The main aim of the digital marketing audit is identification of strengths and weakness of the current digital marketing strategy and its execution.
Structural approach and also extensive expertise are needed in order to know where to look for and what for. It is not an analysis for the sake of a fancy report, but to divide a plan how to improve and grow your business. After such list is developed and a business owner and/or senior manager do know where the business is in terms of digital marketing and what are possible directions for improvement, the real work starts.
Yet I find it much more effective to do the audit first prior to simply fixing search engine marketing or approaching SEO. In many cases there are issues at the strategy level – poor identification and selection of target keywords, product or pricing decisions that can be improved and so on. Similarly, only after mapping a user journey and experience, business can start to efficiently automate these processes.
Bigger picture and roots of the digital marketing issues
It many sound a bit theoretical now, but it is actually very down to specific details of your business, its business model and revenue streams. Digital marketing audit can identify some flaws in overall strategy too. My ability to look at the bigger picture helps with that too.
Another huge benefit of conducting a digital marketing audit is not only to identify the issues and start developing ways to overcome those, but also to get to the very roots of those issues. As my experience shows, sometimes those causes are linked to wider problems with profitability, business models, targeting and positioning. My belief is that it is better to start from those causes and change digital marketing strategy and the use of the channels accordingly.
This creates a holistic approach to marketing strategy. It is linked to value generation and how are customers subsequently satisfied.
Example of digital marketing audit flow
In the meantime, let me show a quick example how it may look like.
- We start with outlining the background your business operates in. It doesn’t need to be much, just its core – values, proposition, business model, about its market and customers in brief.
- Does actual digital marketing strategy exists? What are the signs that it needs improvement? (i.e. acquisition is too costly, retention is too low, etc). It does not happen very often, but there are rare cares when there is no actual issue with digital marketing, but there are doubts whether it goes ‘as planned’, if the initial audit finds out that this is the case, I’d say so. In our current dynamic business environment, there is no point of wasting time.
- Taking some warning signs aside, we want to look at the very core of marketing strategy – audit positioning, targeting and branding together with strategic choices and direction mid- and short- term. Does this need to be changed or tweaked somehow in order to deliver better results? Again, at this point we do not make gross assumptions, we develop suggestions based on current background and business model of the company.
- When the main strategic choices are examined and modified, tactics isn’t going to be very difficult to tweak. We start with 7P model, where we audit and at the same time modify decisions about Product, Price, Place, Promotion and so on. Similarly, we tackle Marketing Communications Mix with digital marketing in mind.
- Measurement is usually the final step in any marketing plan, here we double-check how business analyses its indicators and how the new and improved digital marketing strategy and plan would be measured. Analytics is a great asset to any company as it brings the ability to learn and capitalize on strengths.
- Final step is to draw an action plan. In many cases this action plan, which is based on the recommendations of the digital marketing audit, is then executed by the company’s marketing team or outsourced to an agency. I am happy to join either way to help fine-tune how different digital marketing channels perform or to set up one from scratch. I have been setting up Search Engine Marketing and Affiliate Marketing for dozens of companies to follow through on my recommendations.
The beauty of the digital marketing audit is in its simplicity. Business is an entity that needs to deliver profit to the stakeholders. It does not care about an ego or some complicated 100-page documents. At this point it needs actionable recommendations based on facts and the essence of the business itself.
Please do get in touch if you want to discuss some details.