Much like your finances and your assets, your communications are an essential indicator of the health and trajectory of your company. However, many business owners and managers still commit the cardinal sin of neglecting to perform a marketing communications audit. In order to get an idea of where your marketing spend is going and whether you are sending the right messages to the right people, a marketing audit can help you assess your existing strategy and recalibrate to get better results.
We have years of experience helping growing companies audit their marketing and communications systems in order to help them use their marketing resources more effectively. That’s why we have decided to share with you the secrets to conducting a marketing communications audit that will have lasting results and lead to higher sales growth.
1. Map Out Your Existing Communications
The first and most important part of a basic marketing audit is to establish everything your organization is currently doing. Only when you have a birds-eye view of your existing communications can you being to tweak it for maximum effect. Here are the key areas to audit.
Marketing Communications Audit: Messages
First, it is crucial to pull together your existing communication and marketing materials to see what kinds of messages you are sending out to your stakeholders. What is the value proposition that you are trying to convey to the world? How would you describe the tone of your communications? What about the frequency of your communications? How does your messaging and style compare to your competitors? There are critical questions that a marketing and communications audit should answer.
Next up, it is time to gather and record all of your marketing and communications materials. You should leave no stone unturned during this exercise. This means collating all of your communications on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Tik Tok, and any other social media site where you have a public-facing presence. Next, check your email communications and do not neglect areas such as your email signatures and footers. Conduct an audit of your website and make a note of the visual assets and call to action you are using to try and engage your audience.
What About The Money?
Finally, it is important to open up the books to get a crystal-clear impression of the resources that you are dedicating to your marketing and communications efforts. Depending on the scope and focus of your business, you should be spending 5-12% of your total gross revenue on marketing and communications. If you find that you are not spending enough, or that you are spending too much without the results you expected, then this finding will form a crucial component of your audit.
2. Leverage the Data
As with virtually any other aspect of your business, data-driven insights can help you make growth-oriented decisions and build a truly future-proof strategy. By pulling together your existing data, you can use your audit to overhaul your strategy and ensure that you are engaging with your target audience.
Get to Know Your Customers Better
The first focus of any data gathering exercise should be to know your existing customers better. Use your analytics to determine the demographics, interests, and shopping habits of those that shop with you. Find out how your competitors are targeting those customers. Use data-driven insights to understand your customers so that you can engage them on platforms and areas where they are more likely to listen to you.
Build a Profile of Your Ideal Customer
Once you have the data on your existing customers, you can build a profile of who your ideal customer is in order to tailor your marketing strategy accordingly. This means conducting a significant amount of market research. You might think that you already know the ideal customers for your goods or services. However, commissioning detailed market research can provide you with insights that you never would have considered previously.
Find Out the Messages That Strike a Chord
Once you have the data to better understand your existing customers and those that you should be reaching out to, you can begin to determine which messages they will be receptive to. Data and analytics are essential tools for achieving this. By comparing data from your most successful campaigns with your audience data, you can begin to put together brand messaging that always strikes a chord.
3. Implement an Outcomes-Focused Strategy
Once you have the data and understand the current state of your marketing and communications, you can begin to put together a new marketing communications strategy that improves client relationships and delivers results. For any strategy to succeed, you need a detailed and outcomes-focused list of goals and milestones. You need to determine your benchmarks for success and then strive to achieve this. Examples include:
- Increased time spent on your online store
- Increased engagement from specific groups or demographics
- Increased clicks or engagement with social media channels
- Increased engagement with your CTAs
- Increased capture of leads via subscription lists
- Increased traffic to your local business pages (such as Google My Business)
All of your new goals should adhere to strict time horizons so that your team can mainstream these goals into their workflow.
4. Constantly Monitor and Evaluate
Finally, it is essential to continue monitoring and evaluating your communications and marketing strategies once you have deployed them. The goal of a messaging audit is to find out where you are going wrong and what you can be doing better. If you do not continue doing this throughout the year, then your audit will be a wasted effort.
Consider conducting mini-audits every six months or so to track how your new strategies are working. You can use simple and accessible tools such as Google Analytics or AHRefs to see exactly how your new marketing efforts are engaging your target audiences. This kind of proactive monitoring can help you ensure that your marketing communications strategy is always up-to-date.
Arrange an Expert Marketing Communications Audit Today
If you want to arrange a marketing communications audit that will help you reevaluate and recalibrate, we are here to help you. To find out how we can help your communications stay at the cutting edge, make sure to schedule a call with our expert growth consultants today.