Could a marketing audit reveal where you are masking over your brand?
Are there times when your marketing isn't as authentic as it
should be? Do you show one face in the public that isn't what you promised to
A brand audit by an outsider can help detect when you aren't being true to the brand’s genuine personality. An auditor can look for places
where you aren't living up to the brand vision or promise. Why is this important?
When you are
too close to your own brand, you can’t see or you ignore the little short-cuts you or your
team makes that may signal that you are off-brand to your loyal fans.
Like a financial audit, a brand audit gives you the chance
to have someone independently certify that you are sticking to the face you
want your community to see. Just like a financial auditor, the outside auditor has the authority to call you out –
and help you see where actions are inconsistent before your loyal fans catch
you in a marketing misstep.
If you haven’t been through a marketing audit, it is like an annual
physical to ensure health.
You explain to the auditor what the brand stands for, its
mission, who it serves, how it fulfills its promise. Then they look at your
website, social media presence, collateral, promotions, advertising and all the
mix of marketing activity. They use several tools to test for misalignment, not
unlike the Doctor who checks your vitals.
But the greatest benefit of an outside auditor is the
difficult questions they ask to probe and understand how you know something,
why you believe and to review the source of that information. It can feel
uncomfortable but it is a proactive way to make sure you’re true to who you say
you are in the world.
One place you find masks is in advertising. A brand
tells a story in print or broadcast about the qualities of the brand, and then
you go to their store or online and your experience is significantly different
from what they communicated. They put on a happy face showing how friendly
they are only to have forgotten to properly train the people at the front
I worked with a marketing auditor about 15 years ago who
challenged what I said we did, with some of our activities in the marketplace.
He pointed out to me several inconsistencies that I missed because I fell in
the love with the tactic and I didn't want to offend my team members. The independence of mind was invaluable. He helped me
to get a little distance from my beliefs and to challenge me in ways about how
our brand fit in the ecosystem within the category. The audit opened my eyes and over the next few years, helped
us make some important adjustments that became a catalyst to faster growth.
Is it time for your brand to stop hiding behind a mask and
to get an annual physical?
Need a marketing coach? You can hire me through Clarity to provide advice about marketing for your new product, business or service. I donate 100% of your fee to charity. So far I have donated almost $525 to Charity: Water working in my spare time.
Just follow the link for some Clarity.
Labels: brand audit, marketing audit, Marketing Moments, masks