You invest significant time and resources in creating your marketing messages, but are you truly aware of what your brand is saying? If so, are your goals met?
Sometimes, your target audience receives a different message from the one you actually intend to convey. It’s important to step back and assess your customer communications strategy to make sure you’re conveying a consistent message that upholds your brand.
Knowing what aspects of your current marketing strategy effective and which ones are require improvement can help your business grow. In this article, we’ll discuss what a marketing communications audit is and why you need one.
What is a Marketing Communications Audit?
A communication audit thoroughly examines your business marketing strategy as well as the feedback from your customers and decision makers to see what works, what doesn’t, and what needs reworking. This is an important step in developing your marketing communications plan as it highlights the strengths of your strategies and identifies the challenges, helping you revise your plan as needed. Most companies out there do a communications audit at least once a year, but due to the dynamic nature of the marketing industry, others prefer doing it every quarter.
Digital marketing helps businesses see potential growth opportunities, build their brand identity, track the latest market trends, and see their target audience’s online behavior. The information and insights you may discover during an audit will be important when building or rebuilding your marketing plan for your business.
Why Do You Need to Audit Your Marketing Communications Plan?
A communications audit helps companies assess the value and productiveness of their messaging, the media or platform they use in customer communications, as well as any missed opportunities for interaction with clients and prospects. Despite this, very few businesses make it a habit to audit the effectiveness of their marketing communication strategies. Here are reasons why you should perform an audit even at least once in three months.
It lets you comprehensively evaluate your existing plans
Auditing your communication plan lets you get a better, more detailed understanding of your company’s marketing endeavors. It concentrates on how to organize, carry out, and control your marketing initiatives.
It helps you create, develop, and update your marketing strategy
Doing an audit by taking a look and reviewing the advice, feedback, and recommendations you receive helps you better plan your next marketing tactics.
It helps you find the issues
A thorough, effective communications audit can help you identify issues in your marketing strategy and fix them before implementation. It also gives you leeway to adjust your budget, or update or change your business objectives.
It determines what strategies work well and what need improvement
Metrics, performance indicators, and other pertinent data will show which parts of your marketing plan work. From these, you’ll be able to reshape and improve those that need improvement.
It lays the cornerstone for implementation
An audit will reveal whether you need significant revisions to your marketing strategy. The necessary adjustments are based on recommendations and supported by empirical data, so you can be sure your plans can only change for the better.
Types of Marketing Communications Audit
It’s a wonderful idea to audit your marketing communications efforts to assess how well your business is doing. It is a wise investment that your company really must make because it gives your operations a much needed quality assurance so you can stay on top and on track with your business goals.
Depending on the digital platforms your company uses, here are the types of audits that you should perform to measure the effectiveness of your marketing communications plans.
Examine the messages and attitudes your brand, products, and services are receiving in the marketplace. Understanding how your brand represents your business will help you spot opportunities for conversion and highlight the strategies that are working effectively.
Conduct a content audit to support your marketing goals. This is vital in figuring out how you can make the most of your current content, and how you can refresh or make improvements to them to keep your prospects updated about your solutions, or encourage leads to convert into sales.
Evaluate your organic and paid search rankings to discover insights and optimizations that will lead your potential customers to finding your business easier in search engine results pages (SERPs). You will see where you stand on keywords associated with your business industry. It can also reveal information about the search terms used by your target audience.
Social Media Audit
A brand’s social media presence shapes potential customers’ first impressions. To provide you with a complete picture of how your customers perceive your brand, the audit should look at both sponsored and unpaid social media channels.
Email/Marketing Automation Audit
An email-based lead nurturing management program is one of the best ways to achieve your marketing goals. Examine your present customer relationship management (CRM) for opportunities to improve emails, workflows, lists, and communication as a whole so that it aligns with your wider customer engagement initiatives.
Website audits can include various activities, from the website’s messaging and content, branding, and design to technical aspects. This offers a transparent perspective of how your brand represents itself online.
How to Conduct a Marketing Communications Audit
You can hire subject matter experts to conduct one-on-one interviews, focus groups, or research studies with your customers. You should explore and find their opinions about your company, your products and services, as well as their experiences. Learn more about their goals, values, and pain points. Direct customer feedback can help you create buyer personas, develop your brand messaging, and more.
Here are things to do when performing an audit of your marketing communications plan.
1. Establish the scope
Determine the target audience for your communications audit. Look at how their location, demographics, buying patterns, and other elements have a direct influence on your marketing strategy.
2. List all your communications plans
Create a spreadsheet that lists all of your communication plans and the standards by which you evaluate them, including brand alignment, content quality, calls to action, presentation, delivery mode, and conversion frequency.
3. Gather feedback from your audience/customers
To know whether or not your communication plan is effective, you need to ask people for their opinions. Strike a balance between the information you want to collect and the attention span of your audience. Respecting your audience’s privacy will bring out honest opinions from them.
4. Perform a SWOT analysis
After gathering input from your audience and completing your material analysis, it’s time to compile your data and do a SWOT analysis. By doing this, you can find opportunities to strengthen your marketing strategies, minimize weaknesses, enhance communications with your target audience, and eliminate threats that can impede you from reaching your goals.
5. Put your audited, updated plans into action
After the audit, modify your action plan as necessary. Be realistic and SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-based) about your milestone goals, and make sure they are achievable; this will motivate you to implement your marketing plans quickly. As a side note, keep in mind that not all modifications to your plans can be implemented immediately.
What Does a Marketing Communications Audit Involve?
How Often Should a Marketing Communications Audit Be Conducted?
How Long Does a Marketing Communications Audit Take?
What are the Key Metrics Analyzed in a Marketing Communications Audit?
Let Rohring Results Help You Audit Your Marketing Strategies
A marketing communications audit can help you grasp your position in the market, know how to effectively run your unique value propositions that resonate with your buyer’s personas, and have clear guidance on content, keywords, and messaging. Some companies undervalue its importance, easily putting it off since it requires time and resources, but they don’t realize it can make a huge difference in their businesses.
We would like to help you realize your marketing goals for your business. Contact us if you’d like a comprehensive analysis of your existing marketing plan.