We’ve all heard of tax audits but even experienced marketers may not have done a marketing audit. Happily, marketing audits are a lot less scary than tax audits.

When I do marketing audits, I go through every single channel the company is using. I look at campaigns in detail, from top of funnel to bottom. I click through every web page and landing page and go through all the content. I have even developed a proprietary questionnaire so I can easily rank progress on every aspect of the marketing strategy. Then I turn those results into a spider chart, so my clients can see at-a-glance what is doing great and what needs attention. (Want help with this? Contact me.)

It’s a lot of work, but the benefits are worth it. You can see which areas have been ignored, find errors and gaps in your funnel that you weren’t aware of, and see where old messaging or campaigns have been left to go stale.

Still, large marketing departments are often too segmented to be able to easily review their marketing in its entirety. And single-person marketing teams have so much on their plate, it’s nearly impossible to find time to go back through it all.

Luckily, there are people (like me!) who can do the audit for you. Here’s when you should consider bringing someone in to do a marketing audit for your company:

1) When you are planning your strategy for the coming quarter or year

You risk wasting a lot of money if you set out a marketing strategy without first doing an audit. You will be unaware of any problems and risk throwing good money after bad. It is far better to do the audit so you can either confirm things are in good shape or take action on any problems.

2) When you have a change in leadership

When a new person takes over, a marketing audit can give them a bird’s eye view of your existing campaigns and channels. This is equally true whether you are bringing on a new CEO or a new department head. Even if you promote from within, an audit will help the new person understand the needs of their new role.

3) When you are about to launch a big campaign

Let’s say you are going to HIMSS or the RSNA. These are big, expensive shows and you are likely doing multi-channel campaigns to get the most return on your marketing investment. A marketing audit can make sure all your existing marketing aligns with your new campaign.

4) When you are re-branding

A marketing audit will help you find the old logo attached to that Adwords campaign you forgot about. Or that sales copy with the old tagline. Audits are essential during a re-brand so you can be sure all existing channels and campaigns fit your new look.

5) When you have never done one

If you have been in business for over a year, it’s time to do an audit. Annual audits will keep your marketing running smoothly and alert you early on to any problems with branding, messaging or gaps in your funnel.

Get the impact you need

In the rush to stay on top of new projects, even the most solid team can miss problems in their marketing campaigns. Marketing audits provide the critical information your team needs.