Marketing is a goal-oriented practice. Professionals of all stripes understand that our work is always tied into a business’s broader objectives. Setting specific targets that support these objectives is a critical part of what we do. However, it can be challenging to evaluate the success of digital marketing efforts, or to communicate our successes and opportunities with our stakeholders.
Nonetheless, auditing digital marketing strategies is a critical part of our jobs. Learning how to evaluate our efforts not only allows us to highlight our good work, but to identify potential areas of improvement and focus for the future. Here are some of the most important steps in preparing for a digital marketing strategy audit to help guide you along the way.
Setting Goals from the Start
Before conducting a digital marketing audit, it is essential to have clear, measurable goals. Setting up solid marketing goals from the start not only gives your digital marketing strategy direction and purpose; a good S.M.A.R.T. goal will explicitly state how an objective will be measured and how it should be evaluated in an audit.
Marketing goals should also clearly tie into the overall objectives of your organization. Your marketing team, management group, and other stakeholders should all clearly understand how your goals (and the metrics you use to measure them) tie into broader organizational objectives.
Numbers Don’t Lie – Use Your Data
At Atrium, our entire approach to digital marketing relies on collecting and understanding data. We firmly believe that measuring and tracking digital marketing metrics is the best way to evaluate a program’s success and optimize and improve marketing strategies moving forward.
Google Analytics offers comprehensive tools to track your website’s usage, including detailed information on audience demographics, popular keywords, pages viewed, and actions taken on your site. With proper goal-tracking in place, the platform can be leveraged to evaluate the success of your other digital marketing efforts in directing traffic and generating leads. Google also offers numerous courses and online training materials to help you understand the statistics, allowing you to understand and effectively communicate what the data means to your stakeholders.
Depending on your marketing strategy, it may help analyze other aspects of your web presence that are less readily quantified with a number. Tools like HotJar allow marketers to view heatmaps, visitor recordings, and conversion funnel reports to understand visitor actions on your website. Additionally, HotJar users can install feedback polls, surveys, and more on their website to determine how effective their website is in engaging their audience and meeting organizational objectives. Even though these metrics are more abstract, they are still critical elements in evaluating how well your digital marketing works.
Be Ready to Pivot & Make Improvements
Evaluation is only the beginning of a successful digital marketing audit. Optimization and improvement are essential to the sustainable success of any marketing program. When conducting an audit, use your data and insights to identify both your successes and shortcomings, and be prepared to adjust your marketing mix accordingly.
Again, performance metrics and analytics are essential tools in evaluating your digital marketing. Data-driven insights will allow you to see what’s working, what isn’t, and how you can adapt to market conditions to grow your customer base.
In addition to continually auditing digital marketing strategies, organizations need a reliable system to achieve consistent results from their digital marketing programs. Creating or investing in a reliable marketing system that delivers consistent performance will allow you to invest in your business’s future marketing efforts confidently. A strategy audit will help identify your digital marketing needs, and is the first step in your path to success.
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