When was the last time you took a fresh perspective on your business? Too often, we walk around with blinders on when it comes to our own businesses. Sure, you can provide all kinds of advice to others, but your own gig? That gets a little more challenging—unless you make the time for it. A marketing audit is just what you need to see your business with new, fresh eyes.
The Same View Can Become Stagnant
Isn’t it funny how, when someone asks for your opinion on their business, you’re Johnny on the Spot with suggestions—but when it comes to your own business, you have on blinders? We tend to look at things differently when we’re always coming at it from the same perspective.
Let’s face it: we’re all busy. We do the things we need to do to get through each day. And some days, that’s the best we can do. But one day leads to the next, and before we know it, a year or more has passed, and we’re still wondering why we’re not getting anywhere.
It’s not that we don’t know what to do with our businesses. Most business owners and entrepreneurs are quite savvy. But we also tend to spend entirely too much time working in our businesses instead of on them. And that can definitely lead to stagnancy.
Why a Marketing Audit Is So Powerful
Businesses conduct audits all the time. Unfortunately, they’re usually relegated to the fiscal or operational components of the business. But maybe it’s time to expand your thinking to include a marketing audit.
Just as an audit of your P&L statement can help shine light on where you’re spending too much (or not enough) money, a marketing audit can help with creating real clarity about how you’re growing your business from a marketing and advertising standpoint. After all, many business owners have something of a “set it and forget” mindset about marketing.
When you pull back the blinders and take a hard look at your business—from the perspective of your target market—you may find opportunities to make a big difference not only in day-to-day operations but in your overall approach to marketing.
3 Steps to a Successful Marketing Audit
Ready to take a fresh look at your business? Here are the areas where you may want to focus your attention:
1. Website Usability
What does your website look like to a new person? Take a look at the user experience (UX) as well as the customer journey:
- Does it convey what you do or how you can help—in just a matter of seconds?
- Is the navigation clear and user friendly?
- Do you have a phone number right at the top of the page?
- How does your website look and react on mobile?
- Do you have any Flash? Google is going to start ignoring Flash on sites in 2020.
- Is your contact page complete, including a Google map (that works on mobile)?
- What’s the copyright date at the bottom of your website?
2. Your Funnel
Your sales funnel generally starts on social media or your website. Therefore, it’s a good idea to interlink them. Let’s look at what happens when you send someone to your website, no matter how they get there:
- Is there a “bribe” on your homepage that encourages visitors to share their email address to get a report, ebook, or white paper?
- Do you have a newsletter capture somewhere on your site?
- Is there a clear call to action (CTA) on each page of your site?
- For landing pages that are associated with social or PPC campaigns, do you have a single, clear, dummy-proof CTA?
- Do you have obvious links to your social platforms so that you can create and foster a community of your raving fans?
- Are you adding a new SEO-optimized blog post at least once a month?
3. Networking and Outreach
While your marketing audit typically focuses on the digital aspect of how you attract new customers, the likelihood is that you’re doing some kind of networking or speaking / presentations as well. You want to take this into consideration when completing a comprehensive marketing audit:
- Is your business card up to date? Current image and contact information? Font size big enough to read? No errors?
- Do you have persuasive, interesting “elevator pitches” at the ready for multiple situations?
- Have you created a strong series of touch points for following up with people you meet, including marketing collateral, email drip system, and LinkedIn connections?
- Are you communicating regularly with your referral partners and colleagues in networking groups and chambers?
- Do you have a permanent name tag that you can wear when needed (not a sticky paper one)?
- How many events do you have scheduled in the coming weeks? You should plan on going to at least one a week and hosting at least one quarterly.
Look at Your Business with Fresh Eyes to Get a Fresh Perspective
Conducting a marketing audit is just one tool to create some new energy in your business. And this list of suggestions is by no means exhaustive. Nor does is cover all of the nuances of your specific business. It’s just a starting point to get you to step back and view your business in a fresh, new way.
If you’re curious about how your marketing efforts stack up and would like an outside perspective, Ink & Quill Communications offers a free marketing audit. We review all of the components we can see online, such as your website, user experience, social media, and reviews. With this information in hand, we’re able to start a conversation. Perhaps you’re doing everything great. But maybe you need a little bit of help to make sure your marketing is running on all cylinders. All you have to do is ask.