There are three types of people in life. The ‘nothing’s wrong, everything’s fine despite this terrible pain in my side’, type. The ‘it’s probably because I ate too much pudding yesterday,’ type. And the ‘it’s probably worth checking that with the doctor,’ type.
Thankfully, most, sensible people would choose to consult with the expert.
There’s a certain reassurance in the medically trained person who can check you over and deliver an informed diagnosis, using all the medical tools and resources at his or her disposal. And it’s common sense to consult someone who can prescribe the right treatment.
So, if you’re the sensible type who wouldn’t risk your own health, why would you risk the health of your business marketing?
Perhaps there’s a problem you don’t know how to fix. Or your not generating the leads you need but can’t identify why. Maybe your business is fine but a little lethargic and needs a pick me up. Whatever your situation, surely it’s better to bring in an objective, experienced specialist, who knows the right questions to ask, who can access all the right resources, and who can help your business on the road to health.
A specialist marketing consultation for your business
There are countless factors that influence the ‘health’ of your company. They can include internal issues, such as management inefficiencies, skills gaps, system weaknesses, or lack of processes or structure. External influences can include the economy and buyer willingness to spend, trading laws, government regulations and even the weather. But these variables can be hard to see. After all, your business managers or even your in-house marketing teams are surrounded by conflicting opinions, and they’re caught up trying to make the business run smoothly and hit your targets. They have little time to see beyond their mounting daily tasks, let alone identify and resolve deficiencies in their marketing.
So how can you begin to focus on improving your marketing, improving conversion rates and growing sales?
The answer is a marketing audit.
This is defined by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as “… a review or appraisal of your existing marketing activities. Carrying out the marketing audit provides the opportunity to review and appraise your whole marketing activity, enabling you to assess past and present performance as well as to provide the basis for evaluating possible future courses of action.”
A marketing audit provides an objective look at your marketing – an outsider’s view, seeing things with a fresh perspective, if you like. Free from the time constraints and influence of internal factors, a marketing audit will identify problems that you may not be aware of, or highlight areas for growth. For example, it may reveal your business is throwing money away on activity that generates little or no revenue. Alternatively, a marketing audit may expose a particular customer need that you hadn’t previously thought of. All it takes is a single revelation to improve the health of your marketing.
What’s involved in a marketing audit?
There’s a lot more to it than you might think. A marketing audit is best when carried out by skilled marketing professional who will look at your business objectives to fully understand the direction in which you want to move. The professional will know the right questions to ask to glean critical information. At KG Moore we take a structured, thorough approach to completing a marketing audit.
Our external audit research includes the answers to specific, relevant questions based on three key areas: the economic, competitive and market environments. For the internal audit, our questions focus on your sales, profit margins, costs, customer insight, marketing systems and your current use of the marketing mix.
Competitor research is also a crucial part of a marketing audit and can make use of intelligent resources such as the Competitor Analysis Tool. This type of research can also include competitor pricing analysis. Far more than just searching competitor sites and looking for product comparisons, good competitor analysis is a more involved process. Crucially, it presents data in a smart way that’s useful to the business, basing findings against value drivers – what matters most to your customers. Customer research is also an important element of a marketing audit. Customers don’t always see your business in the way you think they see it and a good marketing audit will reveal the truth.
“But that’s the way we’ve always done it.”
A good marketing audit will reveal gaps and inefficiencies in the way your business has always done things. But it isn’t just a diagnosis. An audit delivers a plan of recommendations for change that the company can implement to resolve issues and use as a basis for stronger marketing performance. But it’s sometimes difficult to come to terms with changes and many businesses operate on a “but that’s the way we’ve almost done it” approach. It’s always important to look at the bigger picture – these changes may take some extra work to incorporate, but they’re based on the results of a thorough, accurate marketing audit and, without them, there’s little chance of improvement.
Again, remember that a good marketing professional will always consider your company’s goals and objectives when conducting a marketing audit, and ensure any changes align with these goals. And, at KG Moore, we’re realistic. We’ll always base our recommendations on your company’s available resources and budget.
So, who has a marketing audit worked for?
We’ve conducted many marketing audits which have helped businesses improve different aspects of their marketing performance. Our experience in marketing audits is invaluable. Experienced eyes can see things that the inexperienced will miss. Our methods are proven across different types of organisations and industry sectors and we can tailor and apply these successful techniques to help your business meet its marketing objectives.