What is a marketing audit?

What is a Marketing Audit (and why do I need one?)

The number one question I get when I tell people what I do for a living is “What’s a marketing audit?”

Admittedly, it’s not a particularly exciting phrase. In fact, it combines two words people love to avoid.

Yet for a small business owner looking to get ahead in their industry, or for a CMO hunting for a new advantage, it could be the best thing you hear all day.

So, what is a marketing audit?

As the name suggests, a marketing audit is a full assessment of your marketing assets, initiatives, and endeavours. Or, as ChatGPT more boringly describes it, it’s a comprehensive evaluation of all marketing activities, strategies, and processes within an organization.

An effective audit should have three critical components:

  1. Defined objectives. Just like it’s impossible to make progress without clear goals, it’s impossible to measure it without understanding what you’ve set out to achieve. Best practices will vary based on what a successful conversion looks like to you, so your audit should take your unique business objectives into account.
  2. Quantifiable results. You need to be able to compare apples to oranges. In order to clearly understand the results of the audit, each component should be given a numerical score against current best practices.
  3. Unbiased findings. This is difficult to achieve from an internal position, as the time and effort you’ve invested can cloud the reality of your results. Conversely, for the high-achieving CMO, a sense of perfectionism can overshadow achievements.

And a bonus item:

  1. Competitive analysis. Data without context can lead to huge gaps in your decision-making process. Understanding your competitor’s position relative to your own allows you to navigate your market strategically.(Hint: Constello’s digital marketing audit evaluates up to five competitors with 362 data points.)

If an audit has these three (or preferably four) elements,

Why do you need one?

Marketing audits are obviously a large undertaking, particularly when a competitive analysis is involved. However, they can be used to give your company or organization a significant strategic advantage in your market.

So why do you need one?

You need one because you’re spending too much for too few results. You’re focusing your spending on channels that don’t need it or aren’t performing well, while overlooking strategies that your competition has barely touched.

You need one to identify and strengthen weak points in your funnel. Maybe you’re seeing a lot of likes on social media, but those numbers aren’t reflected in your conversions. A digital marketing audit can reveal where your systems of customer engagement and attraction are breaking down.

You need one because you have goals, but no clear way to reach them. You’re great at monitoring your KPI’s but getting an understanding of your overall efficacy is difficult to calculate. And although your team has lots of good ideas, it’s difficult to prioritize what needs to be accomplished first.

You need one because you’re on a bootstrap budget and you can’t afford to spend on areas that aren’t going to bring in the best possible results. An audit could reveal that your competition is leading you significantly in PPC, but you have a big opportunity to overtake them in terms of email marketing.

You need one because you outsource a lot of your marketing work to contractors, and the more specific your strategy and instruction, the more value you get back. An audit can clarify your tactics and trim the fat from your budget.

You need one because you got one done a year or two ago, and you need to know what’s changed. We aren’t the first to say that today’s market is constantly evolving. A reassessment will reveal how your strategies have improved and how your competitive landscape has changed.

If any of the above situations sound familiar, consider scheduling a consultation with one of our experts to discover what a digital marketing assessment can do for you.