How the powerful tool of auditing can help your 2022 marketing

January 16, 2022

Mention the word ‘audit’ and you may automatically think of statistics, figures and number crunching.

However, auditing is perhaps one of the most powerful tools that you have in your marketing toolkit – but it can easily be overlooked.

Whether you’re putting together a new plan, looking to launch a campaign or find your current activity is failing to reach the goals you’ve set, then an audit may be just what you need to kick start your 2022 marketing.

Just as with other areas of business, an effective audit should highlight the strengths and weaknesses of your marketing, and as Amy Bull – head of content at Peterborough-based PR and digital marketing specialists, Media Matters, explains: “The audit would ideally look at all areas and activity of your marketing – from your website, through to PR and social media.

“It can also be of great benefit to focus the audit on particular areas where you believe there may be an issue; for example, you might think thin content is limiting your website’s potential, so a content audit would be a great place to start. From there you’ll be able to assess where to direct your marketing activity and resources.

“But auditing doesn’t just help you plan your upcoming marketing and devise a marketing strategy or give insight into what is and isn’t working. There are a number of lesser-known reasons why auditing can give your marketing a boost.”

Here are Amy’s top five tips:

1. Review your competitors

Auditing is an opportunity to look at your own marketing, but to also look outside of your organisation. Auditing your competitors at the same time as your own marketing should help you to benchmark where you currently sit within the market – and what you need to focus on to get where you want to be.

2. Identify gaps in resource  

An audit will always flag areas for improvement – no matter how advanced your marketing, there should always be some new opportunities uncovered. But to seize those opportunities you will probably require additional resources, or at least a reallocation of resources. Auditing should flag to you where resources may be needed, and from there you can begin planning how to acquire that resource to help you achieve your goals.

3. Secure budget  

By showing the big picture – of where your brand sits within the market and how your marketing is currently performing – your audits will be a hugely useful tool when it comes to justifying the allocation of marketing budget (and potentially securing more money for new activity too). Use your audits to show where additional budget could lead to improvements and you’ll be on your way to a convincing argument to put forward to decision makers.

4. Set realistic KPIs 

Ever felt like a goal or objective has just been plucked out of thin air? Well, thanks to audits it doesn’t have to be that way. Audits can help you to set KPIs that are just right for your marketing – not too ambitious, but which still require a stretch to help you achieve your overarching goals. By understanding where improvements are required and how marketing is currently performing, you’ll be able to choose KPIs that show progress.

5. Celebrate your wins!

Taking a look at the state of your current marketing is the perfect reason to also focus on some of your achievements. It can be all too easy to focus in on what needs to change or improve, but audits can also highlight where you’ve made improvements (particularly if you regularly audit and benchmark your activity) and where you may be ahead of your competitors. Audits don’t need to be all doom and gloom – they can show you where you’re making advances and where continued investment and hard work is paying off.