It’s time to take the guesswork out of marketing your business.
I like to think of marketing as a bucket full of water. There’s always going to be something that you need to fix and improve upon, so there’s always going to be holes in the bucket. But are those holes big ones at the bottom of the bucket, meaning you’ve got to work so much harder to keep filling the bucket. Or are they small holes at the top of the bucket that don’t leak customers and revenue as much, and therefore aren’t as urgent to fix?
In this episode, you’re going to discover how to fix up the leaking bucket, and take a good, hard, honest look at your marketing, to discover what areas you need to concentrate on so you can take your business to the next level.
In this episode you’ll learn:
- What is a marketing audit and what are the benefits to your marketing and your business
- The most important components of a marketing audit
- The marketing audit process and the exact questions to ask to get the best results from your current marketing
DOWNLOAD your copy of the 90 day Marketing Plan Template so you know what questions to ask to get bigger success from your marketing.
LISTEN to Episode 7 of the Simply Standout Marketing Podcast: Why your brand isn’t getting people’s attention
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Podcast Transcript: Importance of a Marketing Audit
How many times have you said to yourself, I think my marketing is working OK, but I’m not exactly sure what I need to do and what I should fix first to create the biggest wins, I’ll tell you now, you’re not alone. Every week I speak to small business owners who know what posts their fans love on Facebook, their e-mail open rates and the most popular page on their website. But they rarely know how to evaluate their marketing much further, which ensures they’re leaving a whole lot of money on the table.
Stick around, because today we’re looking at simple ways for you to work out exactly what you need to fix in your current marketing to make sure it’s bringing in all the customers and revenue you dream of so that you can stop wasting time and money on the stuff that isn’t working at its best.
Hello and welcome to the Simply Standout Marketing podcast. I’m your host, Nicci O’Mara, and today is all about looking at how your marketing is really going. Why? Because if you want to attract more customers, create more demand and generate more sales, you need to know exactly how your marketing is performing so you can make decisions to keep, tweak, fix or dump.
I like to think of marketing as a bucket full of water. There’s always going to be something that you need to fix and improve upon. So there’s always going to be holes in the bucket. But are those holes big ones at the bottom of the bucket, meaning you’ve got to work so much harder to keep filling the bucket? Or are they small holes towards the top of the bucket that don’t like customers and revenue as much and therefore not as urgent to fix?
All too often, businesses waste money on developing a new marketing strategy without thoroughly understanding why their last strategy wasn’t working. Maybe one part just needed a little tweaking to make it perform better. Maybe you are missing a key element, like the messaging was off. Maybe you were just trying to do too much at once and not doing anything properly. We’ve all been there. Even if your marketing is okay and you’re making money, there’s always room to grow, to aim higher and to identify opportunities to make it easier or more cost effective to market your business.
So how do you work out what you need to do to improve your current marketing so you get bigger results without putting more work on your plate? Well, you do a marketing audit.
What is a marketing audit?
I know the word audit isn’t making you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, except for if you’re one of my accounting friends. But it doesn’t have to be boring or hard and it has huge benefits for you and your bottom line. A marketing audit turns your marketing strategy inside out, exposing all its strengths and weaknesses.
It covers everything from branding, content marketing, website, SEO, social media, email marketing and offline marketing. Now, before you throw this in the too hard basket, I have a comprehensive supercharged marketing audit checklist that I’ve developed over the years to use with my clients, and I’m giving it to my lovely podcast listeners so that you know exactly what questions you need to be asking. The checklist asks a series of questions like true or false: I regularly delete non-responsive email subscribers?
True or false: I have clear calls to action on every single website or I have an understanding of when my past customers left, why they left and the potential of them coming back? Or true or false: I have keyword specific old image tags on every website image? The checklist makes it so much quicker and easier to identify what needs fixing. A small business marketing audit is a mixture of data, psychology and art. So just looking at one part of the equation, like the data won’t give you the answers you need to get the best results.
Small businesses are owned by people with a vested interest and love of their business. They sell to other humans who have emotions, needs, wants and problems that require solving. We want to know the data plus the emotion, which is why we ask questions like do your customers identify with the images you use? Is your brand messaging visible and prominent on every part of your marketing? How often do you post on Facebook? And what’s the engagement? Where do customers come from and how long do they stay?
Importance of a Marketing Audit
When you finish your marketing audit, you should have actionable takeaways of how to improve your marketing so you can grow your business further, even if things are fine when it comes to your marketing, conducting a marketing audit can have huge ramifications and should point you towards new opportunities for growth and improvement. And if things aren’t so great and your machine is running a little slow, it will help you pinpoint the strategies that are not working and help you make decisions about whether they’re even worth the effort.
Either way, you’ll stop wasting time and money and who doesn’t like that? I always recommend to my clients that they do their marketing audit one of two ways. They can do it themselves by breaking it into chunks to make it easier, plus, set themselves targets of something like reviewing one area of their marketing per week for a month. This method does have its limitations as sometimes it’s hard to be objective when it’s your own stuff that’s under the microscope. Plus, you only know what you know.
But if you’ve got the time and my handy checklist, it’s well worth doing your own marketing audit, especially when you’re first starting out and cash flow is tight. I’ve got to say from experience, it is so much easier to audit someone else’s marketing than it is to do your own. I often find with your own stuff it’s hard to be 100 percent honest because there’s emotion and preconceived ideas involved and sometimes a little defensiveness pops up going, I’ve done my best and I don’t want anyone thinking any different.
The thing is, with an audit, it’s not about rating anyone’s performance because we’re all doing the best we can with what we’ve got and what we know. It’s about looking for ways to improve so that you can make more money and more impact. Now, if analysis isn’t your thing, and you’d like to get the best results from your audit, then I’d highly recommend you get a professional marketing expert to do it for you. Having an independent expert provide you with their analysis and recommendations, even if it’s just to get you started, makes taking those hard decisions and forging a solid path so much easier.
Undertaking a marketing audit has always been the first thing I do with a new client and then is something we review every 12 months. The difference I’ve seen it make with my clients is huge because you’ve put in a heap of work into your current marketing, so it’s much more cost effective and time efficient to fix what you’ve got before you start on some new strategy. So what are the main areas you need to look at to conduct a marketing audit? You need to look at brand messaging, website, email, social media, content, advertising, local marketing like Google My Business and your all important data like customer, conversion and financial data.
Components of a marketing audit
Let’s go through some of the main things to review in each area and remember to download your copy of the marketing audit checklist so that you can start on your own marketing audit. The biggest and most critical area I find that small businesses get wrong is their brand messaging. So this is the place to start. The reason that most businesses don’t stand out and succeed is because they don’t know how to talk about their business in a way that captivates people’s attention.
They say what they think will work without truly understanding that there’s a formula behind every brilliantly successful brand message. I did an entire podcast episode on brand messaging, so go back and listen to episode seven. Now, your brand messaging will change along the way. So it is something you need to review every 12 months to make sure that it’s still hitting its target. Next, it’s onto your website. There’s a whole lot more to look into here than you’d think.
You need to look at everything from how are people progressing through your site? Are they clicking on an ad, getting to your site and then clicking away? If so, there’s a problem with that page that’s not converting. How do you rank on the likes of Google for different keywords? What words and phrases are people searching for to find your website? Where are your visitors coming from? What pages are they visiting and for how long? Are they purchasing? Are they going to the contact page? And what about images, design and user experience? And a gold star for those whose websites are fully optimised for mobile? So many questions, I know. But you have to ask great questions to get great answers.
Now onto email. Email isn’t all about sending out your product and service information to your clients like you’d think. It’s about building trust and connection. Creating an experience and offering value to your audience. And your email list is far more valuable than your social media list. Why? Because it’s yours and you’re not going to one day wake up and discover that you no longer can talk to your audience through email like Facebook did to thousands of businesses and community groups in Australia last month when they took down all their posts and even just when they changed the algorithm, so with came out, you want to look at the month by month percentage growth of your email list, the opens and clicks on links, the sales conversions, the number of unsubscribes and hopefully no spam reporting.
You also need to consider the goals of your email marketing and whether you’ve reached them, such as generating sales, attendance at events and engagement. With email marketing it’s so easy to get this type of information from reports in your email marketing software. I use and love active campaign and they provide great reports for every campaign and automation that I do. And if you’re not using email marketing software, we need to chat because you’re missing out on a hell of a lot and making life hard for yourself.
Now, when it comes to reviewing your social media, you need to look at way more than just audience growth you need to consider. Are you attracting your ideal clients and customers with the content that you’re putting out there? Because as you’ve seen, there are people and businesses out there with huge followings, but they’re not translating into sales because they’re either attracting the wrong people or they’re putting out content that’s not captivating. So you don’t need a huge audience to make a difference.
So take a look at your social media insights, which you’ll find within every platform to get a better understanding of who your audience really is, what they like, what time they’re most active. You can also see what engagement you get for individual posts to see what’s working right now and what’s not. The next one we need to talk about is your content, which is what you put out on social media. Your blog, videos and podcasts. Generating clear, customer focussed content is the key to whether you stand out or hide in the shadows with everyone else.
Does your content show that you stand for something, or are you always going along with popular opinion? Does it solve a problem in a different way? Does it make people think differently, connect with other humans? And also you need to look at what ways you can simplify, ways you can automate and reuse your content so that you’re not stuck on that content wheel of torture. Now moving on to advertising and here we’ll talk about both online and offline, the first thing you want to figure out is the cost versus the results.
Often businesses keep advertising in the same place because it’s comfortable, easy, and someone else will do the work, hopefully. In many cases, you might have been better off handing the cash to strangers walking by. So please, please check your results. Now, if you’re advertising offline, take a look at your sales queries and figures for the times when your ads have been published. Also, please be sure to check independent circulation of viewer figures where you can, because these change every single month. And I’ve seen way too many times where the actual media outlets publish out of date figures that are higher to make them look better.
Now on to local marketing side of things. An important one for local businesses is to make sure that your Google, my business listing and any other local listings are up to date. Do they have your logo and your brand messaging highlighted? What about images, testimonials and updated opening hours? And have you got keywords in there that people would use to search for you?
It’s very quick and easy to fix the likes of Google my business and very valuable for local businesses of all kinds. Now, the last major thing that we’re actually gonna talk about today is your marketing budget. What was your last marketing budget? You know, what was the spend? What did it achieve? 2020 was not a normal year by any means, and I don’t think 2021 will be either. So it might be difficult to determine your true return on investment, but it’s absolutely worth looking at.
Benefits of a Marketing Audit
It’s time to take the guesswork out of your business. Whether you love it or hate it, undertaking a yearly marketing audit is essential if you want to know the real story behind how successful your marketing is. I’ve been doing this for over 25 years and I don’t want you to struggle anymore. Figuring out what parts of your marketing are working optimally, what fresh opportunities are out there, and what changes you should make for bigger results. I want you to fix up the leaking bucket and take a good, hard, honest look at your marketing to discover what areas you need to concentrate on so you can take your business to the next level.
Remember to download your copy of the Supercharge Marketing Audit checklist so you can start discovering where the holes are in your marketing faster than before. The link is in the show notes and while you’re there, I’d love it if you could leave me a review. Thanks so much for listening. I’ll be back next week with an amazing guest talking about some of the best Facebook ad tips I’ve come across.
Thanks for listening to the Simply StandOut Marketing Podcast. Head over to simplystandoutmarketing.com for the show notes, downloads and even more great stuff to help you grow your business with marketing made simple.