There can be big gains from small tweaks to your marketing plan. There are two types of marketing plan audits. The first is the comprehensive which should occur at least one a year and then there are the “mini” audits which should happen at minimum every quarter.
The “mini” marketing audit is stripped down to the bare essentials and the goal is to create a task list which can be done quickly and easily and yield results right away.
Mini Marketing Audit Questions
1. What initiatives and key messages generated the greatest number of leads, media placements, or sales in the last 2 years?
2. Which marketing channel (website, email, text message, pay-per-click, radio, TV) netted the most revenue for the lowest investment?
3. Who is your target audience (describe them) and has that changed due to economic conditions, pricing considerations, or new product and/or service offerings?
4. Who are your most valuable customers? How and where do they purchase your product or service offering?
5. What are your competitor’s offerings and are you tasked with increasing market share, stakeholder satisfaction, $ revenue, or all of the above?
6. What are your organization’s short-term and long-term strategic goals?
7. What in-house vs. outsourced resources do you have available?
8. Are you on-target with your marketing budget, over budget, or under budget? Why? Do adjustments need to be made?
9. Are there any upcoming deadlines, events, or projects that might require you to alter your marketing plans in the next 3-4 months?
10. Have you taken advantage of trying out new marketing methods (internet advertising, media relations, email newsletters, mobile marketing, website marketing) to gauge their effectiveness? What percentage of your marketing budget could you set aside to explore new options (usually about 5-10% of a budget)?
Sample Task List
Mini Marketing Audit Answers and Task List
Best Campaigns to do again: Summer 2008, Winter 2009
Best marketing message: Go BOGO (Buy One Get One Free) for the highest redemption rate and increased sales.
Best ROI marketing channels: website, email newsletters, text message campaigns, media relations/press releases & media kit, co-op advertising program, custom loyalty program.
Least ROI channels/not able to track effectiveness: radio, TV, outdoor billboards
Target audience: 25-45 households with kids (families) within a 2 hour radius of our location. Current economic conditions indicate that this audience may be watching their dollars closer and spending less. To keep sales up, we should look to expanding our demographic to include the baby boomer age group and expand to web sales
Most valuable customers: local customers looking to support us. Need to keep them happy and coming back more.
Competitors: offer similar offerings. We try to differentiate by talking about our expanded service and support, monthly payment plans, and testimonials.
Marketing goals: increase revenue by 5% in the next quarter.
Organization short term goal: reduce overhead by 5%
Organization long term goal: increase profitability by 5%.
In-house vs. outsourced: loss of one staff member means we will need to outsource more marketing functions in the next 1-2 months while we look for another staff member. Will need to find one or multiple companies to assist us in everyday marketing tasks including: graphic design, ad placement, email newsletter copywriting, design, and sending, press release copyrighting, etc.
Marketing budget: we are under budget because we were not able to complete one of the campaigns from last quarter due to technology set-up issues. Will try to complete that project this quarter or reallocate the funds to a different campaign.
Upcoming events: within 2 months we will launch a new product that should appeal to a younger more web savvy consumer. We may need to shuffle some of the budget and timelines to get this launched.
New marketing channel test: would like to start an internet advertising campaign on Google, Yahoo, and MSN. Need to find a company to help us implement this. Tie this to the new product launch. Will try 2-3 months with a budget of $5,000.