Step 2. Conducting a Marketing Audit

Step 2. Conducting a Marketing Audit

Joran Hofman
November 24, 2020

In step 2 we will discuss how to conduct a proper marketing audit for your current business in order to find  the best ways you can fit your new product alongside your existing products or services. 

It’s important to conduct a marketing audit anytime you plan on launching additional services or products to see how they will impact your budget. We will also discuss what a marketing audit actually is and why it’s important to periodically conduct one for your business.

What is a Marketing Audit and Why It Should be Done ?

A marketing audit is a process that is carried out by a business which carefully takes a look into all the different promotional and advertising material that is used by the business. A marketing audit is done for a variety of different reasons. 

Some of these include:

  • To optimize and refine your marketing strategies
  • Remove marketing material that doesn’t impact your business
  • Review conversion rates and customer acquisition costs
  • Create room to advertise new products or service
  • Review your marketing budget and related advertising expenses

The length and depth of your marketing audit will depend on the size of your overall business. At the end of the day, the more carefully you audit your marketing and related advertising, the more successful your business will become. 

A marketing audit also allows you to know where your business stands in terms of how it’s being perceived by your current customer base. Although the term “marketing audit” can seem quite boring, it can be extremely useful for your business.

Elements of a Successful Marketing Audit

Businesses that are larger tend to conduct their marketing audits through a third-party company. 

The reason behind this tends to be because a third party company handles all their marketing and advertising and because third party companies don’t have a bias about the brand and it’s marketing behavior.

If you are a smaller company and handle all your marketing and advertising, it’s important you audit your marketing without having personal attachments to certain components that simply don’t work. 

Let’s take a look at some of the most common elements of a marketing audit that are important in order to ensure you conduct a fair audit.

Periodic - Marketing audits should be conducted at a minimum on a quarterly basis. Depending on the scale of your marketing and what kind of product or service you are selling, your auditing frequency could be weekly or monthly. 

All-Inclusive - Your marketing audits need to include all the materials and channels that are used to market your products or service. This will allow you to truly get an accurate idea of which components are working and which aren’t.

Standardized - Having a standardized procedure to conduct your marketing audits will ensure that it’s comprehensive and follows a set of rules. It’s important that your audits are carried out in a systematic way which makes it easy for your business to identify opportunities.

Honest - Being honest about how certain components of your marketing is imperative in order to make improvements and truly gain an edge over your competition. If certain advertising or marketing material isn’t working it’s good to be open and honest in order to make improvements.  

Common Marketing Audit Types

When getting ready to conduct your marketing audit, it’s important to be aware of the different marketing audit types that traditional organizations look at. You can also add your own marketing audit types as you see fit. The bigger your company, the more marketing types you will tend to have.

t’s important to note that NOT each marketing audit type needs to be completed for your business. You need to select the one that is most relevant for what you are planning on doing. 

Recommended Reading: YouTube Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Brand

In this instance you should select a marketing audit type that is in line with you launching a new product or service.

How to Conduct a Marketing Audit: Your Promotional Mix and Marketing Material

It’s important to note that you don’t have to conduct a marketing audit all at once. Identify the stages that matter the most to your business and build off of them. A good marketing audit tends to start off with creating a list of your current promotional and marketing material. After that it’s important to analyze your current marketing performance and benchmarks. 

Once you have established your current marketing performance you will need to set new expectations and benchmarks for your new products and services and how you plan to achieve them along with the timeline. 

Create a list of Your Promotional Material

This should include material that is related to the advertising and promotion of your product or service with your target audience in mind. 

Knowing all the different types of promotional material you currently use inside your marketing strategy is important to know because it can show you material that you should add that could compliment your new product or service. 

It can also help you identify material that you are using which is out of date or simply doesn’t appeal to your audience. 

Create a List of Your Marketing Mix 

Creating a list of your marketing mix will give you an idea of the overall weight of certain types of marketing channels and marketing types that are used inside your marketing strategy. It’s important to have a well balanced marketing mix so you aren’t relying too much on type of marketing.

These should be expressed as a percentage of the total amount you spend on each marketing channel or type. Your marketing mix can include how much you focus on promoting certain elements of your product or service. 

Marketing Channels can include:

  • Digital Marketing ( social media, pay per click, display ads, video ads, etc.)
  • Radio Ads
  • Mailers
  • Billboards
  • SEO advertising
  • Press Releases
  • TV advertising

Marketing Mix can focus on:

  • Product or Service Promotion
  • Price promotion
  • Promotional mix elements 
  • Place where product is advertised 
  • Packaging
  • Positioning 
  • Peer to peer promotion 

Knowing these will allow you to see how your overall marketing mix is distributed and which specific marketing channels and marketing mix combinations could be the most effective for your new product or service. 

It’ll allow you to gain an idea of the most effective combination of marketing to eventually launch your new product or service to your existing clients. 

Analyze Your Current Marketing KPI’s

It goes without saying that it’s important to track your marketing performance so you know how effective it actually is. How does your marketing spend translating into revenue? 

This starts with conducting a marketing performance and it starts off with knowing which marketing KPI’s are relevant to your business. It’s also important to know how much money you have spent on marketing versus how much you have earned as a result of each specific marketing mix and channel. 

Knowing these is critical to establishing and improving your marketing performance. Some common marketing KPI’s include: 

After you perform a breakdown of your current marketing performance you will have a better idea of how your new product or service will fit inside your current business operations. 

It will also give a good idea for what your baseline performance expectations should be based on your existing marketing efforts and advertising. 

Analyze Your Competitors Marketing and Audit Their Strategy

Another important element in conducting your marketing audit is to take a look at what kind of marketing material and strategy is being used by some of your competitors. Some important things to consider about your competitors marketing includes:

  • How aggressively do they market new products and services?
  • What kind of key promotional factors do they focus on?
  • How is their copywriting structured for their products?
  • What kind of demographic are they trying to target?
  • Do they use a third party marketing company?
  • Where is their marketing positioned
  • How many different marketing channels are they using?

Getting insight into the type of marketing and advertising your competitor is using is a great way to gain ideas and test out new strategies. It also helps you gain an idea of certain types of marketing you should avoid and marketing that you simply can’t compete with in terms of budget and scale. 

Perform Marketing Feasibility Analysis 

The last component to completing your marketing audit for your new product or service is seeing how marketing a new product or service will impact your marketing budget. 

The simple question is can you afford the cost of marketing a new product or service.

This is done after you have laid out your current marketing and advertising spend and seeing how the addition of a new product or service will impact your bottom line. Important questions to consider include:

  • What kind of impact will launching a new product have on my business?
  • How much room do I have in my marketing budget to market a new product or service?
  • What are my quarterly sales goals for my new product or service?
  • What is my target profit margin?
  • At what point do I stop advertising if my product fails to produce meaningful revenue?
  • How will the new product impact my current profit margins?

Knowing the answer to these questions is important in helping to establish a healthy budget for your new product and also knowing how it will impact your overall business.

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