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The world of marketing and social media has become quite complex in this new age of uber-technology. Companies need to be experts in all forms of digital marketing, including social media. While the name “audit” can be scary, in this case it can be the difference between a good online presence with great marketing campaigns and cyber oblivion. A marketing audit is a structured examination or review of the way a business is being marketed to its selected audience, or customers. Audits are generally conducted by a third party, like Charternet Web Solutions, so as to avoid bias and because there are marketing firms that specialize in this process. The goal of the audit is to show you where your marketing efforts are successful and where they require improvement. Once the audit has completed, that’s when you conduct a thorough analysis to determine the good, the bad and the ugly of your current marketing efforts.

Characteristics of a Successful Audit

1. Audits should be performed regularly (twice a year, if possible), rather than when a business finds itself in a crisis situation.
2. The audit should cover all of the company’s marketing activities; in order to avoid oversights and the possibility of failure to reach actionable conclusions.
3. The audit will look closely at the strategies, goals, systems, and activities used by the company’s marketing team.
4. As mentioned above, these audits should be performed by experts, if possible from an external marketing firm who might be better equipped to handle the audit without bias. However, if the company is unable to fund an audit by an outside firm, an audit can be performed from within the company.

A marketing analysis will look at what the company’s goals are for its marketing strategy, and determine the appropriate methods to reach those goals. When possible an audit and analysis should be conducted prior to developing any marketing strategy or when something occurs that warrants a change in marketing direction. This is intended to be fully comprehensive – covering all marketing activities and social media as well as all marketing platforms. It should be conducted in an extremely organized and thorough fashion as marketing strategies are very complex by nature. And lastly, this should be performed from time to time to avoid any issues that could crop up and cause the emergent need for a new marketing strategy.

What to Review in a Marketing Audit & Analysis

Conducting a marketing audit enables business owners and stakeholders to evaluate performance, budget and resources of their marketing program. A marketing audit often begins with a SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunities and threats) analysis of the business. The audit should consist of multiple steps and should include as many areas of the company’s marketing strategy as possible.

  • Branding methods and strategies. The audio should look at brand mentions and reviews as well as customer ratings.
  • SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. The process of making a website better for search engines. The audit should look at the link profile/authority, any rankings, click-through rates, and conversions for the SEO.  The website, a huge part of any company’s marketing strategy, should be audited for page speed, quality of user experience, and indexability – the ability of a search engine to add the company’s page to its index. Each link should be clicked and each action tested to ensure that the user has a seamless experience when accessing the company’s website.
  • Social media. This would include the company’s engagement over different social media platforms, the amount of social activity a particular campaign can generate (also called social lift), and the influence on the industry at large.
    Offline marketing tactics. These include business referrals, press coverage, trade show connections and speaking engagements.
  • Competitive analysis. This will look at things like the company’s market share, position in the market versus its competitors, brand reach, and customer perception of the company and brand.
  • Actionable next steps. The key to getting the most out of a marketing audit is to ensure you have actionable next steps to take. A priority list should be created based on the steps identified from this action plan. Map this list to actual business investments and determine the potential upside to completing the actions. This should start by solving issues that were identified during the audit.  Identify gaps in the existing content as well as strengths that could generate quick leads for the business in order of priority. The business owner can make informed decisions about how to move forward with the priority list based on the in-depth audit results.

Once the hurdle of the first marketing audit and analysis is cleared, the company can address issues and plan for future periodic audits. Each time the audits are performed, the process will be less daunting. With the hard work of the company’s marketing team, the analysis should uncover fewer and fewer issues. Solving these issues will increase the company’s marketability and therefore its overall success.

Have Questions?

We know there is a lot of information here. Please reply to this email or contact us at – our support staff is more than happy to answer your questions.

This is an exciting new opportunity for you to build your business knowing you are partnering with a team of design and marketing experts with a specific focus on the marine industry. Our mission is to strategically position your business over the internet for success! With Charternet, you’ll have a dedicated online marketing team that you won’t have to educate about the marine industry. Our team has proven strategies and tactics that have been generating top results in the marine industry for almost two decades.

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