A marketing audit is an in-depth look at the marketing landscape of your company. Conducting one for your brand can help your team understand what’s working, what isn’t, and the best ways to move forward for growth and development. But the term “marketing audit” isn’t just a single activity. It’s an umbrella term for many smaller analyses you can do for your brand. Today, we’re looking at the types of marketing audits you can run and how each one affects your company:
Use these types of marketing audits to find your company’s strengths and weaknesses in all areas of promotion to create better strategies for your brand’s future campaigns:
Internal marketing audits look at how factors inside your company affect brand marketing. This is one of the most comprehensive types of marketing audits because it looks at every internal factor that touches your marketing. As you continue through this list, you’ll find other more specialized internal marketing audit types that you can run more frequently to look at niche areas of your inside operations.
Internal marketing audits work to find both issues and opportunities for growth by looking at what your organization already has and what it needs to succeed. Because internal marketing audits are so extensive, you may only run a full one once a year. Instead, you can run smaller, targeted internal audits on specific brand areas when you need less information. Internal marketing audits are helpful when your company undergoes any large changes.
For example, if the brand goes through an acquisition or a merger and has to combine many resources, an internal marketing audit could help you search for duplicate functions or offerings. It could also point out the best ways to combine independent strategies, systems, and functions to make a more cohesive plan for the future.
External marketing audits look at how factors outside your company affect brand marketing. Similar to internal audits, this type of audit is extensive and comprehensive. It looks at all the potential influencing factors outside your company that affect how you do business and how your audience decides if you’re the right company for their needs. Because of the time you have to dedicate to this big audit, most companies only run a full external one once per year.
Again, like internal audits, you’ll find other niche external ones in this list you can run more frequently to spot-check the marketing and your performance within it. The primary goal of an external audit is to learn more about your industry and your company’s place within it. Some of the most common times to run an external audit include:
Use the data from your external audit to evaluate how your brand can grab a bigger market share or how to better square up against competitors to appear more favorable to your audience.
Analytics analysis is an internal marketing audit that looks at how you track data about your marketing content and channels. You can use this audit for both organic and paid media. When you audit your analytics and your tracking programs, you can find out what metrics your team collects and how they do it. Look at factors like:
The more you can learn about your analytics tracking, the more solid and sound decisions you can make about your marketing strategies.
An audience audit helps your marketing team understand if you’re aiming your campaigns at the right people. Even if you think you’ve pinned down your target audience, it can change slightly over time. The more your company grows and the more market share it gains, you may find you need to segment your audience and market to individual niches rather than the group as a whole.
An audience audit can tell you what your leads want or need most through their pain points and challenges. If you find your marketing doesn’t align with those factors, you can adjust your campaigns to better reach the right people.
A competitor audit is an external analysis that looks at how your marketing efforts compare to that of your biggest industry rivals. This type of audit may take different directions depending on exactly what you want to know about the competition. For example, a competitor content analysis compares your company’s content to that of your rivals. What kind of pieces do they create? What topics do they cover? The more you know about your competition, the more you can learn about your audience and your overall market.
To get a head start on your competitor analysis, sign up for your free content marketing analysis from CopyPress. The content-specific and SEO data will show you exactly where you can improve your campaign efforts to attract more leads and web traffic.
A content analysis is an internal audit that critically examines all the assets your marketing team produces. It also evaluates how each piece performs in relation to your brand goals. Different from a strategy audit, which we discuss later in this list, this type of audit looks at individual content pieces and their purpose and benefits for your brand. Content audits help you measure the effectiveness of your brand within its market. It also helps you find content gaps where you could be sharing more information on specific topics to better address your audience’s needs.
A function audit is a type of internal audit that looks at direct sales and distribution methods. With this analysis, your team looks at how your marketing efforts fit into the 4 Ps of the marketing mix:
Thinking critically about these four elements helps guide your marketing strategy and plan for how to share a product or service with the right audience. Because all four elements work together, when one isn’t in balance, it affects the other three, and ultimately your entire marketing strategy.
A macro-environment audit is an external audit that looks at the big-picture elements that influence your audience’s business or purchasing decisions. Essentially, these are all the things your brand can’t control, but may still affect how you do business and how your audience chooses what to buy or who to partner with. Macro-environment audits look at factors like:
All of these factors influence your audience’s psychographics, or things like their beliefs, hobbies, and social trends. For example, a downturn in the economy may affect how often people engage in their favorite hobbies. If your business model relies on the fact that your audience engages with its hobbies frequently, that external factor could affect how your brand does business.
An organization audit is an internal audit that looks at your company’s staffing resources. Who are the people that make up your team and what do they do? Are you using the best people in their best capacities? Should you make additions or cuts to the team to scale production? You can answer all these questions with data collected from an internal organization audit. The team members you analyze include all full-time and part-time employees, freelancers, contract workers, and volunteers.
While it’s tempting to think a marketing organization audit only looks at the makeup of your marketing team, that’s not true. These types of audits look at team members in all departments and hierarchy positions and how their work affects your marketing campaigns and strategies. For example, if you look at the research and development department, their work and training may result in new products for your team to market. If you find bottlenecks in their processes, it may take longer for a product to launch. That pushes your content creation or campaigns that you thought you could run earlier.
A productivity audit is an internal audit that looks at your marketing team’s output and distribution of resources across campaigns. In simpler terms, this type of audit looks at what your company puts into its marketing campaigns and what it gets back out. Companies often use the return on investment (ROI) metric to track how productive a campaign, department, or overall organization is.
Through a productivity audit, your team can determine the amount of budget or resources you’re putting into your marketing efforts is yielding a large enough return. In simple terms, for example, if you spend $1,000 of your marketing budget on one campaign, but you only make $200 back in sales, you’re not getting the expected productivity out of that campaign. You want to at least make back what you put into the campaigns, but making a profit is the preference.
From this type of audit, you can learn how to improve the cost-effectiveness of your campaigns or brand to make more money while still delivering high-quality content, products, and services.
SEO audits are internal audits that help you pinpoint areas of your organic search strategy that work well and ones that need improvement. From this type of audit, you can discover why some content ranks high on a search engine results page (SERP) and why others don’t. The benefits of running a thorough SEO audit on your website or content include:
Related: The Ultimate Guide to SEO Audit
Image via iStock by Wasan Tita
A strategy audit is an internal audit that analyzes how to attach brand goals to marketing campaigns. This type of audit helps your team identify areas of improvement for your campaigns. For example, if you find that you’re not hitting your brand goals with the current marketing strategy, the audit makes you think critically about what’s not working. Is the goal too lofty? Are you using the wrong content channel? Did you miscalculate your target audience?
Marketing strategy audits also help you pick the best and most effective key performance indicators (KPIs) for every campaign. Different from overall brand goals, KPIs help your team understand if campaigns help your team reach specific, measurable benchmarks that lead to reaching them. If your brand goal is to attract more customers, then one of your campaign KPIs may be to earn a specific number of conversions within a designated period. Running a strategy audit highlights these important KPI areas to track and how to measure if they’re successful throughout the campaign.
A systems audit is an internal audit that looks at your company’s marketing and development workflows. This audit looks at how your team and company collect and analyze data, and how they put that information to use. To highlight processes in a system’s workflow, you may look at information like:
A task environment audit is an external audit that looks at how your corporate relationships and other outside-the-company activities affect your marketing. How do your partnerships or rivalries with other organizations affect how your company does business? A task environment audit looks at relationships between your organization and:
The more you know about how your company relates to its partners, audience, and competitors, the easier it is to see how your marketing affects each segment. For example, you may need to look at your relationships with distributors and manufacturers in relation to your most marketed products and services. They likely have more sales than your other products and you need to make sure your partners can keep up with that demand to maintain customer satisfaction.
A website audit is an internal audit that tells your team more about how your online home operates and how it appeals to your target audience. If your website doesn’t work or it isn’t user-friendly, your other marketing efforts might not matter. If you can’t keep leads or customers on your site, your clever calls to action (CTAs) or content won’t help. When conducting a website audit, look at areas like:
No matter what type of audit you choose to run, you’re always going to wonder, “did we do it right?” With the potential for widely varied results, how are you supposed to know if the audit worked or it was successful? No matter what type of audit you run, here are the basic requirements to tell if you’ve done it correctly:
Conducting a marketing audit, like any strategy, can take a lot of time and planning. Especially when your team is getting ready to roll into a new year. Make the process easier with expert insight from CopyPress’s new eBook: How To Analyze Your Content and Craft a Winning Strategy for 2023. Learn from our Director of Content Analysis, Jeremy Rivera, about how to start your analysis and plan a winning strategy around it.
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