Moving Forward with Assurance
We finally made it! 2020 is over! This is a big sigh of relief for many, and a chance to start anew. Resolutions are being made, the sun remains in the sky a little longer each day, and your business is waking up to the post-holiday world of 2021. One of the best things you can do to prepare for the new year is to conduct an audit of your marketing assets. Doing so will reveal to you areas of strength, changes in the market and audience, and places in your business that could use some attention.
While it is typically better to request a marketing audit from a 3rd party, there are some ways you can implement systems of sustainable evaluation and adaptation within your marketing team to mitigate losses and wasted energy and to encourage the expansion of your business to new customers.
Consider the following things to keep in mind when planning and implementing your marketing audit for the new year.
Don’t Leave Anything Out
Completing a comprehensive marketing audit means including everything you can think of– and then some. This is perhaps the most ideal element of planning that could use 3rd party input. Consider gathering an initial list of audit-worthy components to your business and the marketing environment from multiple individuals within your business and without. Consult trusted friends and family members, and conduct research of your own into the most pertinent areas that ought to be audited during this task.
The first step, as with any endeavor, is to determine your goals. How do you want your business to grow? Will you be establishing new locations? What does product development look like? Do you have a procedure in place for maintaining relationships with existing customers? What about plans for establishing new customers? Once you know your goals, you begin filling in the details about the steps that must be taken and the resources currently available to you.
Using the ideas you have gathered, treat every part of your company equally, appointing certain individuals to investigate what your business excels in and lacks in each area.
You have objectives in mind. Good. You have people beginning to examine the real-world context in which you will be achieving these goals. That’s even better. But what parameters do you have in place to ensure that your audit will be done systematically and without bias?
Obviously, if you have the opportunity and the funds to employ a 3rd party auditor, then do so. But whether your auditing team consists of outsourced experts or in-company delegates, you need to ensure that every facet of your marketing strategy, and the financial/social world in which it functions, is being addressed thoroughly and without prejudice.
You can do this by staying organized and thorough in your progressive analysis of your marketing strategies and making this accessible to a decision-making team that can voice opinions and pitch solutions to the situations you discover in your audit. Ignoring objectivity leads to skewed data and mistakes, which ultimately reduce productivity and minimize success.
Creating a successful marketing audit means establishing procedures and methods of evaluation that are both effective and persistent. A one time audit, even if it is comprehensive, fails to provide usable data that reflects every-day circumstances and marketing trends. Without sustainability, an audit is susceptible to gathering misinformation. Even if it doesn’t, its value remains limited to the decisions made in response to the information gathered.
To get the greatest value from your marketing audit, create a procedure and method of gathering information that can be repeated by different individuals on multiple occasions. In doing this, you improve the accuracy of your data and create the opportunity to generate trend maps. This allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of the steps you take to achieve your goals.
Auditing your marketing assets doesn’t have to be as intimidating as it may seem. By delegating tasks to capable individuals and listening to diverse perspectives, you can create long-lasting plans to continuously inform your teams about the effectiveness and viability of your endeavors, allowing you to adapt your strategies appropriately.
CSD Marketing and Consulting has extensive experience with a variety of entrepreneurs and can help you to navigate the complex and rewarding environment of marketing audits–from your website and social media, down to your branding guidelines and LinkedIn profile. Fill out an inquiry form today to find out how.