Discovery: a blueprint for your internal marketing audit

Written by Adam

May 14, 2020

marketing audit

The first step to transformation is to know who you are now. An internal marketing audit will give you the up-close look in the mirror you need. Here you’ll discover your strengths and weaknesses and find out what your customers really love and hate about your business. 

It’s not about you

 

This might sound illogical, but an internal marketing audit isn’t about you. And it’s certainly not what you think of your brand. 

What we need are the views and the opinions of your stakeholders. This sphere of influence consists of your team, your partners, your customers, industry ambassadors, media and your target audience.

Discovery workshops

 

When auditing brands, I like to start with a Discovery workshop. Here, your team is invaluable. They see things you don’t and hold valuable insights you need. Involving them from the get-go will make them feel like an integral part of the brand (which they 100% are).

Try to get willing stakeholders involved too. It may sound like a big ask, but their opinions count. Better yet, it’ll give them a greater appreciation of what you’re really about. That means free marketing to those that really matter.

Put away the death-by-powerpoint, discovery workshops are about energy, wonder and innovation. Design the session around brainstorming exercises, mind-maps and problem-solving activities. Mix it up by getting them to work in groups, pairs and on their own and give them time to brew on their answers.

Ask them to describe your brand, define you USPs, decipher your strengths and weaknesses. Find out what they think your objectives should be and what they would do differently.

Ask everyone who has any contact with your customers for feedback. What do your customers tend to like? What are the most common complaints, and what barriers do they come up against in the sales process? Think about transparency first and then turn to innovation.

Marketing audit: organisation. Function. Channels.

 

There are many different components involved in running a successful marketing audit. When you’re looking at the performance of your internal environment, this boils down to three parts:

  • Organisation
  • Function
  • Channels

Each part has a number of questions that need answering, so doing all this in one go probably isn’t the way. I’ll go into more detail about what these entail next, but if you need a spreadsheet which details all the questions you need, look no further than my Internal Marketing Audit template. Just make a copy and edit as you please.

Organisation

 

To begin, take a look at the structure of your marketing team. This will help you understand what capacity you have, where shortfalls are leading to marketing gaps and how collaboratively your team are working together.

It will also shed light on your workflow processes. This will ensure you have an effective means to handle the workload, stay organised and quality-check your output. Here you can streamline your team and assess your needs for external support.

 

Function

 

The next stage is going to take a little more thought. Here you’ll start digging into the fundamentals which you will use to shape your brand and marketing messages going forward. You will want to be reviewing your USPs, your brand image and product offering.

We’ll also start looking at how your brand is perceived, how your strengths and weaknesses stack up against your competition, and how loyal your target audience really is.

Remember: this is not about how you want your marketing to function, this is about how it is right now. 

 

Channels

Last, you’ll examine the channels in use. This gives you a chance to look again at all the marketing you use (both on and offline) and decide if they’re worth their salt.

What works, what doesn’t and why? How are we measuring this by ROI? Are you providing exceptional customer experiences at all levels of your marketing? How comprehensive is your marketing strategy? What channels are you using and what channels should you be using?

From raw eggs to golden insights

 

So you’ve asked the questions and you’ve compiled the answers. For many, this is where the activity ends. Those people are breaking eggs without making omelettes. Not only have they wasted their time and the hen’s eggs, but they’re missing out on lunch.

To bring value to this exercise, review the answers, draw out some key insights and then turn them into actionable objectives. Here’s how this works.

> Question: How effective is my website design?

> Condensed answer: Pageviews and bounce rates say the content is engaging, but the website fails to convert.

> Insight: The content isn’t directing traffic to key landing pages. When it does, the calls to action are weak.

> Actions: Review page structure with clear links to landing pages and make the calls to action more prominent.

Whoa!—hold on there… right now, we’re just making a note of these insights and actions. We’ll come to prioritise and tackle them in the planning phase.

On another note, once you’ve completed the next stages of discovery, you’ll want to come back and give these questions a second pass. We’ll have gained more insights to include by then.

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