Above and Beyond: The Marketing Audit
In college, I looked up to all of my Communication professors. One in particular was extra intriguing - he was the organizational communication professor and I loved his teaching style. I use so much of his organizational structure and communication teachings in my everyday professional life, and for that, I’m grateful.
I had taken all of the classes he offered - not kidding, he probably thought I was a stalker because I was sitting in the front row of all of his classes, semester in and semester out….except one. Strategic Communication Audits. That course title just sounded terrifying and I wasn’t up for whatever challenge an ‘audit’ held.
In my graduate work, I decided that I probably needed the investigative background that Strategic Communication Audits provided, so I reluctantly enrolled. Much to my surprise, auditing was fun! Diving deep into business analytics and content was fascinating and I quickly grew to love the auditing process.
Marketing and communication Audits just make sense. Businesses spend money each year on financial audits, why wouldn’t they do the same with their marketing communications? Marketing audits explore, examine, monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of an organization’s marketing practices. Audits give businesses an opportunity to review current practices and implement suggested areas of improvement.
Just like financials, marketing departments have goals that must be met. It might be aligning content to brand standards, streamlining the tech stack, identifying the product market, or optimizing the marketing funnel for better lead generation. Whatever the goals are, a fresh perspective from an outsider will assess the actuals without company blinders and can provide recommendations that, without an audit, wouldn’t have been thought of.
When are audits a good idea? Well, anytime, really. At Brink Insights, we do audits all year around. For some businesses, their fiscal year ends at the end of this month - an audit would provide them with the performance of the past year and give strategic recommendations for the upcoming year. For other businesses, they’re six months in - which is also a great time for review and to implement strategy so they can hit their goals sooner.
Generally, we collaborate with the Chief Marketing Executives on audits. Sometimes, they’re brand new to the company and they’re trying to get their footing on the current performance. Other times, we work with established executives who are experts at one thing, like design or writing, but need help crafting strategy for their social media marketers, content creators, and web developers.
At Brink, we know the value of audits, that’s why we begin each and every engagement with fact-finding and strategic recommendations as a foundation for marketing work. We recently decided that we wanted to spread the audit love and start offering these incredibly-valuable strategy starters to everyone.
To the lone hustler CMO or the symphony conductor Communications Director, we get it, you don’t have time to be hands-on….and now you don’t have to be. If you’re like I was and are terrified by the challenge of an audit, I should explain your level of involvement. After a quick conversation about what we’ll be examining, you’ll give us access under the hood. And...that’s it! From there, the strategists, like myself, will do the heavy lifting. In 30 days, you’ll get an action-packed, never stuffed with fluff, readout of the report along with recommendations and a plan of action for getting it all done.
Having trouble pinpointing your lead-generation efforts? We’ve got the Brink Insights Lead-Gen Audit for that! Does your content have you in a conundrum? Good news! The Brink Insights Content Audit fixes that! An overview of your website, SEO and technology stack is provided in our Brink Insights Tech Audit. For startups looking for basic strategy analysis, the Brink Insights Basic Strategy for Startups is perfect. Lastly, for products that are in the planning or launch phase, we conduct the Brink Insights Product Market Audit.
The best part is, you don’t have to be the stalker-student to your professor, because we’ve done that footwork for you.
Not sure what audit you need, a one-to-one will help you figure it out.