We’ve already thrown the ‘whatever-you-do-don’t-cut-your-marketing-budget” post at you.
And we mean it. Don’t. Even if you’re spending just $20 a week on a Facebook ad, that’s an investment worth sticking with. But as the pandemic goes from a shock to a new way of life for millions of people around the globe, it’s time to take a deep breath and look at your marketing with new eyes.
Well, at least somebody else besides your own. Marketing audits offer an honest, professional assessment of what you’re doing right and what you could be doing better. Depending on where you’re focusing, a marketing audit might focus on your website, your social media, your ad buys, your branding, or all of the above. An expert agency will often task their own experts to take a long look at your company’s marketing efforts and give you feedback that will sharpen your voice and make your operation vastly more effective.
Tagging in outside information is something we all do passively already. Metrics like page views, clicks, and conversion rates are tangible, measurable ways of assigning a value to how effective marketing is at any given time. We may not see it as an audit, but every single campaign is a test to see how the market and our customers might react. The drawback, of course, is that’s it’s real-time, real money, and really tough to change without a different perspective.
We tend to focus on a few big-picture areas to start.
Voice. Are you talking about what everyone else is talking about? Do you have the right tone to balance the appropriate amount of expertise, of entertainment, and of conversation? We even need to make sure you’re on topic; we always evaluate voice by making sure a brand sounds sincere without forcing it.
Where Are You? You’ve always bought ads in an industry magazine because five years ago it landed you a deal. Well, how many times has the phone ring since then? More importantly, how are you determine what caused that inquiry? While we all have pet causes or relationships, media buys in the wrong outlet or platform are wasteful. Not knowing if those dollars are effective is just lazy.
What Works. Content is king. Are you producing the sort of blogs, photos, videos, and stories that keep past customers engaged and potential customers interested? It’s worth evaluating what content works, is cost-effective, and can be used consistently. If you have a dynamite case study, can that be converted to a video, a gallery, or a more in-depth blog? Almost always. Find out what format works best and keep creating great work.
What’s New. This is classic on social media platforms. Yes, you have a Facebook page. But you haven’t posted to it in six months, your hours aren’t right, and there’s no Call To Action button set-up to allow for fast phone calls or kick people to make a purchase on your site. Dormant, out-of-date marketing is often worse than no marketing at all.
Never Underestimate A Press Release. This one requires a delicate balance. On one hand, you don’t want to be the company that cries wolf. Outlets aren’t going to want to feature your fourth company picnic of the year. On the other hand, these are truly great ways to put news of your next product or service into the hands of folks who can do your salespersons’ jobs for them. A good audit will help determine how often and what media outlets you should be handing these over to.
Now more than ever, getting your marketing right is going to be key. You can do a lot for your company and your customers by getting fresh eyes on more than your most recent campaign, but your entire marketing mission. Want to get started? Let’s get after it.