The A Word: Can an Audit Actually be a Good Thing?

The word audit can strike fear in most of us. Thoughts immediately turn to the IRS digging through your personal finances, looking for some perceived wrongdoing that can end with you in jail.

Even the technical definition is far from friendly:

But an audit can also be a good thing, an insightful look at your operations. While you can perform an internal audit, bringing in an outside perspective can help give you an unbiased look at your brand.

No matter who is performing it, a thorough audit should look at all the pieces of your marketing strategy, from in-branch experience to digital marketing to social media presence, to identify items that are working well and find areas that could use help. There are three key things to remember for any strategy review:

  1. No item is too small. Sure, it may “only be a Facebook post” or your frontline staff may answer the phone the right way “most of the time” but is your brand being portrayed in a positive, consistent way that aligns with your message every time? If I am the 50th person to call your branch this morning will I be greeted with the same warm, friendly, helpful tone as the 1st caller? It’s important that I am.
  2. Honesty isn’t just the best policy, it is an absolute must. From the inside, it is easy to give a project or idea a passing grade because you know how much time went into the work or because you’re friendly with the person who was responsible for its execution. Maybe it was even you. But an audit is the time to take a step back and truly view your marketing with an impartial eye.
  3. It doesn’t matter if the CEO likes it. WOAH. That’s a crazy statement to make. Of course it matters, right? Well, yes and no. It matters if the CEO likes the idea and the creative because he or she understands that the message is well-targeted and impactful with your potential audience. It does NOT matter if the CEO likes it if he or she is far removed from your target audience and feels like they don’t “get it.” In other words, if your CEO is a 50-something homeowner, your first-time homebuyer campaign doesn’t need to speak to your CEO on a personal level. He or she just needs to be objective enough to understand that the message works for your intended audience.

Want to learn more about auditing your marketing, finding your target audience and how to make sure you’re reaching them? Check out our FREE download Rock and Roll Marketing: Building Fans of Your Credit Union. Just fill out this quick form to get your copy now.

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