As we approach the mid-year mark, it’s a great time to consider conducting a marketing audit on your business. A marketing audit is the process of taking a step back and evaluating every aspect of your marketing strategy. When done correctly, a marketing audit should force you to look at:
- What’s working
- What’s not
- What needs to be updated
- What needs to be re-evaluated
- What needs to be put in place
After a marketing audit, you should be able to create a plan to leverage what’s working, fix what’s not and finish the year strong.
I always recommend clients do a marketing audit at least once a year but it can be done more if you have downtime.
How to Conduct a Marketing Audit
If you have the budget, I highly recommend you hire a marketing professional to conduct your audit. A professional will notice things that you may not. Plus, they’ll be looking at your business as an outsider so it’s an important perspective to consider. Lastly, a marketing professional will be able to help you come up with a strategy to improve your marketing efforts where as if you try to do this yourself you may find it difficult to think beyond doing what you’re accustom to.
If you need to do your audit yourself, here’s a few action items to help you get started.
Where are your clients coming from?
Hopefully you’re tracking where new business is coming from. If so, take a look and see where a bulk of your new clients are coming from. Once you determine your main source of new business, come up with a plan to further leverage that source. For example, if you find that social media is a good source of new business, you might want to consider devoting more resources to it for the rest of the year. That could mean doing some paid advertising, more contests or maybe it means hiring someone to manage the platform for you to ensure it’s being used regularly.
Where’s your revenue at?
Take a look at your revenue and compare it to the same time in previous years. Are you ahead? Behind? What changed? If you’re head of where you were, figure out what helped you earn more and leverage it. If you’re behind, figure out what changed in your business and come up with a plan to recoup that lost revenue in the last 6 months of the year.
Evaluate your marketing strategy
Have you been winging it? You know, you see a dip in the schedule so you decide to run a promo type thing. Or, do you have a map of what you’re going to do each month and when, plus a goal for that activity? If you don’t have a clear cut plan that takes you month by month with specific goals attached, you’re probably missing opportunities you could be capturing if you were planning ahead.
Evaluate your marketing materials
Once you’ve looked at how clients are coming in, revenue and your overall strategy, it’s time to drill down and look at your marketing materials. This is everything from your social media accounts to your website and everything in between. Here’s a list of places to look and questions to ask yourself:
- Branding – Does your brand reflect where your business is at and where you’d like it to go? If you DIY’d your logo 5 years ago when you first opened and now you’re attracting elite clientele and pulling in 6 figures, it might time for a refresh.
- Website – Is all your information up to date? Are all your services listed? Is your site easy to navigate? Does it work well on mobile? Is it generating appointments for you?
- Social Media Accounts – Are they being maintained? Do they look professional? Are people engaged? Are they a good representation of your brand?
- Print Materials – When’s the last time you updated your print materials? If it’s been a while, make sure the info in them is still accurate? Do all your employees have business cards? Do you have signage in your studio that promotes your offers or services?
- Email Marketing Campaigns – What are you doing to grow your email list? Are you sending emails regularly? How are you leveraging your list? Is your list segmented so you can send targeted communications?
- Product Packaging (If Applicable) – If you have a product line under your name, or you sell a product look at the packaging and make sure your product packaging is designed in a way that it will stand out on a shelf, the labeling is helpful and customers can easily find the info they need.
A marketing audit can be a powerful tool for evaluating the state of your business and coming up with a strategy for the future. If you need help with a marketing audit, I offer a done for you option where I review your materials and provide a written report on changes. I also offer consulting sessions where we can go through your marketing strategy and materials, then come up with a plan to move forward together. Contact me if you’re interested in getting on the schedule for a marketing audit.