New marketing tools emerge every year, and many businesses adopt them to become part of the digital landscape — but not every company is using them correctly.
If you want to know whether you’re positioned to reach the maximum number of potential customers, you can better tailor your marketing programs by performing an audit of your marketing operations. This will allow entrepreneurs to see what’s working and what isn’t, and stay competitive.
A marketing audit is essentially a thorough analysis of all existing marketing goals, plans, activities and strategies. It often begins with a SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunities and threats) analysis of your business. Conducting a marketing audit enables entrepreneurs to evaluate the performance, budget and resources of their marketing programs.
Check out how conducting a marketing audit can help you improve your marketing strategies and how to perform them successfully.
Benefits of a Marketing Audit
A marketing audit enables entrepreneurs to make informed decisions based on facts, analysis and data to achieve the goals of their business. Following are the five ways marketing audits can help entrepreneurs improve their customer reach.
1. Discover Strengths, Weaknesses
Conducting a marketing audit can help you identify areas where your business needs improvement. It also enables you to pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses of a marketing program.
2. Select the Right Marketing Strategy
By identifying the strengths and weaknesses of your marketing program through an audit, you can make informed decisions about where to use your resources or employ new strategies to achieve better marketing results. A marketing audit can help business owners evaluate their marketing activities and realign them with their business goals and key performance indicators.
3. Gain New Ideas and Different Strategies
A marketing audit can help you discover new ideas and develop new marketing strategies that have tremendous potential. Thus, you can solve any underlying issues identified during the audit process.
4. Explore Your Competition
A marketing audit can help you analyze competitors’ successful strategies. Thus, you can plan how to implement them better, so your business may rise to the top. By exploring the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors, you can improve the way you approach your audience.
5. Save Time and Money
With regular marketing audits, you can optimize your investments by focusing on the activities that work best for your business. Audits can help you save time and money spent on marketing efforts that aren't right for your brand. Thus, you can better allocate your budget to invest more in the strategies that bring you the most ROI.
How to Perform a Marketing Audit
A marketing audit is a comprehensive and systematic review of business marketing efforts, from content and strategies to ads; from SEO to optimizing social media channels, and everything in between. A comprehensive marketing audit can uncover opportunities and highlight unknown strengths in seven simple steps.
Step 1: Describe All Marketing Goals and Objectives
Clearly define your marketing goals and align them with your business objectives. Some key marketing objectives include increasing brand awareness, customer size, market share, and qualified sales leads. Create both long-term and short-term marketing goals with available company resources, such as time, budget and personnel.
Step 2: Create Your Customer Personas
Create detailed buyer personas for your ideal buyers, including things like job titles or roles, industry, geographic location, company size, and other demographics.
Step 3: Identify the Competition
List the top competitors in your industry and their business information, such as the company name, website and headquarters location. Prepare a comprehensive list of all their products and services similar to yours. Then, analyze the performance of your products or services compared to your top competitors.
Step 4: Document Your Marketing Results
Create a detailed document that contains pertinent analytics information about your marketing programs, such as traffic by different channels, click-through rates, engagement, page views and shares, content length and type, page load speed and bounce rate.
Step 5: Analyze Marketing Results
As you analyze each section of your marketing data, you can get a pretty clear picture of your company’s stance — what you should improve upon or keep doing well. A marketing audit can help you determine whether you have executed your business strategies successfully. Thus, you can ensure that the daily marketing activities you perform are supporting your business goals.
Conducting a marketing audit allows you to analyze how your current efforts and campaigns are performing and how you’re progressing compared to your competitors as months or years pass. Thus, you can monitor the performance of all your marketing initiatives, including SEO and Ads.
Step 6: Make a Plan
After analyzing the results of your marketing audit, you can make informed decisions about how to move forward. Your action plan should start by solving issues that you identify during the audit, such as resolving analytics-tracking issues. Next, identify gaps in your existing content and strengths that could generate quick leads for your business, such as optimizing pages that already have high conversion rates. Then, grasp available opportunities, such as reclaiming any brand mentions by requesting backlinks.
Step 7: Prep for the Future
With a detailed marketing audit, you can maximize your marketing activities to align them with your business’ goals and needs. By auditing regularly, you can plan a course of action for the future that best suits the needs of your business.
Conducting regular marketing audits enables your team to discover problems early and solve them. Typically, it’s best to hire a third party to conduct a marketing audit for your business. Outsourcing your marketing audit can often provide you with a detailed and complete analysis of your marketing programs.