What is a Marketing Audit?

       10 min read

You can’t know where you’re going if you don’t look around and assess your current situation.

This is true of sailing, or business and of life in general. 

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It’s also why we encourage companies to perform a marketing audit on their business.

What is a marketing audit? 

A marketing audit is the process where a third-party evaluates your marketing efforts; looking over your website, your social media, your email marketing and more.

Here at Impulse Creative, marketing audits are the crucial first part of our process for every client and every service we provide. This opportunity to take a deep dive into your current marketing allows us to more accurately assess how we can help you.

In this intensive four-week study of your operations, we’ll compile the real data you need to accurately determine the right strategies that accomplish your goals.

We begin many (if not most) client relationships with a custom, strategic audit, in which our specialized inbound marketers do a full evaluation of your company's website or marketing practices. 

This can include a deep dive of your social media and email marketing, a site health report, a keyword research buildout and competitive analysis, heat map tracking and more. At the end, we present our data-based findings and a road map to redirect you toward your goals, no strings attached.

Unlike some other agencies, who present a post-audit highlight reel of findings, with the stipulation that they can help you fix everything IF you sign on for marketing services, we lay it all out on the table. We’ll show you where you’re headed and how to get there by handing over the full strategy to your team. Want our help making those changes, that’s awesome, but not required.

What are Some Takeaways from a Quality Marketing Audit?

(AKA How to Avoid Wasting Your Time and Money)

When a marketing agency wraps up its marketing audit, what should you walk away with? 

Here’s the inside scoop: An audit shouldn’t be a sales tool. An audit should be a roadmap for your business.

A great audit may have you looking at hiring this agency you’ve built a relationship with; but NOT because you have to in order to get the full audit findings. If you’re willing to pay for a comprehensive audit, you should be able to move forward with or without them once it’s done.

A quality marketing audit will give you plenty of information to get your marketing and sales strategy on track and in growth mode.

Here are a few things you should look for in a quality marketing audit you won’t regret.

Website Improvement Ideas

Your digital marketing home base is your website. Before you build a social media-based  business page— which is owned by that platform— make sure your business has a revenue-generating website. 

Once upon a time, websites were just printed brochures put onto the worldwide web. Businesses all wanted a presence in this digital world where their customers would surf around looking for “stuff.” 

So they took their marketing material put it all online: promotional brochures, sales sheets, pamphlets and other traditional marketing assets were all converted into HTML.

That once upon a time was last week. It’s still happening. 

And it’s terrible. 

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Instead of making online brochures, businesses can actually create an interactive experience that guides potential customers through a buyer’s journey. (Pro tip: This is better. Do this.)

Does your website empower the user to find what they’re looking for? Does it influence conversions and tell a better story through relevant content instead of generic copy?

A great marketing audit will show you whether your website has streamlined communication, feels human and gives your users the experience they need to decide whether to do business with you or bounce to a competitor.

The best marketing audit will consider your brand elements, your voice and your goals. Then, it should offer up suggestions on where to take your website next, whether that’s a light refresh or a complete redesign.

SEO Tips/Fixes

In addition to having a website that produces results, you need to ensure people can find your website. That’s why search engine optimization (SEO) is critical. 

A marketing audit should look at how your website is currently performing and what you can do to make it better. 

SEO strategy resulting from a marketing audit needs to include keyword research— a look into the keywords you’re ranking for now and some you could work on right away— to help bring your site up in search engine result pages (SERPs). 

Another piece of your SEO strategy will likely be minor fixes like optimizing old blog articles, poor-performing pages and even landing pages. Minor fixes like improving meta descriptions, headline and title tags, word count and image alt text can all help improve SEO and should be included in your marketing audit results.

Content Marketing Strategy

Good SEO plans will most likely lead right into the content strategy of your marketing audit. Understanding the right keywords will direct the kind of content you’ll want to focus on moving forward.

When working through a marketing audit, your agency should look at blog topic ideas based on relevant keyword phrases for your industry, and specifically your business.

Creating topic clusters around keyword phrases has become a best practice for digital marketers today.

Your marketing audit shouldn’t just offer the suggestion to create relevant content. It should offer real-world examples with research behind it all. 

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Social Media Strategy

Social media is a vital tool in the modern marketer’s toolkit. Facebook Pages and Groups, Instagram Stories, LinkedIn Live, Snapchat, Tik Tok and so much more… it can all leave you reeling.

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A marketing audit should provide a solid strategy for your social media marketing moving forward.

Make sure your marketing audit offers a look at your current social media, as well as tips on improving your social presence. 

For instance, the social media strategy portion needs to include a look at each of your channels. Did the marketer find them all? 

Then, you want to see specific recommendations and examples. Do they show you where you misspelled something in a post? Can you see an example of a potentially engaging post? 

Once you have examples and ideas, your marketing audit should include a tool like a social media content calendar. 

This may include specific themes for your business— #MotivationalMonday, #TuesdayTips, #SaturdayMorningReading— or it could be a little more generic and allow you to input what you want. Either way, a social media calendar from your marketing audit needs to set you and your team up for immediate action.

OKRs

At Impulse Creative, we focus on results. Growth is our goal. So with our clients, we come to an agreement on Objectives and Key Results so we can always be on the same page. That’s an OKR document. 

That’s why for our clients, at the end of a marketing audit, all receive an OKR document for their team to work from. 

Among the many things this can include, you want to make sure you have one-time work and recurring tasks your team needs to implement. It’s helpful if it’s broken down into categories like “needed, necessary and nice,” “now, soon and someday” some other priority categorization. 

An OKR should have your overall goal or objective,as well as your more immediate needs and then break out tasks. It should also include budget ideas so you know what to expect moving forward with your new marketing. 

Then it should also include the results you’re aiming for. It feels a bit like a map to get you where you’re going. After all, isn’t that the whole point?

What is a Marketing Audit?

Now that you’ve seen what’s in a marketing audit, can you wrap your mind around the official definition? 

A marketing audit is the process where a third-party evaluates your marketing efforts; looking over your website, your social media, your email marketing and more.

In essence, a marketing audit means you have a trusted partner take an honest look at your current marketing efforts, how you measure up in your market and offer advice and wisdom to help your business grow. 

This isn’t just a five minute conversation with a generic “get more website visitors” suggestion. This is a customized report, based on real research and data, ending with a real roadmap of where you’re headed next. 

And if it helps you decide whether working with a digital marketing agency is in your future, all the better. Because sometimes outsource your marketing is absolutely what you need for real growth in today’s digital business marketplace. 

And when that time comes, the agency who offers a comprehensive, custom and human marketing audit should win that business.

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Topics: Marketing Audit

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