• Denis Sinelnikov

When and How to Run a Digital Marketing Audit



At some point in our entrepreneurial career, we all hear the dreaded A-word: audit. Despite the association that the word audit has in most of our minds, a digital marketing audit isn’t a bad thing and you don’t have to wait until there’s a problem in your marketing strategy to run an audit. Knowing when and how to perform a digital marketing audit is vital to your success, so let’s look at the when and how.


First, Let’s Look at the What

What is a digital marketing audit? It’s an examination and presentation of your entire digital marketing strategy and everything surrounding it. Just as a financial audit will track every penny that comes into and out of your company, your digital marketing audit looks at everything associated with your digital marketing strategy. It covers your market research, SEO strategies, advertising channels, and social media platforms. It also covers everything around this, including the productivity of employees and partners, customer interactions, and your analytics and how those analytics are gathered.


A digital marketing audit is large, comprehensive, and complex. Since you shouldn’t wait for cracks and problems in your digital marketing before you perform an audit, when should you take on such an undertaking?


The Purpose of the Digital Marketing Audit

Knowing when you should perform a digital marketing audit requires knowing what the purpose of the audit is in the first place. A digital marketing audit typically follows one of five triggers,


  • Timing – the start of the fiscal year, the beginning or end of a quarter, or at the beginning or end of a campaign

  • Performance – examining the status of your strategy or a campaign, looking to optimize opportunities, or increase performance

  • Structural – triggered by changes such as key management changes, a merger, a new offering, rebranding, etc

  • Relationship – starting a relationship with a digital marketing agency, engaging in affiliate partnerships, etc

  • Strategy – changes in the direction of digital marketing that can be due to any of the above triggers, market changes, or other business needs



How Do You Conduct a Digital Marketing Audit?

Now that you know when you would need to perform a digital marketing audit, let’s look at what goes into the audit itself. Detailing every activity that would go into conducting a digital marketing audit would require a book to cover, so we’ll instead focus on the higher-level considerations that will help you structure the tasks you’ll need to audit your specific digital marketing strategy.


Time & Planning

A full and comprehensive audit will take time and planning. You’ll need to ensure that you have the time you need to dedicate to the task. Will you bring in others to assist you with the audit? If so, you’ll need set tasks and reporting as well.


Tools and Teams

What analytics tools will you use to guide you through your digital marketing audit? Will you use audit software to help you move through stages or will you track tasks and progress with task management software? If you decided on bringing in others to assist with your audit, you’ll want to ensure you have software to help you communicate and track progress among the team. You will also want to ensure that you have proper storage and clear filing for your audit.


Scope

You already know the extent of the audit – all of your campaigns. Now you need to determine the scope of the audit. Are you looking at 6 months, a year, or the life of the digital marketing strategy? If you’re looking at a year, is it a calendar year, the fiscal year, or from a particular point in time in the digital marketing campaign? Settling on the scope of this audit will help you set triggers for future audits down the line, so don’t skip over this step.


Access

To fully assess your digital marketing strategy, you need access to all of your digital marketing channels. This means ensuring you have usernames and passwords for,

  • Website

  • Online store

  • Analytics tracking

  • SEO management

  • SEM management

  • Social media platforms

  • Display advertising and other ad channels

  • Email marketing


Presentation

As you plan your audit and tasks, keep in mind how you want to present your information. Most audits are presented in either a multi-page document or a slide presentation. Knowing how you want to present your information will help guide how you organize information from the audit.


Is Your Business Ready for a Digital Marketing Audit?

A digital marketing audit is a daunting undertaking, especially if you’re a small business owner. Let me help you take on that task and organize your audit. Contact me today.


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