Marketing Audits: The C-Suite Guide to Reviewing Marketing ROI

by WordWrite Staff, on Jul 24, 2020


Your business space is more competitive than ever. You work hard to gain an edge and that’s why you’ve invested heavily in marketing and communications.

But you also question if you’re getting an optimum return on your hard work. Is your marketing actually driving your desired business outcome?

You might need to look in the mirror. A thorough audit of your marketing and communications can uncover valuable insights and fresh ideas.

At WordWrite, we’ve performed dozens of these reviews for clients across many industries. And though a marketing audit is similar to how organizations review other internal functions, our experiences teach us there are specific attributes that drive an effective analysis, and they should be examined in a certain order.


Any marketing audit should start by determining if marketing operations are being driven by a broader business strategy. What are your goals, challenges or business opportunity you’re aiming to achieve?

SMT Alignment

Once you’ve nailed your strategy, does it align with core marketing messages and supporting tactics? A specific business strategy aimed at a specific marketing target (SMT), or target audience, will lend itself to specific marketing approaches that work better than others. This is especially true in today’s highly splintered, hyper-digitized marketplace.

Resource Allocation

When it comes to resources devoted to your marketing, ask yourself three questions:

  1. What is the total amount of resources dedicated? This means both evaluating the size of operating budgets and the people who deploy them. Are you allocating sufficient dollars to budgets? Do you have the right number of staff to perform marketing tasks? Are these resources allocated correctly across your marketing spectrum? 

  2. Do you have the right team members in the right seats? Evaluating the role each member of your staff performs is increasingly important in an ever more complicated marketing world. Do their skills fit the duties expected in their role? Is the role relevant amid changing market conditions?

  3. Do you have the right marketing leaders? Your marketing leaders need to be qualified both from the perspective of skill comprehension and the ability to lead others.

Understanding and Employing PESO

The rise of digital and “new” media has forced marketers to redefine the types of communications that support business goals. Industry expert Gini Dietrich coined the term PESO, a model that segregates all media into paid, earned, shared and owned types.

In today’s marketing world, it’s essential that your team grasp and utilize this methodology in conceiving goals, strategies and tactics. It is also key for your leadership to know the scenarios under which some PESO tactics are more relevant than others.

Appropriateness of Metrics

Because return on investment is the true measure of your marketing, a marketing audit will help define the right metrics to track. Gone are the days when marketing and communications functions were poorly measured, but you can’t quantify everything.

It’s easy for even the best marketers to get caught in a trap where they may be using too many or the wrong type of metrics to evaluate tactical impact. You may have heard the term “vanity metric,” which may look good on paper but doesn’t actually have an impact on your marketing goals. For example, a social media post may generate 1,000 impressions, but did anyone actually click on the post, go to your website or answer a call-to-action? Impressions are often considered a vanity metric.

An audit helps you determine the right “metric mix” that is ideal for tracking your business and marketing goals.

After years of refining how we collaborate with our clients, we know these steps are crucial. The marketing world has changed radically and offers almost an overwhelming number of choices about how to engage with your target audiences. But you want your marketing investments to be optimum, and merely determining how to market won’t do that. Ensuring that you have the right people with the right resources doing the correct things is how marketing functions gets optimized.

Are you ready to start sharing your story? Start with your first chapter by learning more about our marketing audits.


Topics:marketing strategychapter seriesmarketing audits
WordWrite Staff


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