Mastering the B2B Marketing Audit: A Step-by-Step Guide
Don't let your B2B marketing strategy fall short. Find out how to audit your sales and marketing to improve your results for the long term.
July 3, 2023
You’re sitting at your desk, staring at your computer screen. The responses from the marketing campaigns you’ve been running have been lackluster at best. You’re feeling stuck and frustrated. What’s worse, you’re not sure what to do next.
You could hire a marketing agency to help, but how do you find the right one? You can’t afford to waste time or money on the wrong agency. Besides, you need some answers now.
That’s where a B2B marketing audit comes in.
An audit is a detailed review of your sales and marketing strategy. It covers everything from demand generation to getting more qualified leads to marketing technology. The goal is to identify what’s working, what’s not, and how to make everything more efficient.
But it’s not just about fixing what’s broken. A marketing audit also helps you uncover opportunities for growth based on business goals. Maybe there’s a new customer segment you should explore or a chance to expand your current offerings to generate more revenue. When you conduct an audit, you’ll find innovative ways to increase brand visibility and connect with new customers.
An Audit for B2B Companies
A company that sells to business clients has unique needs. In contrast to a B2C, or direct-to-consumer company, B2Bs have a completely different target audience, sales cycle, and customer journey.
So, the marketing audit should be designed around the B2B business model.
B2B companies must sell to multiple decision makers, which can make the sales process much more complex and challenging. Unlike B2C sales, where a single consumer makes buying decisions, B2B sales often involve a diverse range of stakeholders. Each one has their own motivations, preferences, and decision-making power.
An audit will include a review of marketing assets. These assets communicate your product’s value to the customer. For that reason, they should be designed from each decision-maker’s point-of-view.
B2B companies usually engage in long-term business relationships with clients. Unlike B2C sales, where a customer may only make a single purchase and move on, B2B sales often require extensive negotiation.
A content audit can help improve how you communicate your product's value. Quality sales materials aid sales reps in closing deals faster.
B2Bs often have a higher order value and a smaller customer base. This makes customer retention is a top priority. A B2B marketing audit explores the customer journey, from first contact to service and beyond. Exploring these processes will help your team fill any gaps in sales and service. You may also discover how to improve your general product offerings as well.
Benefits of a Marketing Audit
An audit delivers a plethora of benefits that go beyond a mere “report card” of the company’s status. It offers valuable insights into the effectiveness of a marketing strategy. The process allows you to identify areas of improvement and align marketing goals with business objectives.
An audit can help businesses stay ahead of the competition. The insights also enable companies to tweak their strategy and optimize their marketing tactics.
Businesses will also find out where they stand in their industry. As a result, they can stay in tune with the target audience, their needs, and how best to reach them.
A B2B marketing audit helps businesses quantify marketing ROI. It isn’t easy to measure ROI on marketing campaigns. But you must if you want to make sure marketing efforts contribute to the bottom line without overspending.
Finally, an audit can help B2B companies decide if they should make a specific investment or expand.
What Does an Audit Include?
The scope of an audit will depend on who performs it. The audit should include the company's website, digital strategy, and marketing technology at a minimum. Any weaknesses in these areas can have a negative impact on the number of deals closed, which affects the bottom line.
The company’s social media presence should also be part of an audit. Social channels have become a powerful way to reach new customers. The auditor will review each platform used, the frequency and quality of posts, and engagement levels.
An audit will also consist of an evaluation of existing marketing and sales practices. The final report will make suggestions for new growth targets, key performance indicators, and how to optimize campaigns.
Finally, an audit should include a review of the company’s marketing materials to make sure they align with the brand identity.
Here are some other areas covered in the digital marketing audit process:
- Content marketing audit (i.e. blog posts, social posts)
- Competitive analysis
- Website content and user experience review (including Google Analytics)
- Search engine optimization strategy (and organic traffic analysis)
- Campaign marketing performance (i.e., conversion rates and other data points)
B2B Sales Teams
Sales success hinges on how well your internal teams work together. Before starting an audit, assess each of your internal teams and how they do things.
Begin by listing all aspects of the marketing plan, such as:
- Lead generation
- Digital marketing
- Field marketing
- Sales and service operations
- Product marketing
The business world can be a messy place. Departments often operate in their own silos, disconnected from each other and the bigger picture. When this disconnect occurs with marketing, sales, and service, it can create serious issues for the customer experience.
Picture this: the sales team seals the deal with a big promise. But when the client runs into an issue, the service team’s solution doesn’t align with what the sales team guaranteed. Talk about disappointing.
This is exactly why customers jump to a competitor. They want a seamless, consistent experience from start to finish. But, many times, they get shuffled between departments that can’t seem to get on the same page.
Internal discussions among teams can help avoid much of this confusion. During an audit, find out what customer success means for each department. This feedback can help companies improve communication and make marketing and sales processes more efficient.
Multiple Stakeholders and Decision-Makers
In today’s B2B landscape, addressing the priorities and concerns of multiple decision-makers in a single sale can be difficult. You must consider each person’s unique perspective on their company’s challenges.
Individual team members may have differing opinions on how to make the client happy. For example, sometimes, the marketing process doesn’t align with the sales team’s approach. This can create friction between departments and interfere with productivity.
To overcome these challenges, review your current buyer personas. Survey internal teams and find out how they define your personas and their priorities. Then, you can identify where teams agree and where confusion persists.
Through an audit, you’ll learn more about how customers want to engage with and buy from your brand. This involves understanding their role in the decision-making process for your product or service. From this, you can identify what they need at each customer journey stage.
Sales and Marketing Strategy
B2B companies should audit their marketing and advertising campaigns during an audit.
One approach is to conduct smaller, more focused audits that address specific areas of marketing, such as individual channel campaigns.
Conducting these audits regularly can help your marketing team identify problems quickly and take action. Document each campaign's key objectives and goals so you can measure progress. Examples of objectives include increasing brand awareness, website visibility, reducing customer acquisition cost, or boosting market share.
When Should You Hire a B2B Marketing Audit Service?
The size of your business and audit scope will determine if you need professional marketing audit services.
A comprehensive audit of your business can be complex and time-consuming. For startups, an external auditor can offer expertise to help the brand identify growth opportunities and areas that need improvement. However, those with experience in the field may be qualified to conduct their own audits. Regardless, it’s best to consider performing a routine audit at least every six months.
Established companies may prefer a B2B marketing auditor. A professional auditor will bring value when measuring and interpreting results from findings and communicating recommendations while minimizing errors during implementation.
If you want to find out how to take steps toward greater efficiency and growth, consider partnering with The Brand Auditors. Our professional audit team offers personalized assessments to optimize current marketing strategies while identifying new ways to target leads more effectively.
Want to learn more? Click on the button below to schedule a free consultation.
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Our brand audit process is a comprehensive analysis designed to help companies increase ROI and reduce marketing expenses.
- Increase ROI on lead generation and sales conversions.
- Reduce marketing expenses.
- Strengthen brand positioning to become more competitive.
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