Whether you just joined a new company, received a promotion, or it's simply that time of year, performing a marketing department audit can be a daunting (although necessary) task.
Too many companies waste time, effort, and marketing dollars on the wrong strategies. Performing a full marketing department audit at least once a year aligns and adjusts your team, strategies, and budget towards the same, unified goals.
Not sure where to start? Here are 4 steps to get the ball rolling.
Step 1: Review Business Documents
To gain a full understanding of a new-to-you business, or to refresh your memory on the history of your long-time company, review any documents that pertain to your business's marketing plan. This provides the best starting point for your marketing audit, because it allows you to take a step back and look at the company and it's goals as a whole, before delving into the marketing aspect.
Documents to review include: business plan, marketing plan, marketing budget, marketing department job descriptions, status reports, and anything and everything else that appears relevant. This research provides you with the context of your marketing department.
Step 2: Update Your Marketing Plan
Things change. Companies grow and expand, marketing becomes more complex, and the marketing plan you wrote two years ago is no longer relevant. This may be because your target market has changed, or your buyer's habits have evolved, or maybe the direction of your business has shifted.
Whatever the reason, updating your marketing plan can help refocuse your marketing around your business's current needs and desired customers.
Start by re-evaluating your buyer persona(s). Who your target audience is effects every piece of your marketing. Without a clear, up-to-date buyer persona, your marketing simply won't be aligned with who you are trying to target.
Step 3: Compile a Complete List of Current Marketing Activites
What marketing activities is your business currently involved in? Creating a complete list of all your marketing activities conducted within a certain time frame allows you to review marketing activities in one, centralized place.
From there, you can analyze any relevant reporting to see how different activities are performing overall for your business. Remember, before moving on to this step, you need to complete your buyer persona(s).
Once you're buyer persona(s) are refined, you can move into a more detailed look at your marketing activities.
A few questions to start asking:
- Do these marketing activies make sense in light of my updated buyer persona(s)?
- Are these activites yielding the desired results?
- Are there any gaps or missed opportunities in our current marketing strategy?
- Are we allocating funds to the marketing strategies that are yielding the best results?
Step 4: Compile a Complete List of Current Marketing Employees and Vendors
Creating a list of outsourced vendors and your marketing department employees can help you organize and centralize the talent you have at your disposal. Take it a step forward by digging into what marketing components your vendors and employees are responsible for.
Review how your vendors and employees are performing in relation to their responsibilities. Your team is the heart of your marketing, so it only makes sense to evaluate whether or not you have the right members on your side.
There are two areas you should focus on:
Look for red flags that you may possible have the wrong employee for a specific function. This doesn't necessarily mean you need to fire an employee who is not performing well (although, in some cases, this may be the best move), but you may need to rearrange the talent you do have to make the most out of their strengths, and minimize the effect of their weaknesses.
Evaluate your current outsourced marketing vendors. Look for warning signs that they are not a good fit for your company, or identify areas of improvement. Are you communicating your expectations clearly? Are they delivering what they promised? Review any original contracts to review the original terms and expectations that were set.
The right team is a necessity to implementing an effective marketing strategy. Taking the time to analyze both your strategy and your team can yield some very interesting insights.
Performing a full marketing department audit may seem intimidating at first, but by breaking it down into manageable steps you can reap the rewards of a solid audit. Don't let your marketing department continue down the wrong path. Instead, by performing a thorough audit at regular intervals, you are proactively re-aligning your marketing goals and keeping your whole team on the same page.