The 90-Day Marketing Audit to 2x Your Business
Digital marketing can be a tough nut to crack. At least that’s what the “gurus” will tell you if you do a quick google search of “how to fix my marketing”. Video after video and blog after blog will tell you about the latest growth hack or the next secret tactic to grow your audience and reach more people online. But the truth isn’t quite as sexy. Let’s just get it out the way and say it – you need a marketing audit.
The hype is real – I mean, profitability is sexy – but what really works online isn’t growth-hacking the latest social media platform or finally cracking the code on the pesky algorithms.
It’s foundational marketing principles combined with a proven long-term strategy. The brands who are crushing it with their digital marketing aren’t reactive. They have a carefully crafted marketing roadmap that’s aligned with their goals and based on a proven formula.
Yes, my friends, I said a FORMULA!
The thing about formulas is — they always work, if you follow them.
The 2x Marketing Formula
Be honest. When was the last time you audited your business and marketing? Was it in the last 12 months? Most small business owners we work with have never done a true and complete marketing audit. They wrote a business plan (which included a marketing plan) when they opened their doors but that was the end of it.
We use a 90-day marketing audit process with our clients to:
- Identify breaks in the marketing funnel
- Refine messaging and positioning
- Improve the overall marketing experience
Based on the audit findings, you’ll know exactly where your marketing is broken and what to do about it. The problem a lot of small business owners face is trying to do everything at once. That leads to overwhelm and, more often than not, leaves them overwhelmed and frustrated.
Marketing is a fluid process. Effective marketing is always being refined and optimized.
Knowing your numbers and focusing on the metrics that matter allow you to make informed rational decisions. After a 90 period, you’ll have data to analyze based on the actions you’ve taken as a result of your last audit. Those numbers tell a story about where you are with respect to your business goals and what’s working or not.
The 90-Day Marketing Audit Process
This is a simple process that requires you to answer yes or no to 5 questions. When you answer “no”, that’s when you stop and take action.
- Do you have a complete understanding and clear definition of your ideal customer?
- Is your product or service so good and the positioning around it so good that someone no one would say no?
- Are you producing consistent, free, high-value content that’s in alignment with your ICA?
- Are you consistently growing your email list every day, week, and month? Do you have a lead generation strategy that brings in potential BUYERS?
- Are you converting those leads to sales?
Let’s break these down.
Understanding Your Ideal Customer
“Do you have a crystal clear understanding of your ideal customer?”
Most business owners answer yes to this question but 90% of them don’t actually have a clearly defined understanding of their ideal customer. Knowing their age, gender and location isn’t enough — in fact, those are the least important things about them.
Instead, we need a deep understanding of what makes them tick. How they spend their time, what they worry about, what problems they have, what they care about, and what keeps them up at night are great places to start.
Without this crystal clear understanding of our ideal customers, we can’t craft an effective marketing campaign.
Positioning Your Offer
“Is your offer and the positioning around it so good that someone no one would say no?”
Is your offer (what you sell + the customer experience) & positioning around your offer so good, nobody would choose another option? When it comes to small businesses that sell a product or service, this often gets overlooked.
Our customers and clients have more choices than ever before which means our offers have to be spectacular. And, it goes beyond having a great product or service. A great offer should also include:
- The end-to-end customer experience (in-store or online)
- Customer service
- Return Policies
- Post-purchase engagement and follow-up
Does your offer address your ideal customer’s pain points and offer solutions for them or is it the same as everyone else’s in your vertical?
Content Strategy System
“Are you producing consistent, free and valuable content for your ideal customer?”
Content isn’t king, it’s the Kingdom – Lee Odden
Are you producing consistent, free, and valuable content that actually serves your ideal customer? Strategic content is a critical part of your marketing plan but it needs to be valuable. As a small business, it’s easy to fall into the trap of posting the same generic content that everyone else is (and wondering why it’s not working). Think “Happy Monday” posts or “20% off this weekend”. Those posts are a dime a dozen and they don’t do anything for your ideal customer.
Creating content doesn’t have to be hard but it does need to be strategic. Posting on the fly, without a plan that follows a clear structure, will almost always result in disappointing results.
You’re not an influencer, you’re a small business with a product or service. So stop trying to replicate them because they have very different goals than you do!
“Are you consistently growing your email list?”
It doesn’t matter what kind of business you have – everyone should be adding leads to their list everyday day, every week, and every month. Today, in 2022, you should be collecting emails and phone numbers from your ideal customers.
If the social media blackout of 2021 taught us anything, it’s the value of lead generation. Having access to your customers and potential customers that’s in your control (and not at the mercy of social media) should be a non-negotiable part of your marketing strategy.
That blackout only lasted a few hours but businesses around the world panicked. Those who had only invested in growing their social media platforms had a rude wake-up call. We don’t own our social media following and it could be gone tomorrow. Growing an audience outside of social media is imperative.
Sales and Conversions
“Are you converting your leads into sales?”
If you’ve answered no to this question, it’s likely a result of the previous four. Chances are, there’s a break in your marketing funnel somewhere along the way. When we can identify it, we can fix it.
I want to be very clear here. I will give you some conversion optimization strategies but if you haven’t moved through the ideal customer, positioning, content and lead generation sections and done the work – this won’t work.
If you’ve answered yes to the first four questions and you’re ideal customers are still not converting, here are some possible solutions:
- Ask them. Sounds too simple, right? Ask your leads why they’re not purchasing.
- Revisit, rework and re-evaluate your offer
- Consider the quality of your leads and how you’re bringing them into your world.
Analyze & Action
Once you’ve completed the audit, you’ll stop at the first question you answered “no” to and determine the biggest opportunity to improve your marketing system. This is the process we use to identify gaps and breaks in the marketing machine.
Rather than choosing an arbitrary action or a new tactic to try, this system allows you to take important actions to fix the holes in your marketing before moving on to the next phase. If you don’t fix these gaps in order, everything else you do will be broken.
Small business owners and entrepreneurs have a pesky habit of overwhelming themselves will all of the possible things we could or should be doing. It’s easy to get bogged down trying to address all the areas of business that need improving. The goal is not to fix every piece of your marketing at one time.
Instead, focusing on one element at a time to create the foundational building blocks of an optimized marketing machine will eventually result in a complete marketing system that works. Over time, you’ll continue to refine each layer of your marketing machine and the results will compound.
Alright my friends, if you made it this far I’m sending you a gold medal – well done! If you incorporate this formula into your marketing strategy and don’t skip steps you won’t just see marketing success — you’ll eliminate the overwhelm, frustration and wasted time and money that comes from working without a strategy.