Despite the negative connotations associated with the word, an “audit” isn’t something to fear. In fact, it’s an important business practice that can help ensure your practice is running smoothly and efficiently. It can be especially beneficial in analyzing the performance of your marketing department, which is so crucial in attracting new patients to your office.
Why Audit Your Marketing Department?
An internal audit of your marketing department can pay many dividends, when you consider it directly impacts your revenue – even the overall success of your practice. Regardless of the size of your marketing budget, you’ll want to ensure your dollars are being spent wisely. All the money in the world won’t help if your marketing efforts aren’t generating new business or making sure current patients remain satisfied and loyal.
An in-depth marketing audit will look at both the strengths and weaknesses of the department and make recommendations on not only how much to spend, but where to spend it, in order to grow revenue. Maybe you’re running Facebook campaigns, but your target audience isn’t social media-savvy? An audit will look at all facets of your marketing efforts and help you direct them to where they make the most sense.
What Does a Marketing Audit Involve?
The framework for a successful marketing department audit involves the following steps:
- Establish metrics. Your first step is to develop a set of easily measurable objectives (called “Key Performance Indicators” or KPIs) and routinely assess them to gauge performance.
- Assess budget and ROI. In order to ensure the best return on investment, don’t just set a budget that mirrors last year’s. Look carefully at which campaigns generate the best ROI and plan accordingly.
- Staff evaluation. Having the right people in the right positions is crucial to your success. Is your marketing team passionate about their work? Do you have enough (or too many) people? Would outsourcing be more cost-effective in the long run?
- Content evaluation. There’s a popular axiom that states “content is king.” This is true! Look at your written and digital content in order to determine which types, and individual pieces, have generated the most engagement. Make sure you have enough content to support current and future marketing efforts, and that it is high quality.
- Assess your sales department. Sales and marketing go hand in hand. Look for areas in which sales and marketing can work together to increase lead conversions and shorten sales cycles. If your sales department is in need of collateral to assist in revenue generation efforts, be sure to supply them with these materials.
- Maximize social and PR efforts. Determine the optimal mix between social media and public relations efforts to determine which channel should be prioritized. It’s important to figure out which social channels work best and focus your efforts there.
- Don’t overlook technology. No matter how fundamentally solid your marketing plan is, it won’t matter if you don’t have the technology to back up your efforts. A lack of proper technology isn’t the only issue; some organizations have too much, opting for a platform with all the bells and whistles but only using a small portion of it. Make sure you have the optimal technology for your staff and needs.