The economy slowed down this year due to the pandemic. As we approach 2021, the forecast reflects modest growth. Even with that more sanguine outlook, a tremendous amount of uncertainty in the business cycle still exists.
One way to prepare your business for that uncertainty is to complete a full marketing audit. An audit helps with benchmarking effectiveness and helps develop new strategies.
What is a marketing audit?
A marketing audit is an in-depth and systematic analysis of the business marketing environment of your business. If you have the resources the scope of the analysis should consider the competitive landscape. Once completed, the results offer a unique dashboard and a thorough understanding of the marketing activities that drive awareness, initial contact, sales, and associated cost. You are then able to calculate the Return On Investment (ROI) and determine how effectively you reached and engaged your target audience(s).
Businesses often fall into the trap of repeating their annual marketing programs without evaluating their effectiveness. A marketing audit allows you to pause, review, assess, and then plan for the future.
In short, a bit of number crunching. A good marketing audit is based on thorough data analysis and cross-referencing. It should start with revisiting your business growth goals and understanding how your current marketing objectives influence them. Many times it makes sense to have the marketing audit completed by a third-party to eliminate any inherent biases. This approach often results in a more constructive analysis of the business.
What activity should I measure?
Everything you do! Your marketing audits should include reviewing:
A technical audit of website functionality
Content audit, keyword research, and ranking
User journeys and behavior patterns – heat map studies and Google Analytics
User behavior – bounce rates, landing pages, number of pages viewed, and goal conversions
Conversions by traffic sources and landing pages
Social media channel growth, engagement, effectiveness against marketing objectives
Different media engagement and content strategies
Paid search / Shopping / Display click-through rates, bounce rates on site, conversions, and new users attracted
What will I learn from the audit?
To successfully plan for the future you need to understand what’s working, what’s not, and where the gaps are. For instance, current marketing strategies may no longer be relevant based on your product or service mix. Changes in your business may mean developing a new customer persona. It may identify an overlooked or a new sector opportunity previously missed.
Once you have this information, you’ll be able to make informed decisions on where to allocate your marketing spend.