The best way to improve your marketing ROI is to conduct a marketing audit.

A marketing audit is when you review every campaign in every channel with an eye towards how they work together. You are looking for problems, such as old branding or broken links, but also for channels that aren’t being utilized fully.

An annual marketing audit can make sure new strategies are built on a solid foundation. In fact, there are several key moments in the growth of your company when you will want to do a marketing audit.

Here are the top three ways a marketing audit can get you the results you want:

1) You get a gap analysis.

A marketing audit is like running a diagnostic on your campaigns. When it’s time to report on your progress, you need to know what’s working and what isn’t. Are you capturing the right data to measure your impact? Are you targeting every stage of your funnel?

Here’s a for-instance: let’s say you are used to dealing with the Materials Management Supervisor. The content you develop for them is likely to focus on inventory control, ordering and supply management.

If you also need to target the Chief Nursing Officer, that materials management content will fall flat. A marketing audit will help you see what’s been left out.

A thorough marketing audit goes through every channel, from website to thought leadership to analytics and reporting. It goes through your content, your social media, and every ad you run. It gives you the chance to see what’s missing, as well as what’s needed.

(Psst … don’t make this marketing audit mistake.)

2) Ensure message matching

Your company’s messaging is likely to develop over time. Either you will fine-tune your messaging to your ideal client, or you will diversify and target a few ideal clients. In both cases, the words you put on the page matter – which is why old messaging can be so damaging. The last thing you need is to invest in a campaign only to forget that an old link directs to it, but with completely incompatible messaging.

For instance, you don’t want to send a campaign focusing on Physician Assistants to a landing page that addresses Nurse Managers. That kind of mismatched messaging irritates and confuses people – and causes them to drop out of your funnel.

A marketing audit, though, will click through every part of your funnel, which gives you a chance to capture these errors before your prospects do.

3) Create a defined way to measure progress

A good marketing audit gives you an objective way to measure your progress. For example, when I do a marketing audit, I convert all the information I‘ve reviewed into a number. I then create a scorecard and a spider chart so my clients know exactly how they measure up and what progress they are making. Ideally, your audit will show you not just where you are, but where you should aim next. It should also give you a baseline so you can measure your progress over time.

Your ROI is only as strong as your campaigns.

Weak spots in your campaigns will reduce their effectiveness, which will lower your ROI. A marketing audit can help you capture potential problems – and strengthen those weak spots – before they impact your bottom line.