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As a marketer, you’re always looking at metrics, finding trends, and trying to understand how your efforts are performing.

But when was the last time you considered how your marketing activities contribute to your organization’s overarching goals? Are you following a dedicated strategy to contribute to your organization’s success?

This is where a marketing audit can benefit you.

Marketing audits, though time-intensive, offer a holistic view of how your tactics contribute to the “bigger picture”. Whether it’s handled internally or externally by a third party, the insights collected from a deep-dive marketing audit serve as the ultimate guide to maximizing the return on investment (ROI) from your marketing initiatives.

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Let’s dive into what a marketing audit is, why it’s important, and what it can help you accomplish.


Evaluating Your Goals

Ever heard the saying, “You’re putting the cart before the horse”?

Before you can analyze and optimize your marketing tactics, you need to consider how they align with your organization’s goals. It may seem obvious, but it can be easy to get swept into the day-to-day of managing social media, developing emails, and sending collateral to print without thinking about the goals of your efforts.

If you don’t have goals to follow with a clear timeline and measurable metrics for success, it’s time to create some that align with your organization’s objectives. That way, when you audit your efforts, you have something actionable to compare them against.

Our Marketing Action Plan Workbook can walk you through this step.


What Is a Marketing Audit?

Now that you know the goals you’re working toward, we can dig into the audit process.

A marketing audit is a thorough analysis of your product or service, brand, or overall company through its marketing strategies, initiatives, goals, and plans. It may be tactic-focused, like a digital marketing audit, content marketing audit, or email marketing audit.

Keep in mind that while your audit can help influence your future marketing efforts, it is focused on current and historical happenings.

Your marketing audit can be performed in a variety of ways, but the overall practice is to observe, evaluate, and analyze what you’re doing and have done. The process will include pulling metrics on engagement, leads, sales, views, impressions, and pretty much any other related data you can think of.

Additionally, you’ll be evaluating your marketing processes and deciding if they’re working as they should. Not only does your audit help you see the big picture of your marketing, but it can also help you pinpoint where things aren’t working as planned.


Why Is a Marketing Audit Important?

One of the best testaments to marketing audits is that they allow you to truly hit pause and look at your initiatives with fresh eyes. While monthly or quarterly reporting enables you to understand how campaigns are performing, an audit is the point where you can get into the nitty-gritty of each touchpoint your efforts have.

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Marketing audits also help you find weaknesses in your planned strategy. No marketing plan is perfect. There is bound to be a step that can be added, improved on, or even taken away. These detractors can greatly impact your success, and once identified, can be adjusted.

Conducting a marketing audit isn’t just about finding what is wrong. They’re also a way to process what is working and why. They’re a great tool to justify your organization’s investment in your efforts and can guide you in where your focus should be.

For example, if one of your blogs is performing leaps and bounds above the others, this is your opportunity to examine it and compare it to other content pieces. From there, you can implement similar initiatives to mirror its success.

The end goal of your marketing audit is to help you add to, shift, or pivot in your marketing efforts. Whether you increase time and resources or pull back in some areas, your marketing audit justifies your decisions.


Questions to Ask in Your Marketing Audit

So you're ready to conduct your marketing audit. You know what tactics to analyze, but what should you be asking yourself as you review the data?

Questions to ask include:

  • Are my marketing efforts resonating with my buyer personas and leading to conversions?
  • Does my messaging highlight my organization’s “remarkables”?
  • How is my website performing in comparison to my goals?
  • What are my competitors doing where we might have opportunities to improve?
  • Am I spending too much time developing marketing content for the return I’m receiving?

Evaluating these questions and how they relate to your marketing strategy will be your guiding light in reporting on the right data in your audit and developing insights that will resonate with your organization.

Let’s move on to the final details that should be included in your marketing audit.


What to Include in Your Marketing Audit

Marketing audits can take some time to prepare, but if you pull the right information, they’ll be a worthwhile investment. Your audit should include:

  • Key performance indicator (KPI) reporting, such as landing page form submissions in the last 12 months or requested quotes that resulted from a Google Ad campaign
  • Monetary spending on initiatives and the hours contributed by your team
  • The roles that are required for each step of the way in a specific marketing task
  • Competitor analysis on keywords and messaging
  • Future-state recommendations on how to improve

These facets of your audit will make it easy to evaluate the success and effectiveness that each initiative brings to the table compared to your determined goals.

Try to keep your findings strictly factual. It can be difficult to realize that a project your team loved and worked hard on isn’t bringing in the success you previously hoped for, but in the end, it can help motivate them to focus on efforts that delivered above-optimal results. That’s why it’s critical to focus your reporting on KPIs, past investments, time spent, and your processes.

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While some marketers stop there, as mentioned, we also recommend checking out your competitors. While you won’t know their internal metrics and goals, you can infer how they’re performing based on keyword rankings, social media performance, and overall focus on marketing.

From there, your marketing audit should be compiled into an easy-to-digest presentation of your findings that offers a big picture of how your marketing efforts are performing for those not involved in the day-to-day. This presentation should also include how your efforts are related to internal resources.

Remember that big pictures include negative space. This presentation should include a mix of what is working and what is not. Your presentation can be used internally with your team as a means of justification in deciding what to prioritize, or it can be used to back up your department’s efforts with senior management.

Finally, you should compile a list of recommendations based on the marketing audit. These recommendations can be around potential improvements, where efforts should be focused, and some ideas on why certain activities are performing better than others. If there needs to be a serious shift in tactics, this is the place to explain why and put direction around how.


Free Marketing Audit Template

Ready to collect data points, research competitors, analyze findings, and compile them into a neat package with a plan full of suggestions and recommendations?

It’s time to conduct your audit and build your Marketing Action Plan, or “MAP”. This MAP is exactly what it sounds like. It is your customized approach to getting on track and crushing your goals.

You can use the tried-and-true Marketing Action Plan by LAIRE® template to build your own roadmap for achieving marketing goals and growing revenue.

Start Growing and Scaling

Todd Laire

Todd Laire

B2B Sales and Marketing Leader | CEO at LAIRE, a Digital Growth Agency - Co-Founder, Entrepreneur, Public Speaker, Marketer, Sales Team Builder, and Change Advocate.