If you want to move forward, it’s always a good idea to look where you’re at before you try to get where you want to be. To review your strengths and weaknesses... which is why you need a marketing audit.
Choosing your marketing strategy can often feel like you’re trudging up Mount Everest. Starting the big climb is exciting, because the promise of the unknown is always enticing enough to jump into the challenge. It's why those first few steps are almost addictive… which is why too many businesses get it wrong. Because without the preparation, you just won't reach the summit.
With any adventure, whether it’s climbing Mount Everest, canoeing down the Amazon River or creating your marketing strategy, preparation determines success. That’s why we recommend completing a marketing audit as the first step in starting a new strategy. Why is it so important? I’ve answered that in 5 detailed questions below.
5 Insights into the Importance of a Marketing Audit
1. What is a marketing audit?
The Marketing Audit, or Discover as we call it, is the process that agencies take to identify their clients' current marketing efforts. The Discover comprises of:
- Stakeholder assessment (client questionnaire)
- RAG matrix (traffic light system of project management)
- SEO audit
- Social media audit
- Marketing-automation software audit
The function of a marketing audit is to identify two key sets of data insights: strengths and weaknesses. Performance weaknesses give any business owner the insight needed to determine areas of improvement. Performance strengths are the exact opposite. They show what is currently working and driving marketing success. Both are crucial to building a successful marketing strategy.
Areas to analyse may include:
- Keyword phrases you’re targeting with your website content.
- The effectiveness of your landing pages.
- Website performance tracking: Are you using Google Analytics as best you can?
- Where in the sales funnel you’re experiencing a high drop-off rate?
- Form engagement: Are visitors finding your contact form user-friendly?
- Social media and the type of content you share with your followers.
- Your utilisation of marketing-automation software as an end-to-end marketing solution.
2. What are the benefits of performing a marketing audit?
The Discover uncovers (or discovers) any marketing flaws and so allows an agency to fill in the gaps. It sets a strong foundation and creates an understanding between you and your chosen agency, so that when you move forward, you feel at ease.
Some key benefits, might be:
- Identify areas of improvement (uncover inefficiencies).
- Identify areas where you excel and build on that.
- Drive your marketing strategy with data insights collected during the auditing process.
- Set a list of action items so that you can constantly move your marketing efforts forward.
- Formulate performance targets and how to measure ROI.
The outcome is a clear insight into your marketing abilities and assets. Based on our own processes, your chosen agency should provide all the results in a presentation format, a detailed workshop and a review session.
3. Who usually performs the audit?
This would be a team consisting of both a Digital Marketing Strategist and Digital Optimisation Specialist.
Different companies might have different titles for these positions, but essentially you need someone who can mine and analyse your digital data, and another person who can use this data to strategise a way forward. These two usually work in collaboration to perform each of their own job roles.
4. When do you action a marketing audit?
We suggest a Marketing Discover should take place before you opt-in to an agency’s service, as it sets us off on the right foot. You wouldn’t let a Sherpa lead you up Everest without warning him about your Asthma, or you wouldn’t let him miss the fact that you’d climbed up Everest once before.
The Discover allows an agency to clearly communicate expectations versus capabilities, and to identify an actionable plan before you engage with their services.
It's good practice to run in-depth marketing audits before even thinking of formulating a marketing strategy. Don’t put the cart before the horse.
5. How much time does it take to complete?
For the Discover to be truly beneficial to you, we suggest being patient and getting it right. That means putting a fair amount of time aside for each step of the audit, roughly as so:
- Stakeholder assessment: 20-30 minutes
- RAG Matrix: 1-3 hours
- SEO Audit: 8-25 Hours, depending on depth
- Social Media Audit: 8-10 hours, depending on depth
- HubSpot Audit: 5 hours
As we do, the agency performing your audit should offer assistance throughout the process to iron out any issues you may have. After the audit and proposed game-plan has been presented to you, you can either opt-in to the agency’s services and implement their game-plan, or you can choose to decline the travel agent's offer and find another guide to lead you up Mount Everest.
I could go on and on about the benefits of a marketing audit, but the best choice would be to discover them on your own. If you want to know more about inbound marketing, simply get in touch with us to find out how we can help you.