Getting to Grips With a Marketing Audit

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Getting to Grips With a Marketing Audit

Or in Other Words….Managing the Digital Dichotomy

Living a working life online has become the norm for most businesses. As a result of the all-encompassing impact of digitisation there has been an exponential growth in the platforms serving and not serving our needs. This growth extends to the increase in the complexity surrounding all things digital.

Promoting your company effectively to the wider world now “appears” to require an Amazon warehouse of boxes to tick… but is that correct?

As with many marketing related topics there’s always a danger that the jargon junkies will fill a void in your knowledge and only serve to generate greater anxiety. The most common annoyances being those wonderful spam e-mails offering to recover your hopeless presence on Google with a guarantee you know they cannot keep.

So, who do you trust to find a way through the clutter and to put your business precisely where you want it?

You might be surprised to hear that the answer is you.

The appropriate outcome for me, following a client engagement and conclusion of a project, is a broad smile, borne of a new found inner confidence in an area hitherto considered beyond control.

The truth is, like it or not, we have all gained levels of digital skills greater than we appreciate. All too often a client will underplay their capabilities or those who they have charged with undertaking their marketing.

What I often hear is that agencies try and impress with ever shinier and shouty “bells and whistles” which only adds to a client’s confusion, not their bottom line.

The first step should be to take time to understand the true levels of capability and resource with the business and then to establish a firm foundation of information from an audit of online AND essentially offline activities.

The reason for going uppercase and bold on you above is that segmenting and isolating digital from traditional or offline marketing in this context and others is a big mistake. Online and Offline should be intrinsically linked in your marketing planning and without understanding the “big picture” you’ll only be completing part of the job.

Often there are offline activities that should be migrated online and believe it or not vice versa. These areas of crossover can be very subtle.

By way of example I recently conducted a UK wide survey in which one question covered preferences for a subscription to regular business compliance information. Interestingly the vast majority of respondents indicated they would prefer to receive the information via e-mail (digital) but in a format they could print and read later (offline).
Understanding such nuances makes for a far better-informed consultation process and to make this work I advocate a marketing audit of online and offline activities.

The Audit is not rocket science, can take some time though, but will pay you back many times over if well executed.

Typical areas covered include;

Market position
Current Plans
Current objectives
Pricing by service/ product
Current promotional activities by service/ product
Resources

There are obviously more detailed questions within the audit which I’m happy to share with you. Feel free to drop me a line via e-mail david.laud@i2isolutions.co.uk and I’ll send you the template PDF, which you can choose to read on screen or print off and read 🙂

Once the audit is underway I find clients begin to gain a better understanding of the areas they are in control of and where the gaps have emerged. The next stage is to use knowledge of the digital solutions and techniques best suited to any given business, sector and match with the level of engagement required based on the available in-house skill.

The objective is to complete the project with a set of clearly laid out plans. These plans should leave the client confident in the path agreed upon and essentially their role in managing the resources to achieve the goals. Through this process it’s so important to share knowledge and practical experiences and examples and keep to the fore the need to build and maintain client confidence. The ultimate measure of success should be in the confidence engendered through demystifying the digital dichotomy and seeing clarity arise out of a greater appreciation of previously misunderstood marketing matters.

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