[Losing weight. Eating better. Lowering your golf handicap. Most of us create personal resolutions for the New Year. So why should your company be any different? The New Year is the perfect time to step back and review your overall marketing positioning and messaging strategy to make sure they are still on target. We call it a Marketing Communications Audit.
The following in an outline of the critical components of the Marketing Communications Audit that we take our clients through to determine if they are maximizing their marketing efforts and return on investment:
1. Internal Interviews””The most valuable information you can gather is from within. Formally interview your key employees to learn from their insight and to inform them of the company’s direction and goals.
2. External Interviews””Formally interview your current clients, past clients and vendors. Ask them what you are doing right and what you can improve upon. And be sure to ask their opinions of your competitors.
3. Competitive Analysis””Review your key competitors’ positioning and messaging strategies. Which competitors pose the greatest threat? Look at their websites, read their collateral materials and experience them for yourself by physically “shopping” them.
4. Advertising and Creative Style””After you have completed steps one through three, take an objective look at your core advertising strategy, creative messaging and style. Do they match what you have discovered? Do they properly differentiate you from your competitors? Do they say what your customers want to hear?
There are many additional factors that we review when we conduct our Marketing Communications Audits, but these are the most critical. And one last word of caution, don’t try to do this yourself. You are too close to your business to be objective, and your clients and employees may not be completely truthful when speaking directly to you. So consider hiring an outside firm to conduct the audit for you.
If you would like more information on conducting a Marketing Communications Audit, we will be happy to share.
Here’s wishing you and yours a very prosperous 2008!
Until next month…