How to Justify a Marketing Audit to the C-Suite
When you’re ready for a marketing audit, but you’re not sure if the CEO, CMO or even the CFO will approve the budget, you need the tools to make it happen.
What’s the ROI of a marketing audit? What’s it going to tell us other than we need to spend more money? Why do we need to pay for a diagnostic on our marketing?
Any of these questions may come from the C-Suite. They’re all valid. So let’s arm you, the marketing manager, marketing director or VP of marketing with the tools you need to prove how valuable and important this strategic analysis can be for your business.
First thing’s first: You need to know where you are
Any successful journey starts with knowing where you are. You can’t get to point B if you don’t understand point A. For your growth marketing journey, understanding where your brand is right now is critical. One of the most effective ways to truly assess your current situation is from a high level, expert point of view.
Much like a writer needs an editor, your marketing department needs a fresh perspective. You may know every piece of collateral you’ve ever created. You know why the brand colors and logo look the way they do. You understand the intent behind each nuanced part of the brand.
But if all that knowledge blocks your ability to see your marketing from a consumer’s point of view,as happens to so many of when our industry becomes part of our DNA, then you’re likely missing the forest for the trees.
There’s no blame to be had here,most brands have this same blindspot. It’s why the marketing departments of big brands work with outside creative agencies. In fact, The Coca-Cola Company works with several creative agencies to turn their marketing efforts into award-winning campaigns.
Closer to home, Impulse Creative works with several clients who have full marketing departments. For instance, we work with the team at Monterey Mushrooms to bring fresh perspectives, new strategy and creative ideas to their brand.
So the perspective you get on where you are right now as a brand is priceless. Really you’re understanding where you are so that you don’t duplicate efforts, move forward in the wrong direction, or waste money.
Next up: What’s working that you can double-down-on?
Once we know what’s going with your marketing, we’ll look at what’s working. Understanding where your wins are will help you double-down on the successful marketing initiatives. (This is part where doing your homework starts saving money and stops you from reinventing the ad about the wheel.)
When you focus on your strengths, you get stronger.
Maybe you rank well in search results for a powerful keyword that’s sending high-value leads to your sales team. Knowing that information can help your content creators focus on that keyword for more quick wins. A marketing audit can help you find quick wins and drive real revenue – and real value – immediately. What’s not to like about that?
Then: Where are the opportunities for growth?
Of course not everything is perfect. There’s always room for improvement. And a marketing audit will help you to find real, data-based opportunities for growth, so you’re planning your next move using more than a hunch or industry trends.
This could mean consolidating multiple marketing tools into one tool, saving money and increasing efficiency. It may mean you find new marketing strategies to implement that you never thought would work for your company. The possibilities are endless but the point is, you’ll get insight absolutely unique to where your business is right now.
Perhaps your brand is a B2B powerhouse, and you already know that social media like Instagram just isn’t for you. You tried it on the advice of an intern, and your C-Suite wasn’t impressed. We get it.
But have you worked your LinkedIn network from your company page all the way to your administrative staff? Have you utilized YouTube as a social platform?
The right marketing audit will help you see where you can go, where you can improve and understand what’s not working. You’ll even discover new marketing ideas that you may not have realized were an option for you.
More information: What tools can help?
Two heads are better than one. It’s an old school saying you’ve probably heard somewhere. And it’s true.
Do you know the landscape of marketing technology tools has exploded in recent years to include some 7,000 solutions? 7,000! Do you know them all?
Working with an agency on your marketing audit will open your eyes to new tools, help you to reconsider tools you’ve heard of and decide what’s going to work for you. Maybe you’ve compared Pardot versus HubSpot in years past. But how does the comparison pan out today?
We’ve seen companies using multiple solutions for email, marketing automation, analytics, conversational marketing, forms and landing pages. Sure, sometimes you need to go deeper into a specialty when one tool offers a broad brushstroke for something. Other times you can find the right marketing tool for multiple needs. A marketing audit will show you where you can take advantage of the right tools for your business, getting the most for your marketing money.
What’s the damage? How much will this cost?
Why does a marketing audit at Impulse Creative cost $5,000? The fact is, a comprehensive marketing audit takes time. It’s not a free consultation some agencies offer, where they give the same canned ideas they give everyone.
Instead, we put some of the best minds in marketing to work, looking over every aspect of your brand. We dive into your online presence, your analytics, your tools, your social media and more. We spend weeks compiling the data, interpreting what it means then putting it all together and proposing a plan you can share and understand.
We’ll uncover areas where you can save money and areas where you’ll need to invest more of your budget. The end result will be a strategic plan (ready-aim-fire) rather than a best guess proposal (fire-aim-ready) to get your marketing aligned with your business goals.
Investing $5000 in a strategic plan will save you tens of thousands of wasted marketing dollars spent on a best-guess strategy with no data to back it up. That’s not even a question of tactics, it’s simple math.
How about a happy customer?
Is it worth it? Will a marketing audit really work? Here’s what two of our clients say:
Maris Cohen, Director of Content Marketing for The NPD Group says our marketing audit brought so much value to her team. NPD hired Impulse Creative to run a marketing audit. She said, “The audit really helped because it’s not just NPD looking inward. It’s bringing in experts with a fresh perspective and gets us out of our own heads.”
Maris also found great value in ideas and strategic points in the audit that had the opportunity for immediate implementation – like relevant content for their intended audience.
“Finally, maybe our favorite part was the fact that the audit was run by a smart team for a reasonable investment, not just ‘some guy’ or a huge $30,000 price tag with no deliverables.”
We also talked with Shawn O’Brien, Chief Marketing Officer of The Nickel Ride. He says a major value to a marketing audit is uncovering every stone, including common sense stuff many of us tend to let go, like SEO page elements.
“The Impulse Creative team is made up of experts on changing trends to help keep you ‘unstuck in your ways’ with an outsider’s perspective,” Shawn said.
Shawn found extra value in how the marketing audit connected sales and marketing. Having a bird’s eye view of the marketing helps bring teams together over a strategic perspective.
Finally, The Nickel Ride team felt comfortable with the Impulse Creative team because each team member is finely tuned to their aspect of the audit. “You have a group of Subject Matter Experts who take deep dives every time. That builds a true relationship where you go the extra mile and you’re interested in our success.”
The tools you need to justify a marketing audit to your C-Suite – the bottom line
When you’re ready to show your C-Suite the bottom-line, bring this list:
- We need to know where we are, what the market looks like
- A marketing audit will tell us where we’re strong and can save money and where we can grow and should be investing
- A $5,000 investment will point us in the right direction with data-backed strategy so we’re not spending the right money in the wrong place
- ROI: With a thought-out, well-planned marketing strategy we can set course for more revenue. The ROI of a marketing audit will include more efficient marketing, higher quality leads, more brand awareness.
The bottom line
You know the value a marketing audit brings. You understand the journey metaphor – you can’t get to where you want to go if you don’t have a map. You get it. With these tools, you can get the executive team fired up.
Show them value. Paint the picture of a more efficient marketing strategy. Show them a future where marketing brings even more revenue for even less money.
Investing in a marketing audit will help your business get there and with some simple facts, you can get the C-Suite to see that journey too.