What marketing doesn't realize is that by having a marketing audit not done by a 'friendly' party, you are not being exposed for not being a good marketer, just having an extra set of marketing eye's over your spend and quality of work.
Marketing Managers are terrified that if they get a marketing audit, they will no longer get the budget that they first did, or may lose an agency that they really liked as people, but ultimately where not performing to the brief.
What marketing audits should do, is work closely with marketing managers, who are not expected to know everything, nor be across every industry benchmark, and work out what is on brand, what is not, and of course, what is working and what is not.
The biggest issues companies face when conducting a marketing audit is:
- Employee buy-in
- Access to key stakeholders
- Unbiased accounts of marketing practices and accountability
- Access to marketing budget across all disciplines
- Understanding the deference that exists when surveying key personnel face to face and online
- Communicating to all stakeholders the benefits and how they all will grow and expand their abilities and scope by having a professional audit
Marketing Managers are usually the first to say that an audit is a waste of money and resources. They are scared that something will be uncovered or the choices they have made may not be the right one's. But if they truly work for the company and not themselves, they would embrace the power of a marketing audit and ability to ensure that the next year, is going to be indeed a better one.
I haven't seen an instance where a Marketing Manager has been fired due to a marketing audit, but I have seen them learn a lot and benefit greatly from the reporting of outcomes. Usually they end up with more money to spend on things that achieve greater results.
It's imperative that marketing audits are a mixture of marketing consultation, research, benchmarking, science and art. Knowing whether everything in on brand and on message is imperative. Some people don't know the difference but a person that is a professional marketing auditor does.
When should you conduct a marketing audit?
Marketing audits are best performed prior to developing a marketing strategy for the next year. The results of the audit will ensure that the marketing budget is better spent, and achieves greater results.
Why should you conduct a marketing audit?
The main reason a company should conduct a marketing audit is to ensure that they are spending the marketing budget where it should be spent and how it should be spent. It also is imperative to ensure that the entire company is on-message and on-brand, no matter where in the organization.
As much as brand is always an issue and keeping to the style guide is rarely intact, it's the key messages across an organization that tends to be the biggest issue. With a marketing audit, this is fixed.