Save your business thousands of dollars, and grow your brand with a plan.
In short, a marketing audit is a comprehensive systematic review with research data and problem-solving recommendations with the aim of improving business marketing and generating long term brand retention.
When faced with the daunting task of expanding a brand, cleaning up an online identity, or starting a new business, most entrepreneurs have many questions as to which direction is the best for their brand development.
To expand a brand - whether it is for a company, a political campaign, or becoming a more impactful influencer - the first step to success is preparing a comprehensive systematic marketing audit.
How Does a Marketing Audit Help My Business?
MARKETING AUDIT DEFINITION:
A marketing audit is a comprehensive, systematic analysis of the business marketing environment of an organization, both internal and external.
A successful marketing audit will review, investigate, and compute key fundamental aspects of brand development as well as business marketing strategy. It should be compiled into a complete PDF report for review.
There are both internal and external factors vital to the extensive research required when producing an authoritative audit.
Marketing and creative department efficiency review
Industry competition review
Marketing systems and streams review
Industry economy review
Annual marketing plan and budget review
Industry trends review
CPC & CMS review
Marketing trends review
Public and Press Image Review
Customer demographics review
Review of marketing campaigns and tactics regarding profitability and cost-effectiveness
Review of online rankings vs competition
The intent of the internal marketing audit is to align of the company's core competencies (Product, Price, Distribution, Marketing Communication, and Sales Force Lead Generation) with the company's brand objective.
The intent of the external marketing audit is to determine the brand's short and long term market position in conjunction with consumer effectiveness.
SUMMARY: A complete marketing audit will systematically review all of the above factors as well as highlight what is working well, offer a strategy to overcome any internal and external obstacles, as well provide a detailed timeline for the project completion required to move the brand marketing forward while seamlessly aligning with the business strategy.
HOW CAN A MARKETING AUDIT GROW A BRAND?
When a marketing audit is performed on a regular basis, it will not only keep your branding resolve on track but more importantly, intercept any potential marketing stumbling blocks saving a business thousands of dollars in wasted marketing efforts and loss of potential customers.
A simplified marketing audit should be performed when starting a business or brand strategy. Moreover, an extensive marketing audit should be performed at least annually to keep the business goals in line with the marketing strategy as well as performance.
It is recommended for small businesses to spend at least 7-8 percent of their gross revenue on marketing. However, 50% of small businesses do NOT have a properly formulated marketing plan. Most small businesses spend only 3-5% of their annual gross revenue on marketing.
A large portion of small business owners assume if they do their own marketing they will save money that can be applied back to their business. This is a disastrous business practice considering 20% of small businesses go out of business in their first year. In addition to this, another 30% of small businesses will close in their second year. The average small business spends $30,000-$40,000 in their first year of business just to get it off the ground and 20% of small business owners will lose this investment amount and more. This is not worth the small investment one can pay for a professional marketing plan and team.
SUMMARY: Businesses failing within their first two years do not have a professional marketing plan. It's 100% worth it to pay for professional marketing audit in addition to making marketing audits an integral part of every annual business marketing plan to get an ROI (return on investment) on the initial business start-up and long term product development costs.
WHAT TYPES OF BUSINESSES SHOULD HAVE A MARKETING AUDIT?
Currently, there are NO businesses that should not have a marketing plan and a regular marketing audit performed.
One can assume if they have an at home business, are an influencer, have a charity, or want to get into the political arena, they do not need an audit. However, everybody needs marketing, even if they are selling Mary Kay, Herbalife, or posting images on Instagram and videos on YouTube in hopes of obtaining a paid affiliate sponsorship, contract, or getting more clicks for clout.
From business cards, to merchandise marketing prudent promotion is absolutely necessary for any brand, influencer, charity, politician, and business to be a success. Once an entrepreneur crosses the threshold into paying for marketing material (website, logo, social media, brochures, affiliate programs, graphic design, video, photography) and planning to grow their profits, a marketing audit should be performed if one was not performed at the start of business plan.
SUMMARY: Every business, or brand should have a marketing audit performed once any money is invested into branding, website development, or advertising.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD A MARKETING AUDIT BE PERFORMED?
It is good practice to have a marketing audit at the start of a business plan. For those already in business, a marketing audit should be performed asap if one has not been.
Marketing audits should be performed annually before the start of each business year. For maximum growth, small businesses should have a quarterly marketing audit performed. Those who spend over $150,000- $200,000 annually in marketing, should have a monthly marketing audit preformed to assure there is no wasted marketing dollars, maximum marketing efficiency, and most importantly all campaigns hit their mark.
SUMMARY: A marketing audit should be performed annually for small businesses, and quarterly (if not done monthly) for larger brands / businesses.
WHY is A THIRD-PARTY MARKETING AUDIT IS IMPORTANT?
The 3 most important aspects to consider when having a marketing audit performed:
A marketing audit is a key facet to business growth. Those who are willing to start up a business, brand, or develop product and ideas ARE risk takers. They are smart, go getters, and willing to problem solve on their own.
Can a business owner perform a thorough marketing audit?
For those who have already ventured down the business owner road, they know most of a business owner's waking day is spent running the business and developing product.
When starting up a business or brand, one does not have the time required to focus on marketing or performing a thorough marketing audit themselves. It is logical that the business owner should focus their time on the development of product quality, product delivery and customer service.
Regardless if the business is online or a brick-and-mortar storefront, the owner's attention should be on the above 3 factors:
Influencers and politicians:
The "product" IS the influencer or politician's image, content, or information offered.
ANSWER: Marketing and performing a marketing audit becomes a side task and performed only when the business owner has time for it, if the business owner chooses to perform their own marketing audit, and usually isn't as thorough as it should be due to lack of time, and focus.
Will the marketing audit information provided by an in-house marketing department or manager be factual?
As the business grows, so does the staff and departments needed. It is at this time hiring an in-house manager, admin, or team to handle the business marketing becomes a viable option.
However, an in-house graphic designer or social media manager may not be a suitable choice to perform a factual marketing audit as they most likely will not have the required experience to initiate the research and present data as well as long term obstacle solutions.
A marketing manager for a small business oversees ad accounts, web development, affiliates, and marketing strategy. Graphic design could also be incorporated into this position as most small businesses try to hire one person to do several jobs.
Those who have been in this position understand exactly spread thin a marketing manager is, which ultimately affords an effective marketing manager little time or energy to gather the data necessary for a thorough and factual marketing audit.
ANSWER: Ample dedicated time is required to perform a thorough marketing audit. This is time upper management does not have, in addition to not possessing the needed experience to provide a factual marketing audit. An outsourced marketing audit will assure the in-house marketing team performing effectively.
QUESTION: Does an inhouse marketing audit provide honest information?
As most business owners know, often times it's a dog eat dog world in business, even with your own team.
With that, it is important for every business owner to have a keen understanding of the psychological nature of employees.
The average personnel has 3 fundamental employment interests:
Keeping their job
Getting a promotion
Loyalty to the Company
When understanding this psychology, some employees or managers might "fluff the numbers", or withhold particular details of a marketing audit to bolster management favor, maintain their management position, or obtain a promotion.
ANSWER: Having an outside perspective assures the marketing audit is honest.
HOW DO I GET A PROFESSIONAL MARKETING AUDIT?
A business owner has many choices to select from when choosing to move forward with a marketing audit.
First and foremost, it is important to understand the key components of a marketing audit, what to request, and what information is needed. After self-educating on a marketing audit, the next move is to pen out marketing and business goals in conjunction with a tangible timeline. Once the business owner has evaluated what they need in a marketing audit, and what their business marketing goals are, they can then easily find an agent or company that fits best with their brand identity.
It's best to get several quotes; however, price shopping might not give a business owner with the desire to grow the results they need. Comparing price with quality is the most favorable option. A business owner most likely will get a bargain marketing audit if they are paying a bargain price. #facts
It is also highly important to consider building a long term relationship with your third party marketing firm. After a marketing audit is completed, the marketing agent or firm will present strategic resolutions to unresolved marketing or brand development obstacles as well as a game plan for business growth.
When considering hiring a third party marketing audit firm or agent, it is imperative to consider whether or not they can also perform marketing management, project management, and/or creative management. For a seamless transition from recommendation to a successful campaign or project management businesses should search out a firm or agent that can also govern the implementation and/or management of the strategy recommendations facet of their marketing audit performed. This will tremendously reduce the financial risk of making the wrong move without the right minds on their team.
Bernays Mind focuses on long term business and brand development.
After a comprehensive marketing audit is conducted and submitted to a business owner or representative, the business owner then has the option to continue to work with Bernays Mind to oversee the resolutions and recommendations through. Regardless of industry or brand, Bernays Mind will create and follow through with a plan aligning the short and long term goals of the business owner or company with a triumphant customer journey.
Bernays Mind offers Marketing Management, Creative Management, Brand Management, Image Management, as an extension to fully comprehensive marketing audits performed for small businesses, large corporations, influencers, politicians, investors, churches, and charities (503c).
SUMMARY: Contact bernaysmind.com to get a professional marketing audit for start up, small or large businesses, charities, brands development, and public figures. This is will assure long term business success and proper customer retention structuring.
DOES DIY MARKETING AUDIT SAVE MONEY?
With the power of the internet, comes the availability of easily accessible information one can review and implement into their brand development.
From DIY website building platforms, to graphic creation apps, a business owner can create everything necessary for marketing their product, vision, or idea without spending a single dollar on a professional.
This is usually done with the idea of "If I create my own, I don't have to pay someone and it will be just as good." Although, as a business owner, it is prudent to cut costs where you can, it is foolish to cut costs where a professional is recommended. Furthermore, there is no nice way to say it naïve to assume that DIY marketing (with no education, or years of working with clients in the marketing or creative design industry) performs as effectively as a professional's paid genius.
This can also be very detrimental to the long term development of a brand and the success goal mapping set for the brand development.
SUMMARY: In the end, long term business losses will unquestionably accumulate due to profit gains not accrued, which could have been avoided if a marketing professional was initially hired.