Almost all organizations that I have come across in almost 30 years of marketing have had the same questions about marketing – regardless of whether they are manufacturing, distribution or service focused businesses: Am I getting the best bang for my buck? Could I be doing better? What else am I missing?
In most cases, while the management group asks themselves those questions, very few have bothered to really challenge themselves from a marketing perspective. In real terms. Why not? Well, finance departments have a tool by which they are measured, and that is via the financial audit that they are required to undertake, usually by some legal or financial requirement. Yet that is simply from a compliance perspective, and the audit itself cannot and does not add true value to the organization.
The mind boggles when one realizes that, with the kind of money that organizations spend on marketing, there would not be a greater desire by management teams to undertake regular marketing audits in order to evaluate how the money being spent on marketing could be improved. Just think about it. What other area of your business spends more in an un-regulated manner? Yes, we all accept that marketing is not a science, but I can guarantee that, as time progresses, and as digital media becomes a more significant part of marketing commitments, that measurement and evaluation will become more and more common place. This will lead to a desire to measure the Return on Marketing Investment more accurately together with an evaluation of whether other, more effective options could be chosen or tested.
So, is there an answer? Absolutely. It’s called The Marketing Audit.
The marketing audit is to the organization what a financial audit is to the accounting or finance department. It represents a comprehensive review of a company’s marketing environment, objectives, strategies, and activities, and its ultimate goal is to identify opportunity areas in the organization’s marketing plan that may have been missed. It identifies strengths and weaknesses in the plan and recommends areas where improvements could be made in the strategy and the plan, as well as individual tactics.
Ultimately, the audit is a tool that one can use to second guess the organization’s current marketing reality. It represents an independent view of the marketing strategy and plan, as well as the tactics that are currently in use.
The audit is not meant to challenge or check on the existing marketing team; it is however an “out-of-the-box” perspective on how the organization’s money is being spent. Think of it as a big picture view of the situation that the organization finds itself in – you may just find that there are some gold nuggets that may have been missed. And given that the marketing team (or individual) is always caught up in managing the plan, it is very difficult for them to see the opportunities from the same perspective as an independent, non-biased perspective. At the end of the day, isn’t that why an auditing firm comes in to check that the accounting or finance department has not missed anything?
Marketing Tip…from Neville Pokroy
A marketing audit is most useful to senior management because it takes a strategic and a tactical approach to evaluating the opportunities facing the organization. Very often, the marketing team is operating in a tactical mode only – a situation that often exists because of the current needs and situation. From this perspective it is often very difficult for the marketing team to add to an unbiased perspective, no matter how hard they try.
The Marketing Audit links business strategy to marketing strategy, and as such enables the marketing auditor to understand the situation from a very unique perspective.
How much money are you spending on marketing this year? And next? Would a small investment in a marketing audit allow you to spend less? Or maybe spend the same amount – but more effectively?
Here are two examples of how the marketing audit helped clients get a better handle on their marketing plan and their marketing spend:
“You have provided us, for the first time since my tenure at the firm, with solid, practical guidance when assisting us to set our strategic plan, but also in the execution of the plan. You have become an integral part of our marketing group and both the managing partner and myself trust your judgment.” General Manager Law Firm
“You helped us to identify tactics that would drive business to our clinic, at a cost significantly less than was recommended by previous marketing consultants. The implementation of your specific recommendations increased referrals from general practitioners to our clinic by 160% over a three month period.” MD and Owner of a Pain Management Clinic
Isn’t it time to find out what an audit could do for you? Reset your “successmeter” to a better level…call Neville at 905-886-2235 or email Neville@mastermindsolutions.ca
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