As a general rule, reviewing business best practices is not considered an exciting task. Rather, most business leaders would prefer to focus on implementing new marketing and advertising strategies than reviewing their previous efforts. However, as any successful professional will tell you, the best way to build for the future is to study the past.
As such, today we’re going to explain the process of auditing your own marketing efforts. We’ll discuss why audits are important, how the best companies conduct internal marketing reviews, and what value they represent for growing companies. Check it out here:
What is a Marketing Audit?
Ultimately, your own marketing audit can be as thorough or as cursory as you’d like it to be. In broad terms, a marketing audit is a review performed by business leaders to determine the effectiveness of a company’s marketing strategies. This can involve, but is not limited to:
- Calculating return on ad spend (ROAS).
- Comparing rankings for keywords on search engines over time.
- Reviewing ad content.
- Editing branded information on social media.
- Tracking click-through-rates on marketing emails.
- Analysing valuable metrics like conversions, unique visitors, and sales figures.
It’s important to keep in mind your company’s specific goals before you begin an audit. For example, it’s not wise (or fair) to judge the success of a brand awareness campaign by sales numbers alone.
How Often Should You Audit Marketing Efforts?
It is possible, though not common, for a company to audit their marketing performance too frequently. Indeed, digital marketing campaigns can sometimes take months –– or even years –– to produce meaningful and measurable results. As such, reviewing your marketing data every few weeks can, in some instances, be counter-productive. On the other hand, your business probably shouldn’t go more than a year without taking a close look at your marketing practices.
What is the Value of a Marketing Audit?
A marketing audit should serve two basic, but essential functions. First, in the course of an audit, a business should be able to identify any mistakes within its marketing materials. This can include minor errors like misspellings or poorly designed graphics. In addition, though, an audit could allow you to catch truly problematic issues such as incorrect contact information on a social media account or a very expensive and outdated ad campaign. You can consider this the reactive element of marketing review.
Secondly, a marketing audit should allow business leaders to more effectively plan for the future. For example, an audit may uncover a particularly effective marketing message that you can highlight moving forward. Or, it may show significant changes in the behaviour of your customers. Information like this should ideally play a big role in your decision-making process moving forward.
In terms of dollars and cents, it can sometimes be difficult to quantify exactly how valuable a marketing audit is. The exact figure will likely vary depending on a wide range of factors.
Auditing Best Practices
As one can imagine, no two companies should audit their marketing efforts in exactly the same way. A clinic like Northwest Surgery Center that specializes in foot surgery will have very different marketing objectives than a multifaceted, mega-corporations like Apple.
Still, at the end of the day, there are certain steps all professionals can use to conduct an audit successfully. First, make sure to audit every aspect of your marketing department. Don’t exclude certain efforts unless you have good reason to do so. Second, seek out independent assistance either from within your organization or from external sources. And lastly, develop a proactive game plan based on the results of your audit. Remember, information is only valuable if you put it to good use!