The third step to the audit is the preparation of recommendations . The audit team prepares a marketing audit report. Based on the results of the analysis of the data, the marketing team will make recommendations as to any changes that need to be made. The auditor usually places the recommendations in a prioritized list for easier comprehension.
How to do a Marketing Audit
A marketing audit is a systematic examination of the way a business is being marketed. Marketing audits will show business owners and marketing staff where marketing efforts are successful, a marketing audit may also show the failures so the necessary changes can be made for your business to thrive.
Businesses are like living, breathing entities, and their marketing is that air they breathe. In order to keep your marketing in tip-top shape, there is a high volume of preparation and planning involved called a marketing plan . Before writing a marketing plan, one must address the business’s strengths and weaknesses. And, in order to determine your current marketing state, one must complete a marketing audit.
Though it may sound intimidating, marketing audits are good for your business. In this post, we will break down exactly what a marketing audit is, why marketing audits are important, and how your audit can be carried out.
A marketing audit is a review of a business’s marketing environment, typically conducted by a third party, such as a marketing agency. The marketing audit will systematically analyze, as well as evaluate and interpret both the internal and external marketing environment; its goals, and the means by which the business will reach these goals.
A marketing audit will look at what your business wants out of its marketing strategy, and determine how best to get there. An audit is typically a prerequisite to a marketing strategy or when a problem arises that makes a change to the marketing plan necessary.
The components of an effective marketing audit
As mentioned above, the most effective marketing audit is generally one conducted by a third-party. Business owners and professional teams can be too close to their brand to conduct a marketing audit without bias. While every marketing audit agency will have their own approach to evaluating your company, most will follow the golden rules of auditing. In other words, they’ll make sure that your internal and external communication audits are:
There are many different types of marketing audit that companies can engage in today. Some will prefer to focus exclusively on a certain part of their marketing campaign with a social media marketing audit or an SEO audit. Others will need something much more comprehensive. Your marketing audit definition will be up to you, but the 3 most common components are:
The more types of marketing audit you add to the mix, the more complicated your analysis becomes. However, a comprehensive marketing audit can also give you a much deeper insight into what’s working for your business.
Elements of a Successful Marketing Audit
1. List All Your Marketing Goals
Marketing is all about meeting goals. Whether you want to bring in new leads, increase market share, or build brand awareness, every marketing action should have a goal in mind. If you want to understand how well your marketing is performing, you need to compare your current results with your goals. Thus, the first step of the auditing process is to identify your goals.
2. Build Customer Personas
Next, you should focus on your customers. What do they want from your business, and how different are their needs? For instance, a cookware company may sell to newlyweds, expert chefs, and new hobbyists. Each of these customers has a different perspective on why they’re using your products. The messages you send to each of these subsets should be different.
3. Name the Competition
You probably know your main competitors, but do some research. Are there any new players who’ve entered your industry recently? What do your competitors offer? Have they changed their method of operation since the last time you looked into them? List all of your competitors, along with their strengths, weaknesses, offerings, pricing, and anything else you consider relevant.
4. Describe Your Offerings
Now you can begin to look inward. Just like you examined your competitors, you should objectively analyze your business offerings. What do you offer your customers? Describe it in detail, from features and drawbacks to distribution methods.
5. Understand Your Marketing Assets
Zooming in further, explore what you have within your marketing department. You should develop a comprehensive catalog of everything your marketing department runs and creates, from your website to brand materials. If you have data from previous audits, you should pull that out, too.
It’s not enough just to name each webpage and social media account. You also need to collect information about how each one is performing. The results of this process will deliver a snapshot of your marketing department’s performance. The more information you gather now, the better your analysis—now and in the future.
6. Analyze Your Results
It’s time to explore the data you’ve collected. You should have a massive collection of information about your business and how your marketing is performing. Examine that data for trends. Where is your advertising strongest? Where does it need improvement? Are there any accounts or initiatives that don’t seem to be worth your marketing efforts? Marketing audit tools like SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) and five forces analyses are good ways to help you understand the data. Writing a general overview of your current marketing status may also help.
7. Develop an Action Plan
You’ve found your strengths and weaknesses, you’ve done your competitive analysis, and you understand the customers you’re targeting. Now you can develop a plan to guide your marketing into the future. It should have four parts:
Set a date for the next audit as soon as you complete your current one. A reasonable audit period is every 6 to 12 months, depending on the size of your company. You can determine an annual or semi-annual schedule right away.
A marketing audit is truly the best of both worlds. These detailed reports can provide you with a large-scale picture of your efforts, coupled with a magnifying glass so you can zoom in on the finer details. This view can be beneficial when reporting to your C-Suite and gaining buy-in from other departments within your organization by seeing that your overall initiatives are performing well or that you are taking charge to pivot your efforts for better results. And, this is an opportunity where you can prove your ROI to your executives. If marketing is bringing in great results, you’re more likely to gain additional funds for expansion .
What to Expect from a Marketing Audit
As a marketer, you are always looking at metrics, finding trends, and trying to understand how your efforts are performing. But when was the last time you took a long hard look at how your marketing activities as a whole are performing? This is where a marketing audit can benefit you. Marketing audits take time. It is a long process to gather data, pull historical information, dig through processes, and then try to make inferences and informed recommendations from the facts you’ve just uncovered. But whether your audit is handled internally or externally by a third party, these collections of knowledge can be your ultimate guide to blowing your marketing initiatives out of the water.
To start things out, let’s cover the basics of a marketing audit. A marketing audit is a thorough dig into your product or service, brand, or overall company through its marketing initiatives, goals, strategies, and plans . While your audit can help influence your future marketing efforts, a marketing audit is focused on current and historical happenings.
Your marketing audit can be performed in a variety of ways, but the overall practice is to observe, evaluate, and analyze what you are doing and have done. Your audit will pull metrics on engagement, leads, sales, views, impressions, and pretty much any other related number you can think of, in addition to pulling the process and deciding if it is working as it should. Not only does your audit help you see the big picture of your marketing, but it can also help you pinpoint where things aren’t working as well as you had planned.
How a marketing audit can improve your marketing performance
- Marketing organisation audit–Brands should evaluate the structure of the marketing team and how the various responsibilities are divided. The structure should also be checked against best practice to align with their business’s operating model.
- Marketing function audit–This focuses on reviewing the core content and messaging of a brand. Marketing function audits analyse and evaluate the product or service, the brand, promotions, and pricing strategy. This analysis also assesses the product’s Unique Selling Proposition (USP) against the competitor set (competitor analysis is also performed as part of this).
- Marketing channels audit–A thorough internal audit of marketing function requires evaluating the performance of a brand’s marketing channels. It is crucial to analyse where the business is engaging with potential and existing customers. A marketing channel audit also measures how these channels are performing against competitors and against the brand’s internal goals and KPIs. Examples of channels which are typically audited include social media, landing pages, blogs, and newsletters, but (depending on the business) they can include offline channels as well.
Current marketing strategy is the third pillar of a marketing audit. A brand should evaluate its marketing strategy and productivity to see which campaigns, processes, and tactics are working. This includes marketing strategy and marketing productivity audits:
Perform Your Own Digital Marketing Audit
In short, you need to hold you and your team accountable to ask the right questions. If your answer to many of the questions we asked throughout this article was “no,” it’s likely you’re due for a digital marketing audit. It will help you improve your marketing efforts and ensure you never fall behind. In the world of business, it is a race for consumer attention. With so many distractions saturating individuals’ screens in today’s world, getting—and keeping—someone’s attention is tougher than ever.
Luckily, with our advice, you’re in a good position to rise above the noise and stay at the forefront of your ideal buyer’s mind. If you need help, we are always here for you. Simply request an assessment so we can get you started on a custom audit for you and help you enhance your digital marketing efforts.
The list of what to include in a marketing analysis differs depending on your needs. If you want to focus on the website, check SEO results and technical errors. Want to expand your social media presence? Pay attention to the user engagement rate on your social media pages and define the best-performing types of content.
There’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ checklist when it comes to marketing audits. We’re going to cover the five most essential directions:
Steps to Conduct a Digital Marketing Audit
Decide What to Audit
Knowing what you’ll audit can help narrow your focus. You can log those details in your marketing control system for easy access. That way, everyone on your team will know what is happening with the audit.
You can perform a self-audit on your business. However, outsourcing the task can save you a lot of time and minimize any bias you may have. An outsider audit won’t have the same risks of making your marketing systems look better than they are.
Outline Your Marketing Goals
Research Your Competitors
Competitive analysis can be a vital part of digital marketing audits. Not only will you look at your current marketing environment, but you can compare it to that of your competition. Then, you’ll be able to see if other companies are more successful at content amplification.
Know Your Customers
You should also consider your ideal customer as part of an effective digital marketing audit. Consider where your target audience spends their time. While a lot of people spend time online, you may find offline marketing is just as useful.
List Your Offers
Maybe you have been spending more of your digital marketing efforts on one offer. But that strategy hasn’t led to the sales that you desire. Consider how this relates to your marketing mix, which includes price, product, promotion, and place.
Track Your Marketing Assets
Analyze Your Digital Marketing Efforts
You should be able to figure out how well your marketing strategy is helping you reach your objectives. If you’re on track, you’ll have peace of mind that you’re doing what works best. You can keep the same strategy for the time being.
Run a Comprehensive Social Media Audit
One of the most important aspects of your digital marketing audit should be a social media audit. This will help you understand how well your company is performing on social media, and how to improve your social media performance.
You can use this information to improve your results. Additionally, it’ll show you where you need to focus more attention. A social media audit should include things like an overview of your social media accounts, an evaluation of your content, and a review of your engagement metrics.
Your social media marketing audit should also look at your audience insights to get a better idea of who’s following you. Additionally, consider doing competitor research. That’ll help you see how well they’re performing compared to you.
Run a Comprehensive SEO Audit
In order to have a successful digital marketing audit, you should also run a comprehensive SEO audit. This will help you understand how well your website is performing in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Run a Comprehensive Content Marketing Audit
The audit should include an evaluation of your current content, as well as a review of your target audience engagement metrics. You should also look at your content distribution channels to see where you’re promoting your content.
Run a Comprehensive Website Audit
The final part of your digital marketing audit should be a comprehensive website audit. This will help you understand how well your website is performing and identify areas where you need to make improvements.
Save Your Most Successful Content
Use the tracking and analysis to identify areas of your marketing that are doing well. Consider if you have successful existing content. Make sure it follows brand guidelines, and if so, save that content to use again later.
Great marketing plans don’t need to involve creating new content from scratch. If one of your posts from a few months ago did well, you can use it again. Perhaps you swap out the photo but use the same text or caption.
Or you use the same photo but with a different caption so that it seems fresh but doesn’t require extra work. Being able to reuse content can save you a lot of time and frustration, plus you may get similar results on the new post
Know What You Can and Can’t Control
As part of your audit, you should include a macro environment audit. This will cover your external environment in addition to covering internal factors. Like a task audit, macro-environment audits can include things like economic factors or platform algorithms.
Create a Marketing Strategy
After you finish the audit process, you need to create a marketing strategy to use going forward. Take a look at your digital marketing audit report to view the results. Go through all of the data that you find or that the auditor you hire finds.
What Is a Marketing Audit and How to Conduct It? [A Step-by-Step Guide]
Let’s start with a marketing audit definition to see why this process is so important for stable business growth.
A marketing audit means examining all your promotional activities, from welcome emails to Facebook Ad campaigns. The goal is to analyze and improve your resources, strategies, and marketing channels.
Let’s see how it works. Imagine you’re running a corporate blog but have fewer visitors than you expected—or fewer customers than your competitors have. By conducting a thorough marketing check, you can figure out what’s going wrong.
For example, perhaps you’re using irrelevant distribution channels. Or maybe your website loads for almost a minute and Google doesn’t like that. In this case, you may need to fix technical site errors and optimize UI/UX design to increase the loading speed.
But to figure out what’s going on in the first place, you need to run a marketing audit . A well-performed analysis covers each and every aspect of the website, from CTAs to color schemes.
Basic marketing parameters to check include:
When to perform these checks is up to you. For instance, you might do it before introducing a new content strategy or preparing an expensive ad campaign.
Though there are no strict rules, it’s better to launch a marketing audit regularly—at least once per month or, even better, every week. Constant checks will help you and your team to find and solve problem areas earlier.
And of course, sometimes it’s better to entrust audits to professionals. They have a deep understanding of marketing audit definitions and access to the best tools and practices. Besides, there’s a chance they’ve already dealt with cases similar to yours.
How to conduct a marketing audit: Step-by-step
If you don’t employ a specialist or aren’t ready to hire one, you can conduct an audit on your own. After all, it’s better to make at least some checks than no checks at all.
For each direction—SEO, SMM, emails, and so on—you’ll need to use specific software. Below, you’ll find a list of the most popular applications and tips on how to conduct a marketing audit, step-by-step.
Step zero. Defining goals and objectives
For example, you may want to increase the site’s conversion rate by 10% or 15% or have 20,000 people subscribed to your newsletter. The goal should be specific; it shouldn’t sound like “I just want more clients/money.”
Here are some marketing objectives to give you a start:
You’ll need to work on both long and short-term goals. For instance, a long-term goal maybe something like “generating more qualified leads”, while a short-term one is to “grow the client base by 5% in 6 months.”
To visualize your goals or show plans to stakeholders, you may wish to use a marketing roadmap template .
Step #1. SEO audit
An SEO audit covers lots of aspects, including technical site state, keywords, on-site SEO, loading time, and so on. We’ll cover the most important areas. First, it’s an on-page SEO audit . This includes checking keyword density, meta description, alt tags, heading and title tags, robots.txt file, sitemap presence, and word count. You can use built-in checkers with tools like Ahrefs or Semrush. Make sure there are no technical errors such as 404 pages on your website—Google just hates them. You can use an online link checker or Ahrefs (Outgoing links -> Broken links) to scan pages for broken links.
The next parameter is website loading time . Pages that load within 2 seconds have an average bounce rate of 9%, while pages that load in 5 seconds have a bounce rate of 38%.
Here’s a marketing audit example benefit: You find your website loading for more than 7 seconds (it’s a critically big number!), optimize the problem parts, and get a higher position in Google results.
Some optimization tactics include resizing the images or changing their format, or removing extensive videos and other media that directly affect the loading speed. Another way to solve this problem is to connect with your hosting provider and ask if there are any issues on their side.
Try Google’s PageSpeed Insights checker to analyze the performance and see tips on how to increase your website loading speed.
Finally, content optimization is one of the best time investments you can make to increase your organic traffic. Make sure you create a valuable piece of content: long articles with images and videos, valuable insights, and links to authoritative sources. These not-so-obvious content marketing tips will help you produce truly appealing and high-converting materials.
Also, make sure that you optimized your content for SEO . This means adding quick-win keywords to headings, meta tags, and throughout the text. If you don’t have a list of keywords you want to rank for, use Google’s Keyword Planner to gather them.
Tools for an SEO audit:
Step #2. UI/UX design audit
38% of visitors will stop engaging with a website if they find it unattractive. That’s almost half!
How is a marketing audit useful here? It ensures that visitors like your website layout and interact with your site in the way you planned. Is it easy to target actions, like buying a product or subscribing to the newsletter? Or do they get lost somewhere in the process and switch to another site?
Start by checking your website with heatmapping tools like Hotjar . They’ll show you a heatmap with scrolls and clicks from visitors. You can see which parts of the UI/UX design work for people and which don’t. It’s a good place to start thinking about new ways to beautify and improve the navigation of your website.
Step #3. SMM audit
If you’re running a few social media accounts, you’d better dig into data and see how they perform.
Most popular platforms like Twitter and Facebook have native analytics systems you can use to find out what stats any given piece of content receives: