While marketing firms need to generate revenue to stay in business, we aren’t a firm that likes taking a new customer’s money until we know what we can do to help them solve a problem. How do we pinpoint a new customer’s problems? We take a look under the hood with a marketing audit.
While new clients are often eager to get started right away — and so are we — we don’t start our monthly marketing program until we have a solid understanding of what’s happening below the surface. Every senior living operator is unique, from high-end independent living communities to rent-controlled assisted living apartments. By assessing each operator’s marketing efforts to date, we can provide smart recommendations and costs for implementing a course of action that will generate the best results for a senior living operator.
No matter how many steps an agency takes to conduct a marketing audit, they must assess an organization’s objectives, strategies and activities. We assess 10 key areas of an organization’s marketing efforts before we feel qualified to make recommendations for moving forward. During the audit, we look an operator’s current branding and messaging, website, email, PR/media, advertising and social media metrics.
Before your brush off the idea of a marketing audit, consider the benefits:
1. A marketing audit is only fair to your new agency.
If you don’t give the new agency time to get to know your products and services, and to kick the tires of your existing marketing efforts, they are going to be guessing at what they should do. Would you want your doctor to prescribe surgery without a physical exam? Doubtful.
2. Marketing audits remind you of your goals.
By allowing your new agency to assess what you want to accomplish, they can help you see if your current activities are actually going to help you reach those goals. And if you don’t have clear goals, the new agency can work with you to define them once they better understand your organization.
3. Your new marketing agency might come back with good news.
Maybe a marketing audit will reveal that your website is optimized well for seniors or family members searching for a retirement or assisted living community. That’s good news because then you can focus on areas that need improvement.
4. An audit will uncover problems to address and prioritize for action.
Don’t be alarmed: that’s why you allowed the agency to do the audit in the first place. We recently undertook an audit for a client that showed while the senior living operator was spending plenty for online ads, much of the traffic being generated was from Australia and other far-flung locations that would have zero impact on this operator’s occupancy level. In other words, the traffic was bogus. Our recommendation? Cancel that “SEO” contract, cut the online budget from $3,000 a month to $1,000 and focus on local markets. The results were stunning, and qualified traffic to the organization’s website increased significantly. Additionally, we used some of this organization’s savings to introduce inbound practices, including gated web content to capture leads the organization could nurture.
5. A marketing audit gets your team excited for the future.
If you try to do an audit on your own, biases can easily prevent you from being honest with yourself about what’s working and, more importantly, what isn’t. By investing in a marketing partner to do the assessment, you not only get honest answers and a clear path for improvement — you get a professional opinion that has the power to energize and focus your team and their efforts.
6. Allowing an agency to conduct an audit lets you test your potential marketing partner.
This is one of the most important reasons for allowing a new agency to conduct a marketing audit. Your new agency should be organized, professional, and deliver audit results and recommendations specific to your organization. Make them prove themselves through this audit so you can determine if they are the right partner for the long haul.
Interested in ramping up your marketing program? Trust us, you want to be audited. Allow Pivot to conduct a marketing audit that will give you insights into your marketing program. Contact us today to get started.