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New year, new marketing strategy? Before you make any decisions about your marketing, social media or brand touch points, it is vital to do some research so you can make informed and strategic decisions about what will work best for you. The first thing you should do is perform a brand audit. What is a brand audit? It’s a checkup to understand where your brand stands in its current state.
Your brand is the emotional reaction your audience feels when they see your logo or interact with your company. It’s much more powerful than people realize. Having a strong brand empowers and inspires. Just like a home, if the foundation is cracked in certain areas, it would be the homeowner’s best interest to audit the situation and come up with a detailed plan on how to fix it. Companies and their brands must follow the same rules.
So how can you effectively perform a brand audit? Try these steps to define your brand and develop your marketing strategy in 2020.
Step 1. Start by knowing what you're measuring
Go back through your marketing plan and review your company’s mission, vision and unique selling proposition. Who are your target customers? What do they get from you? Define the brand to yourself before you start asking what others think of it.
Step 2. Look at your print and online marketing materials
Review your logo, brochures, packaging, business cards, print ads, etc. Do they match up with your online presence? This includes website, email marketing, social media, newsletters, etc. Are these elements consistent in terms or design and tone of voice? Are they reaching your target audience?
Step 3. Your website
Use web analytics to assess where web traffic is coming from. Does your website attract your target market? Remember, more traffic is only valuable if it is coming from the right customer. What is your bounce rate? If visitors are leaving your site right away, it is not effective. This is very important for e-commerce websites, as many visitors leave without making a purchase.
Step 4. Review your social media
Use your social media analytics to see what types of consumers are engaging with your brand. Are they the type of consumer you want? What are they posting about in regards to your brand?
Step 5. Survey, survey, survey!
Who should you survey? Ask your customers, potential customers and your employees. Surveying is important to understand how others see your brand. Through focus groups, email surveys, social media polls, phone and online surveys, you can get feedback about what they enjoy or dislike about your brand.
Below are some example questions for customers:
1. What words would you use to describe this brand?
2. What problem does this brand solve?
3. How does this brand make you feel?
4. How could this brand improve customer service?
Survey people in your target demographic that’s not a current customer. This is important because it will measure brand awareness with a target demographic that’s not a customer.
1. Have you ever heard of this brand?
2. Have you used this brand?
3. Where would you expect to find this brand?
4. How would you describe this brand to others?
Your employees are the ones who are directly influencing your customer experience and are a big part of your brand. They must understand your brand to communicate it properly. Make sure to use anonymous surveys to ask questions such as:
1. Why did you choose to work for this brand?
2. How would you describe this brand?
3. What do customers love about this brand?
4. Tell me about your best day working for this brand.
Step 6. Check out your competition
What is your competition doing? Check out their website, social media, print materials and their customer service. Don’t be afraid to ask your customers, target market and employees questions about competitors. These questions can be similar to the ones you used to ask about your brand.
Step 7. Report your findings
Now that you’ve gone through all the work of a brand audit, make sure to create a detailed report of your findings. List all the problems you found during the process and next to each issue write down the action plan required to resolve the problem. Create an action plan for the issues highlighted. Make sure to set a timeline to resolve the issues in a timely manner. Continue to monitor progress to ensure the changes are having the desired effect.