The UK’s economy shrank by 20.4% in April alone and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are forecasting the worst world recession since the Great Depression of the 1930’s. The uncertainty of the economic landscape ahead of us all is a concern for many businesses.
However, there are ways to help your business prepare for whatever is around the corner and completing a full marketing audit (assessing all marketing activity, benchmarking effectiveness and developing new strategies), is a sensible place to start.
What is a marketing audit?
A marketing audit is an in depth analysis of all your business marketing activities and processes. The results generate a unique dashboard and a thorough understanding of the marketing activities that drive enquiries, sales or awareness, what they cost, the Return On Investment (ROI) and how effectively they reach and engage with your target audience(s).
Many businesses fall into the trap of continually repeating the same monthly or annual marketing activities, without really evaluating their effectiveness. A marketing audit allows you to pause, review, assess and then plan for the future.
What does it involve?
In short, a lot of number crunching! A valuable marketing audit should be based on thorough data analysis and cross referencing. It should start with revisiting your business growth goals and understanding how your current marketing objectives influence them. At this point, you can then review the physical marketing activity.
What activity should I measure?
Everything you do!
As an example, our marketing audits include reviewing:
- Technical audit of site functionality and crawlability
- Content audit, keyword research and ranking
- User journeys and behaviour patterns – heat map studies and Google Analytics
- User behaviour – bounce rates, landing pages, number of pages viewed and goal conversions
- Increase (or not!) in sales
- Conversions by traffic sources and landing pages
- Abandoned basket rate with potential issues identified
- Social media
- Channel growth, engagement, effectiveness against marketing objectives
- Different media engagement and content strategies
- Paid search / Shopping / Display click through rates, bounce rates on site, conversions and new users attracted
What will I learn from the audit?
To successfully plan for the future you need to understand what’s working, what’s not and where the gaps are. For instance, once effective marketing strategies may no longer be relevant for your business, a particular customer persona may have been overlooked, or a new sector opportunity missed altogether.
Once you have this information, you’ll be able to make informed decisions on where investment is needed and (maybe more importantly) where budget and resource are being wasted. Then you can really start planning for the future.