable to a selected campaign, process, or focus (e.g., social media marketing).
Elements of a Marketing Audit
A comprehensive marketing audit may include a number of of the next elements:
1. SWOT evaluation.
A SWOT evaluation outlines the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of your marketing. Using this framework, you possibly can take inventory of your marketing assets and roadblocks.
2. Competitive evaluation.
Because the name suggests, a competitive evaluation takes stock of the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. It puts a magnifying glass on their products, prices, marketing strategies, campaigns, and audience.
3. Market research.
Even in case you think you realize your customers through and thru, market research can reveal even deeper insight into their needs, preferences, motivations, and behaviors. On top of that, you possibly can tap into emerging trends and latest opportunities within the marketplace, helping you stay ahead of the curve.
Who does a marketing audit?
A 3rd party typically conducts a marketing audit. That is for a number of reasons.
First, your audit must be as objective as possible. With this in mind, outsourcing to a 3rd party – slightly than conducting it internally — is the sounder option.
On top of that, third-party firms have more experience in conducting audits — and that have really matters. Often, they’re higher equipped to discover best practices and opportunities for improvement, and so they could have access to specialized tools, technologies, and research capabilities.
When should I do a marketing audit?
A marketing audit must be conducted regularly. In any case, the earlier you capitalize on what’s working (and treatment what’s not), the stronger your marketing plan can be.
In fact, the precise frequency relies on your organization’s industry, size, and goals. Generally, it’s good practice to conduct an audit on an annual basis.
Other aspects may trigger the necessity for an audit, including:
Now let’s cover the steps for conducting a marketing audit and a number of best practices.
Tips on how to Do a Marketing Audit
- Select what you ought to audit.
- Discover your goals and objectives.
- Collect the fitting information.
- Surface any findings or insights from the information.
- Make recommendations (and track them).
1. Select what you ought to audit.
As already mentioned, your marketing audit can cover your entire operation or goal a selected campaign, process, or area, comparable to social media or content. That said, different components of your marketing are sometimes interrelated, so it might probably be helpful to research “the large picture.”
Ultimately, what you select to audit is entirely as much as you and can rely on your marketing priorities.
2. Discover your goals and objectives.
Need to know which of your social media campaigns are performing well? Or how your content strategy stacks up against your competitors? Or, perhaps you ought to refresh your branding or customer personas.
Start by picking an objective that may serve because the “North Star” in your audit. Next, break down your object into measurable goals.
For instance, suppose your principal objective is determining which social media channels provide one of the best engagement. In that case, your goal may be, “Meet a minimum quota of 200 latest followers monthly on TikTok.” Then, your marketing audit would put this to the test.
3. Collect the fitting information.
Now that you’ve well-defined and measurable goals, the subsequent step is gathering information. This could come from various sources — comparable to campaign metrics, website traffic, social media metrics, and marketing spend.
As an example, in case you’re tracking the effectiveness of a selected campaign, HubSpot users can access a wealth of campaign data via the marketing analytics dashboard. From here, they will direct their marketing budget toward their most successful efforts.
You can too gather data from external sources like market research reports, industry benchmarks, and competitor evaluation — but ensure the information is reliable and accurate.
Once you’ve got gathered the information, organize it in a way that is simple to research and reference later. Chances are you’ll wish to create charts and graphs, and consolidate data right into a single document.
4. Surface any findings or insights from the information.
The way you evaluate your data relies on the goals of the audit. As an example, you would possibly perform a competitive evaluation in case you’re trying to evaluate your pricing strategy against your competitors.
Document the outcomes or findings from this step so you possibly can make effective recommendations down the road.
5. Make recommendations (and track them).
Lastly, make recommendations for improving your marketing strategy — comparable to readjusting your messaging, marketing channels, or spend.
For instance, in case you discover your Facebook promoting strategy is not capturing enough leads, a advice may be to redirect that spend to a different channel.
After you make these adjustments, monitor the outcomes to find out their effectiveness. This involves tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) and making changes as needed.
Back to You
Again, no marketing plan is ideal. By running a marketing audit, nevertheless, you possibly can capitalize on what’s working and resolve what’s not. The result? A more optimized strategy that drives results.