So, you’ve just inherited your organization’s marketing and/or sales/admissions/giving efforts. You don’t know much about marketing, but you know it doesn’t look good.
Don’t know where to start with your marketing efforts? Start with an audit.
A marketing audit gives you a working picture of your current state. It will show whether or not your marketing efforts are consistent, process-driven and repeatable – or if you need to do a little more work. It’s also a springboard for a plan. In order to know where you need to go, you must start by knowing where you currently are.
An audit is most effective when it is done by a marketing professional who can expertly asses your needs. However, if you need to assess where you are, quickly, there are some key audit steps you can perform on your own.
Before you do anything, make sure that you do your research. Reach out to comparable institutions or organizations. Too many marketing professionals think it’s up to them to have all the answers, but you are not the first captain to sail these waters – use the maps and charts others have passed along.
Review Your Materials
Get everything your marketing team has produced (or focus it on a specific revenue stream like admissions or sales) and put it on display. Review it with the team and make notes on its visual consistency and its message consistency.
Think through your materials. Everything may look the same, but does it all look boring? For an added twist, compare it to your competitor’s materials. This benchmark will help you delineate between where you want to be (your goals) and where you need to be right now (better than your competition).
Review Your Processes
Take any maps, plans or other documentation that is directly related to your marketing efforts or the marketing efforts of a specific project. Review these processes. Are they realistic? Can they be repeated consistently? Would time best be spent somewhere else?
If you don’t have any processes, that should be a strong indicator that your marketing efforts have not been strategic or sustained. Step one of your new goals might be building these processes.
Interview Your Team
Sit down with your team members one at a time to better understand their daily tasks. Use this time to really learn about your team. What do they think about the work? Is there a better way to do something?
Team interviews aren’t meant to be threatening and should be approached with a clean slate. Give your team a chance to talk.
Now that you’ve seen the work, it’s time to do a little analysis. You’ll probably find some activities are working very well, and some others are perilously close to failure. You will probably also find activities that add little value and could be ceased immediately with little repercussion.
An audit gives you a survey of where you are – and helps you get on a path to where you want to go. It’s an essential step in any marketing office.
D. White & Company is a marketing consulting firm that helps organizations build successful brands. Want us to help you conduct your audit? Schedule an appointment with us today.