Marketing Audits for Small Businesses

Marketing Audits for Small Businesses

Marketing audits for small businesses should be done semi-annually.

When was the last time you performed a marketing audit for your small business?

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you know what your monthly web traffic is?
  • Do you know which web pages are driving the most traffic and why?
  • How are you doing relative to your competitors?

If you don’t have those right at your fingertips, you should soon go through a marketing audit. You’re missing a lot of low-lying fruit, and you might have a couple of blind spots.

Can you predictable tell me that your 90-day forecast is within +/- 10 percent? If so, you are doing great. How about +/- 5%. Can you do that for every gate in your sales funnel? Like a demand waterfall?

Although Matrix Marketing Group suggests doing a 360-degree marketing audit, these can be broken down. Marketing audits are like digital marketing audits.

You must know what your process is and the metrics in every section across your sales pipeline. If not, you better learn to. Your marketing audit will uncover the gaps in your marketing strategy.

There are tons of marketing audit templates and marketing audit template’s out there but we have married 130 data points in 10 categories with live feedback.

What is a small business marketing audit?

Marketing is crucial for small business success. It is a no-nonsense guide for doing a marketing audit so you maximize your marketing budget.

Marketing audit definition.

A marketing audit is a thorough review of your marketing plan, objectives, strategies, and the current activities being executed in your small business. The goal is to see what’s working and what isn’t to identify areas for improvement.

You have to review your whole revenue model periodically. Now you are surely moving to the bottom of your sales and marketing funnel. When was the last time you did that?

If you don’t have your revenue model mapped out, you must begin there. But wait. Before you do that, you must understand how your target customer will enter and progress through the buying decision and what part your brand will participate in. 

After performing a 5,452 marketing audit in the first half of this year, we uncovered that 74.1% want to generate more leads. These companies do not have enough to sustain a steady pipeline without substantial direct sales and advertising. 

leads marketing auditMatrix Marketing Group- Denver Digital Marketing Agency

After generating leads, lead conversion is a top priority going into 2021, with 86.6% of companies focusing on website conversion and overall lead conversion. Two primary issues are exposed here:

  1. Web traffic is not high quality 
  2. On-page SEO must be reviewed for bounce rate

The marketing audit for small businesses will show how you are doing with your MCL and MQL and how they convert to sales.

converted leads marketing auditMatrix Marketing Group

Did I mention this is not linear and add in a few different channels and throw in an e-commerce site, looking at omnichannel marketing? Sure multi-channel marketing will work, but it’s not connected to your other channels.

Next, you need to evaluate the performance of your various marketing activities, identify the winning ones, and eliminate or — modify — the ineffective campaigns. This section will review some metrics to monitor and suggest refining your internet marketing strategy.

Identify Opportunities with a Marketing Audit

When reviewing your marketing activities, figure out what you want to improve. 

  • Do you want more web traffic?
  • Do you want more people coming to your blog?
  • Do you want to convert more visitors to your home page into leads? 

Get into the mindset of continually looking for new opportunities. The marketing audit for small businesses will turn up your low-hanging fruit.

Set a Metric for Your Marketing Success.

Your metric should be quantifiable and involve a set time frame in almost all cases. 

For example, “Increase website leads by 127% over the next 90 days.”

You must understand your marketing and sales goals and objectives. What is your visitors to leads (MQL) capture ratio? How many of those visitors come back? How many were purchased from you? How many are active in your pipeline?

This marketing leads calculator will help you with your funnel and sales pipeline.

Refine Your Marketing Strategy.

What is content in marketing?

Your marketing strategy has to be subordinate to the corporate strategy, and therefore everything the marketing plan contains must be compatible. To achieve this is to have a mission statement for both the organization and the marketing department.

Unfortunately, the value of these statements has been undermined because the mission statements have become favorite terms for politicians, and the comments are used to express in an anodyne way party objectives. In reality, however unfortunate, creating a mission statement connotates it as a most valuable and practical activity.

As a college prof, I ask my students on the first day of math. Why are you taking math? Typically answer, I have to. Then I step in and say what the semester is about and math. I expect them to exit from my class, not memorize formulas and reverse engineering math problems. That’s easy.

I want them to understand the number, where they came from, and what impacts their actions may have to change that outcome. It is that simple. 

Now can you analyze how your programs performed in the last quarter? Last week? Today?

If you know this, you can make changes to achieve your marketing goals by doing less of what doesn’t work and more of what works.

If you are running an e-commerce website, about 1 to 5% intend to purchase something. So let’s walk through some math.

You’ve just launched your new eCommerce website. The website looks beautiful. Pricing is right on target. But after about three months, you’re wondering why sales are not coming in as rapidly as you might have thought. So let’s walk through some simple math.

Your product sells for $300 each. Your monthly web traffic is 1,000. Suppose you have a 3% intent to purchase rate and 70% cart abandonment. How many will you sell within 30 days?  

  • Monthly web traffic = 1,000
  • The product sells for $300 per month 
  • 5% of the visitors purchase
  • 70% abandonment rate

Share your figure here: @mmgtweets. Okay, the answer is at the end of this post.

A trend has been going on for years. CEOs and business owners have lost all patience with marketing. A study by the London-based Fournaise Marketing Group stated that 73% of CEOs think Marketers lack business credibility and are not the business growth generators they should be. Ouch. 

Sound familiar? If so, you are in trouble.

But you can fix it.

Marketers today are far from demonstrating how the marketing strategies and campaigns they deploy grow their organization? The top line is more customer demand, more sales, more prospects, more conversions, or more market share.

We have seen this over and over in many small businesses. They do not have a marketing plan (how about micro-plans?) at least not a documented plan that they can use to execute and measure marketing success monthly. 

While some small businesses have a marketing plan, they may not have identified operational strengths and weaknesses and established performance standards that can be benchmarked and tested.

So it doesn’t surprise me to read a report like the one from the Fournaise Marketing Group. A marketing audit for small businesses turn-up some significant issues and opportunities.

There are three primary gaps we have observed over the past 17 years. These gaps are in marketing talent, marketing technology, and marketing strategy.

The shortage of digital talent has been going on for years, but it can be seen in the right brain – left brain argument. The left-brain folks can’t understand tech and vice versa. This is not true. But the shortage is real. I’ve used micro-training to boost skill sets and carve time out for your staff.

If you allow your marketing staff to take time out for training, your investment will pay off in the long run and help with retention rates. But more importantly, you keep training staff, but your marketing efficiency and effectiveness go up.

It’s no secret the college and university are not kicking out that talent. I know I teach it.

There is a clear talent shortage in the US, which is particularly true of specialized skills, which are at the center of the competitiveness of the US economy. 

A marketing audit is a method Matrix Marketing Group uses for identifying and realizing underutilized marketing resources.

Those who have attempted to undertake a marketing audit well know that all too many questions ask not of themselves yield information that will lead to practical and profitable actions.

For example, the answer to the question, does management recognize the importance of designing the company to serve the needs & wants? Is the target market right? Is my marketing messaging getting a response?

It is difficult to translate into immediate practical recommendations with a marketing audit. 

So, where do you start? 

It all starts right here with a marketing audit for small businesses. Your marketing audit for small businesses is the most important part of your marketing plan and occurs before your marketing plan is even written. 

A marketing audit for small businesses is to the marketing department what a financial audit is to the accounting department. It offers a comprehensive review of a business’s marketing environment, objectives, strategies, and activities. In particular, it helps you examine your company’s marketing effectiveness. 

The results of the audit become the blueprint for strategic decisions and future marketing plans.

The marketing efforts in most businesses, large and small, can always be improved. In fact, in most companies, their marketing programs are damaged and in need of repair. 

This is always true whenever a company hires a new marketing manager. Sales are down, the company’s current marketing activities either are not working, not executed well, or promptly.

Below you can review marketing audit sample reports.

How to do a Marketing Audit Examples for Small Business in Simple 6 Steps

There are six steps in the marketing audit for small business processes. Whether complete or mini-audits are conducted, these steps remain the building blocks of the process.

How to Perform a Marketing Audit

  • Assign Auditor(s). Total objectivity is one key to the success of a marketing audit for small businesses. If you are the main architect of your marketing plan, you should not do the audit. Find associates who you respect to audit your plan. This could be an internal or external person(s), or both. Make sure whomever you choose can be candid, honest, and constructive.
  • Decide when the audit will be conducted. A Marketing Audit should be conducted annually. However, it can also be done when there are major management changes to show the current conditions of marketing.
  • Determine which areas will be audited. There are no hard fast rules regarding how a Marketing Audit must be. As a rule of thumb, the Marketing Audit should be as complete as it is necessary to identify neglected and under-use marketing resources.
  • Develop Marketing Audit forms. Use your audit criteria to develop a template you can provide your auditors. For each of the marketing plan sections you are testing, create questions meant to assess the completeness and effectiveness of that section. For example, in goals, you might ask, Are the business, sales, and marketing goals defined clearly? And can each goal be measured and tracked? Make sure the template is comprehensive, easy to use, and includes a scoring system to determine the overall readiness of your marketing plan.
  • Implement the Marketing Audit. Several implementation decisions must be made. These may include the timing and duration of the Marketing Audit, the level of awareness that the staff will have regarding the audit, how and when the audit is to be performed, and in what format the final report will be prepared. The audit can begin.
  • Present the audit results and translate them into action. When data collection is complete, the auditor(s) analyze the results and develop recommendations based on your marketing goals and best practices. These should include a visual and verbal presentation that shows the major findings and recommendations with specific actions you can take to increase your ROI program efficiency and effectiveness. The results are also summarized in a final written report. Upon conclusion, it can include a recommendation that sets a course for a new company direction.

Following this process, you will ensure you have developed what will be on your way to creating a successful marketing plan. 

Make sure you go into the process with an open mind and are objective. You do not have to take every recommendation from the audit results, but if you do not seriously consider each, you risk your company’s marketing potential.

Once you have evaluated your company’s previous startup marketing plan and its sales results, you are now ready to focus on developing your company’s new marketing plan. 

Let’s Look at Some Marketing Audit Examples for Small Business

Here are some observations from 5,724 startup and small business submissions over the past three years. We sorted and parsed the data and found that most small businesses are looking for more sales leads and better lead conversions. These marketing audits for small businesses reveal some interesting facts.

Generating quality leads from marketing activities was high at 66.7% (3,818).

Marketing audit dataMatrix Marketing Group

80 percent (4,579) of the respondents wanted to increase its conversion ratio (MQL to SAL)

Marketing Audit For Small Businesses | Matrix Marketing GroupMatrix Marketing Group

The marketing assessment covers 130 data points, so nothing is left to chance. The assessment will uncover marketing activities that need to be improved and activities that need to continue.

Take this FREE Marketing Audit right NOW and get results back in 48 hours.

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General FAQ’s for a Marketing Assessment

What is a marketing audit?

marketing audit is a thorough review of your marketing plan, objectives, strategies, and the current activities being executed in your small business. The goal is to see what’s working and what isn’t so you can identify areas for improvement.

What is the purpose of a marketing audit?

The purpose of a marketing audit is to identify whether any marketing activities could be more effective. The company may carry out the review themselves or with the support of a marketing agency.

What are the components of a marketing audit?

The components marketing audit, there are six components a marketing audit such as marketing environmental auditmarketing system auditmarketing strategy auditmarketing organization auditmarketing productivity audit, and marketing function audit.

What is the importance of a marketing audit?

The function of a marketing audit is to identify two critical sets of data insights: strengths and weaknesses. Performance weaknesses give any business owner the insight needed to determine areas of improvement. Performance strengths are the exact opposite. They show what is currently working and driving marketing success.

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