What is good enough? How do you know your marketing strategies are working? Why did a marketing campaign fail? Conducting a marketing audit is just as important as conducting the required financial audit most organizations make a priority. Unfortunately, for small businesses, and maybe even larger marketing departments, the marketing audit gets erased off the list after the busy holidays.
Marketing campaigns will fail. Events will fail. We know this yet a serious evaluation of all marketing strategies will help improve your efforts next time around. For that matter, a failure is often the only way an organization focuses on the improvement needed to stay competitive.
I recently conducted an audit on a company’s website content. the CEO expressed a need to promote the company because they were going to be hiring additional staff as well as hoping to grow the staffing placement they do for clients. Although there was plenty of information on a variety of services, there was very little on the website to let interested candidates know what the culture was like or how employees felt about their work or for that matter, what kind of work offered opportunities for employment. From content to visuals to simplicity in architecture, the firm had been missing out compared to their competitors.
How such tools support your business goals is just one piece of a thorough marketing audit which should evaluate and document key areas such as strategic and tactical planning, program development and implementation, budgeting and resource allocation, market, customer and competitive analysis, measurement and reporting. Deciding how deep you want your marketing audit to be is the first step. Here are some questions to help you decide:
1. How closely does your marketing plan align to your 2017 business goals?
2. Do you have effective strategies to reach each targeted market and marketing segment? How well is your
organization communicating the services which provide the most revenue or meet other goals?
3. How up-to- date is your market research and competitive analysis?
4. Do you have adequate infrastructure to collect marketing data with tools and processes for analysis?
5. What people skills and time are being used for marketing? What do they need to improve performance in 2017?
These are just a few of the questions you or someone on your staff should be asking. If you are in Hampton Roads, we are actually conducting our first Communicate BIZ Roundtable for 2017 on this topic! Check out the details on the Communicate BIZ Feb 2017 flyer!