Communications Audit and Review

What is a communications audit and review?

A communications audit and review analyses how effectively your marketing communicates with your existing and potential customers through understanding their behaviour.

To understand the efficiency of these channels at meeting your company objectives, you’ll first need to understand your customers. Some of the questions you may ask, are:

  • Who are they and how do they feel?
  • What problems are they trying to solve?
  • Where do they spend their time?

Why do I need a communications audit and review?

Once your customer is defined, you’ll consider the individual marketing channels you’re currently using, if these are being utilised effectively and how you may improve them.

Effective marketing never relies on one singular communication channel. Marketing that sells, communicates with audiences in more than one place that they spend their time.

What benefits will my business see from a communications audit and review?

Understanding who your customers are, will allow you to market to them more effectively. Your analysis should consider the following:

Who are they and how do they feel?

Understanding who your customers are and how they feel will uncover their emotional and rational motivations for purchasing a product or service. “Up to 90% of purchasing decisions are made subconsciously” according to a Nielsen Report on understanding subconscious drivers through neuromarketing. 

Consider a book publisher, publishing thriller novels. Potential readers of this genre may be looking for escapism from their normal lives and the suspense these books offer provides this.

Knowing this, a publisher could audit their marketing through analysing:

  • The look and feel of their marketing to ensure it conveys suspense and an escape from the (sometimes) mundaneness of life.
  • How the synopsis communicates it’s a thriller and escape from the norm. Does it excite the customer? Will they buy the book or put it back on the shelf after reading this?

What problems are they trying to solve?

Really understanding the problems your customers are trying to solve, opens lots of opportunity for communication across your marketing channels.

Consider a carpet retailer. Most carpet retailers will discuss the aesthetics and feel of the carpet. But do they consider other problems, such as the best carpets for kids, pets, cleaning. A mother with 3 kids will have vastly different problems to solve than a young, single flat owner in their 20’s and it’s important marketing communications consider the different audiences their targeting. 

Where they spend their time

It can be frightening to learn that many companies market using different marketing channels, without understanding where their potential customers spend their time. 

Consider the gaming computer market. A lot of companies will market on social media, targeting kids themselves. The unfortunate thing with such a tactic, is that the kids themselves aren’t the decision makers in the process, the adults are. 

Marketing on Twitch (an online game streaming social channel), may be great for brand awareness and triggering a need in the teenager but you’re much more likely to reach the decision maker through SEO and Google Ads when the adult is looking to fulfil the need from their child. Let other companies create the need on social for you and make sure you invest where adults are searching for their solution.

Consider that online isn’t the only marketing channel to use either. There are plenty of markets where more traditional methods will bring you more success. Marketing using office catalogues is still an important part of being an office chair supplier, as is trying a chair before purchasing it. This is something online retailers can’t offer, so using more traditional channels to encourage people to visit your store locally would be an effective marketing strategy. You can still sell online but make sure you consider other parts of the market too. 

How do I perform a communications audit and review?

To begin a communications audit and review, start talking with you customers more. The great thing about people, is most of us love to talk about ourselves.

Spend some time out in-store talking to consumers or if you’re a service-based business, spend some time out with your sales team; they’ll know your customers best. Alternatively, if it’s hard reaching your customers send out an online survey with an incentive for answering the questions, such as a prize draw.

Just by talking with your audience you’ll start accumulating a lot of information and some comparisons you’ll be able to draw straight away, to start segmenting your market in to groups of people. 

This will allow you to evaluate your existing marketing communications. Once you’ve collected your information, consider:

  1. How to use the way they’re feeling to market to them more effectively.
  2. All the problems they have to solve, how each potential customer group has different problems and if you’re solving them.
  3. Where your customers spend their time and who your end purchaser is. If most of your customers are located through more traditional marketing channels, continue to spend your money there rather than looking online.

Alternatively, we can perform a communications audit and review for you free of charge, supported with some recommended questions you can start asking your audience. If this is of interest get in touch here.

What else do I need to know?

All successful marketing campaigns are underpinned by understanding the potential customer. Don’t be afraid to talk to your customers. It can’t be highlighted enough, that emotion drives peoples purchasing behaviour. Once you begin to unlock this knowledge your marketing campaigns will improve in effectiveness, helping you to find more customers. 

At Need to Know Marketing we love providing information for SME’s so they can grow. We also understand this work can be time consuming and difficult to begin with. To assist you, we provide a free of charge one hour consultation, where we have an open discussion about your business objectives and what you’re looking to achieve.

Following the consultation we will provide you with a marketing strategy, advising how we recommend meeting your business objectives through marketing. If you are interested in knowing the cost of our services, you can use our calculator as a guide.

“Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.”

Walt Disney knew telling a story is always always easier with pictures. It crosses all barriers. The best story tellers are always the best at engaging their audience.