Business 4 days ago Last updated March 11th, 2019 23 Reads share

It May Be Time for a Marketing Checkup: 6 Things You Should Do

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A marketing strategy isn’t something you can set and forget for five years. In order to remain competitive in your industry, you have to constantly revisit your strategy and tweak individual elements of it so they align with evolving trends and market needs.

What is Marketing Checkup?

In western medicine, doctors encourage everyone to get an annual health checkup – also known as a physical or wellness exam. This checkup does a couple of things. First off, it increases the chances of identifying an underlying health issue before it becomes serious and/or deadly. Secondly, it gives a doctor the chance to review risk factors for certain diseases and conditions so that patients can make smart changes to their lifestyles and prevent potential problems.

But as important as an annual physical is, 80 percent of adult Americans don’t schedule wellness visits each year. As a result, they continue to make unhealthy choices or deal with chronic health problems, which lead to unhealthy (and even deadly) consequences.

Annual checkups are just as important in marketing – and equally ignored. Also known as a marketing audit, a marketing checkup gives you a chance to evaluate goals and strategies, monitor results, identify risks and challenges, and suggest changes.

Most people ignore marketing checkups because they see them as time-intensive and vague. But your checkup doesn’t have to be characterized by either of these descriptors. It can be both efficient and specific. In fact, good marketing checkup shouldn’t take longer than a few hours.

How to Conduct a Checkup

Every business has unique strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges, but don’t make a marketing checkup something more than it is. While there are certainly some elements that you can tweak to fit your strategy, you can conduct a basic checkup in just a few simple steps:

1. Evaluate Your Goals

Any good marketing checkup begins with an analysis of your marketing goals and objectives. If you don’t already have clear goals, now is the time to create them. Good marketing goals are SMART, meaning they are:

  • Specific. Stick with real numbers and tangible outcomes, as opposed to vague statements.
  • Measurable. There must be a way to track and calculate how you’re doing in pursuit of your goals.
  • Attainable. It’s okay for goals to be challenging, but they need to be attainable.
  • Relevant. Goals should be relevant to your brand’s ultimate purpose and your company’s value proposition.
  • Time-bound. There must be some sort of deadline or timeframe for your goal. Otherwise, there won’t be any urgency to see it through.

With the appropriate goals in place, it becomes much easier to evaluate your marketing strategy and see where you’re failing or succeeding.

2. Analyze Website UX

There’s a technical side of marketing that must be acknowledged to ensure you’re properly engaging your audience.

“A website auditor ‘health check’ helps identify areas which may be impeding positive user experiences,” explains Bambrick Media, which helps its clients conduct checkups. “As part of a website audit, our team will analyze your site’s structure and navigation, look for broken links, test page speed and more.”

Because of the technical involvement of a website audit, many businesses choose to avoid this component. But ignoring this part of the process will only serve to diminish the efficacy of the rest of your checkup. If you don’t possess the skills to do it in-house, outsource it to someone who knows what they’re doing.

3. Review Backlinks

Backlinks play an important role in your brand’s online visibility and credibility. In order to stay on top of your brand, make sure you regularly check and analyze backlinks in the form of a backlink audit.

A backlink audit analyzes your current links, evaluates how good they are for your website, and reveals opportunities you may have for picking up additional links. Internet marketer and SEO specialist Neil Patel have a good guide on this topic that promises to help you complete a full audit in 45 minutes.

4. Check Social Media Profiles

Your social media profiles are very important in your marketing strategy, yet they probably don’t get inspected on a regular basis. During a marketing checkup you should:

  • Review the basic contact information and details on your profile page. Is everything up to date and correct?
  • Consider updating your profile image, description, and taglines so they properly align with your brand’s values.
  • Take a look at the content you’ve been posting on your profiles and ensure there’s consistency from platform to platform. (It’s okay to tweak how and what content you share, but the underlying message needs to be the same.)

5. Inspect Your Content Strategy

Content is the lifeblood of a successful digital marketing strategy. Not only does it help you from an SEO standpoint, but it also allows you to engage customers and influence how they move through the purchase process. Take a few moments to evaluate your current content strategy and develop an editorial calendar for the next year.

6. Analyze Customer Retention

You certainly have a strategy for acquiring customers, but are you paying attention to customer retention? In many businesses, this is a forgotten piece to the puzzle.

Research shows that it costs between 4-10-times more to acquire a customer than it does to keep one that’s already in the fold. As such, a simple five percent increase in customer retention can increase profits by 25 percent to 125 percent.

Spend some time looking at how you’re doing in this area. You may find that your time and energy is better spent on improving customer retention than investing it all in customer acquisition.

Adding It All Up

Don’t start a new year without first conducting a marketing checkup to see how your business is doing in key areas like SEO, content marketing, social media, and branding. Not only can you uncover issues and oversights, but you can also identify opportunities for growth and improvement. It’s one of the most important things you’ll do all year.

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Anna Johansson

Anna Johansson

Anna is a freelance writer, researcher, and business consultant. A columnist for Entrepreneur.com, HuffingtonPost.com and more, Anna specializes in entrepreneurship, technology, and social media trends. Follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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