Small businesses may think a marketing audit is a luxury that they cannot afford when in actuality, the need to spend a limited marketing budget wisely is precisely why a marketing audit is important. In other words, investing in a marketing audit can actually help a small business save money in the long run as long as the audit is conducted in a manner proportionate to the business’ marketing efforts.

Let’s define what we’re discussing to understand how.

What is a marketing audit and what is its purpose?

In its most basic form, a marketing audit is a look into a company’s marketing activities and its goals to identify opportunities for improvement.

For a small business, this is really an essential first step to making sure your marketing decisions are founded on data and not on hunches. Too many small businesses let hearsay, trends or even competitors drive their marketing strategy, but without systematically evaluating what is working and what is not for your company, the chances are you’ll miss the mark.

Even if you’re hitting your individual campaign goals and it therefore seems like your efforts are effective, conducting a periodic marketing audit helps determine if your campaign goals are in fact helping you reach your business objectives.

For example, you may be getting all the social likes you ever wanted, but is that translating into sales?

The main reason to conduct a marketing audit is to inform your decisions about where to put your resources.

Even though you should be evaluating the performance of your campaigns along the way, the benefit of conducting a marketing audit is that it allows you to re-evaluate the decisions that your current campaigns are based on. It forces you to step back and see what may have changed since you made those decisions or what you may not have considered.

Can a Small Business Conduct Its Own Marketing Audit?

It’s important to note that a small business marketing audit will differ in scope from that of a large firm and should be focused on the big picture. While it’s not uncommon for a large firm to appoint an internal task force or executive to be the auditor, for a small business it’s usually more effective when an independent party is tasked with conducting the audit.

First, the auditor must be qualified to perform the audit and second, the audit should be completed in a timely manner. A small business should consider the resources required for an internal audit and whether it can be done at an optimal time. Further, a small business owner may not be able to objectively interpret the varying factors influencing the company’s marketing performance .

Depending on what marketing activities are in practice and what the audit finds, a small business may also benefit from taking a deeper look into a specific strategy by conducting a tactic-level analysis such as an SEO audit, a content marketing audit or a PPC audit. These in-depth analyses can further reveal how to improve your marketing efforts at a more granular level. But don’t be too quick to assume a tactic-level audit is all you need or risk throwing money at a lost cause. Get the full check-up first before undergoing any procedures.

I am a marketing consultant in Maui. I offer a variety of marketing audit services and can help you identify where changes need to be made and then help you take the steps to make them.┬áIf you want to work with a professional who will focus on helping you reach your marketing goals and make the best use of your limited resources, I’d love to discuss what that means for your business. Contact me below!

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