Marketing audits methodically examine and analyze marketing, communications, and identity systems. When done right, they begin the process of improving positive brand identity and strengthening visibility with a company's target audience.
How to Do a Marketing Audit
Identify your brand. Look at your business from a customer or potential customer's point of view. How do they see your brand? Your brand is not always what you say it is. Estimate the current awareness your brand has among your target audience; that is, do the people who would buy your product know about your company? Do they know its values? Do they believe your company is what you think it is?
Identify your marketing goals and objectives. Why are you doing a marketing audit? Your objective might be to discover how to appeal to a new demographic or to find out if your marketing appeals to the right audience. Or, if you are already at the top of your game, the purpose of the audit could be to discover why your marketing has been so successful with a particular population segment and you want to repeat that success.
Review your communication systems. Do your communications--internal and external--communicate your brand? Be thorough and methodical in your analysis. Items to examine include the following:
- Business literature. These include letterhead, envelopes, email signatures, press releases, any paper transmitting an official communication.
- Sales and marketing. Your newsletters, annual reports, and sales reports will be viewed by individuals interested in your products and services. Don't waste this opportunity.
- Electronic communications. Your website, blog, banner ads, and anything that appears electronically should promote the same brand and the same message your other marketing materials do.
- Internal communications. Internal communications-- training materials, etc.--provide an excellent opportunity to indoctrinate your staff on brand identity.
- Environmental applications. Everything associated with the business--visible signage, store interiors, trade show booths-- should communicate company values.
- Retail. Let customers promote your brand. Packaging and shopping bags, carried by customers, are powerful marketing tools.
Identify what's working and what isn't. Ultimately, you'll want to find out what works and what doesn't. Check out your competitors. How are your competitor's products similar to yours, and how do they market their business? Look at successful companies and determine why they're successful and if their methods can be applied to your marketing (without compromising your brand).
Outline a plan for improvement. Once you've identified areas for improvement, create a plan and get to work. Not sure how to start? Please contact us, we would love to help you develop a strategy.