January 17, 2023 – By Hawke Media
Your digital marketing strategy is working. You’ve increased market share, improved customer retention, created new customers, established your brand, and have a steady stream of new opportunities. However, how do you ensure you keep generating these returns long into the future? The answer lies in the all-important marketing strategy audit.
A marketing services audit is a periodic and comprehensive third-party assessment of your digital marketing strategy, branding, and messaging. The goal is to establish a set of KPIs (key performance indicators), benchmarks, metrics, and guidelines where a determination can be made of your marketing strategy’s progress or lack thereof.
How a High-Level Marketing Audit Can Help
Here is a list of reasons why a high-level audit of your marketing strategy will ensure your continued success.
- Maintain or Increase Marketing ROI (Return on Investment): A critical measure of your marketing strategy’s effectiveness is the number of leads/opportunities it generates for each marketing dollar spent. Increase the number of leads without increasing spending – or generate the same number while spending less – and you’ve increased ROI. A periodic audit will keep your team focused on maximizing your ROI.
- Improved Content Marketing: Up to 82% of today’s digital marketing teams rely upon content marketing, and 60% measure their content’s success through sales. Unfortunately, many companies lack a consistent content marketing strategy. An audit can help you define content marketing KPIs on sales revenue, leads, customer retention, and opportunities generated while helping to establish a more cohesive content strategy.
- Define Customized KPIs and Metrics: The content marketing example above is a perfect instance where a marketing strategy audit can help you define and measure custom KPIs and metrics often ignored by other marketing teams. It’s about going beyond landing page speed, bounce rates, conversion rates, or click-through rates on PPC campaigns and onto less obvious data that hold the key to success.
- Refresh Ideas: It’s common for a company’s marketing message to become stale. Unfortunately, the costs can be measured in declining revenue, reduced market share, lost customers, and fewer opportunities. An audit is a perfect solution to right the ship while empowering everyone to come up with refreshing and engaging ideas.
- Identify Low-Hanging Fruit: Sometimes, small changes can produce significant returns. Unfortunately, those changes are often hard to identify without an outside resource. Simple approaches like A/B testing allow you to make small changes to improve the performance of pay-per-click (PPC) search and display advertising campaigns, email campaigns, content, and landing pages.
- Leverage Multiple Digital Channels: Gone are the days when a company could rely on its content and PPC campaigns to generate traffic and opportunities. Nowadays, companies must leverage several marketing mediums across multiple digital marketing channels. Only a cohesive and consistent message across all channels will produce the desired results and give you the tools to determine which channel generates the most traffic. All of these channels are working together for your ultimate marketing strategy.
- Align PPC Targeting Options: An audit will help uncover improperly aligned targeting options across all PPC advertising campaigns. This will help you save money and ensure your message is focused on the right audience at the right time. An example might include a Google Ads Geofencing campaign that doesn’t differentiate between “present” and “search interest” in the targeting options. The result is ads serviced to people outside the geofence who won’t buy.
- Combine Audiences and Customer Segments: The more you keep your products and services in front of your customers, the more likely they are to buy. Unfortunately, targeting separate audiences and customer segments is time-consuming and extremely expensive. An audit will provide insight into how you can combine these audiences and segments, so you spend less and generate more.
- Increase Advertising Real-Estate: An audit will help you take full advantage of all the online advertising options available. Whether taking advantage of LinkedIn and Facebook ads or using mobile-optimized strategies like Google’s local service ads, call-only campaigns, geofencing ads, or lead-form extensions.
- Refresh Your Social Media Strategy: Up to 82% of consumers in the United States use social media. Every day, your customers speak to you through social media. They play an active role in growing, building, and cultivating your brand among friends, family, colleagues, and other individuals. A digital marketing team stretched too thin often doesn’t have the time to keep your social media presence fresh. An audit will uncover the gaps in your social media strategy.
- Keep Tabs on Your Competition: Your competitors are pursuing the same customers. You may be generating what you perceive to be good returns from your digital marketing strategy, but how do you know for sure? What would you change with your marketing strategy if your competition achieved far better results? An audit can help you answer these questions.
- Tie Lagging and Leading Indicators Together: Most businesses face seasonal and cyclical fluctuations. Historical (lagging) and future (leading) indicators can help you better understand your historical performance while giving you the tools to identify emerging and future trends. An audit can help put this information together so you can be proactive with your digital campaigns and not reactive.
- Proactively Manage Your Brand: An audit can help uncover gaps in your branding and give you the tools to protect and grow that brand. This can include responding to negative customer reviews from online directories like Google My Business, Foursquare, and Yelp. It can also include asking for backlinks from trusted sources and websites that mention your brand.
- Combine Inbound and Outbound Strategies: Far too many companies make the mistake of treating their inbound and outbound marketing strategies as separate entities. This is primarily why companies often have issues with their branding and messaging. An audit will ensure that both work in unison so that the company’s message to its market and customers is uniform.
- Define an All-Encompassing Plan: How does our data tie together? How do we keep our audience’s attention long after they’ve placed the first order? Digital marketing works because you can analyze microscopic results in real-time and immediately alter course if need be. However, this isn’t possible if your team is biased toward their strategies and results. Only an independent and impartial third party can present the facts as they are.
Making Your Audits Successful
A marketing strategy audit improves teamwork and makes everyone aware of the company’s goals and objectives. A good rule of thumb is to have the audit performed every quarter to ensure everyone is on the same page and corrective actions can be taken if needed.
In addition, the audit must be thorough and not just focus on easily-identifiable problem areas; only a comprehensive and in-depth audit of a company’s digital marketing strategies will work.
Every digital marketing service is connected. SEO, PPC, content marketing, email and SMS… they’re all working together to maximize marketing results.
The audit is an opportunity to establish benchmarks for future performance. Once the audit is complete, you should have a list of action items that should be followed up on immediately.
Free Marketing Audits With Hawke Media
Hawke Media is a data-driven and customer-centric digital marketing firm that takes a holistic approach to digital marketing and branding. We work with companies in all kinds of verticals, helping them reach, connect, and engage their audience.
If you want to work with a proactive partner who can perform a free audit, contact us now.