One of my favorite quotes is Einstein’s definition of insanity—doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. While we’d all like to think that we learn from our mistakes, the marketing audit is a formalized process that helps to objectively separate your successes from your failures.
A marketing audit provides invaluable insight in developing marketing plans. It takes a look at the big picture, providing an inventory and evaluation of your marketing assets. Each activity is assessed individually and collectively for cost, reach, effectiveness and fit with your overall brand. While many businesses rate the success of a specific project at its conclusion, most do not have the time or capabilities to review their marketing efforts as a whole.
The first stage of the audit is discovery, which includes a review of external factors that affect marketing. What kind of marketing are others in your industry doing? What is working or not working for them? Is there research data already out there that sheds light on what you should be doing? Discovery also entails a comprehensive internal examination of marketing activities—owned media (website, newsletter, collateral materials), earned media (PR, press coverage), paid media (advertising) and shared media (any social media activity and online reputation).
In the evaluation phase, the auditor makes recommendations for marketing initiatives likely to be the most effective. Findings are compiled into a report that provides a thorough, objective third party assessment of the marketing function within your organization. In order to decide where you’re going, it’s vital to know where you’ve been. If you don’t have a clear picture, a marketing audit could be the answer you need.
Laura Tobin is the Vice President of Gallinghouse Marketing + Creative. She is a 25+ year veteran of the ad industry with regional and national experience in marketing. Gallinghouse is located at 409 W. 21st Ave., Covington. For more information call 985-893-7631 or visit gallinghouse.com
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