The word "audit" may strike fear in the hearts of taxpayers, but it shouldn't scare marketers. Conducting an audit of your marketing department can be a fruitful—even fun—exercise. Finance departments undergo annual reviews, but too few marketing departments bother to do the same, which means your entire business might not be running as efficiently as it can be.

The Main Reason to Audit Your Marketing Department

The success of your company rests on the quality of both your marketing strategy and its execution. Whether you have a marketing budget of $50K or $50M, you can benefit from a structured audit process. I've audited marketing departments that range from B2B startups to Fortune 50 companies. Here are two examples of the types of results an audit can produce.

Real-World Marketing Audit Success Story 1: Conducting a Post-Merger Marketing Audit

Before melding your marketing teams or making personnel cuts after a merger, it's critical to assess the strengths and weaknesses of each organization. We reduced the sales cycle of a health IT company by three months and increased conversion rates 80% by introducing campaigns and personnel changes that were the direct result of a marketing audit. We also made recommendations that decreased overhead, freeing up more budget for high-performance campaigns.

Real World Marketing Audit Success Story 2: Startups, Too, Need Audits

Early-stage companies often think audits are not necessary because their marketing departments and budgets are small. Even if you have only one marketing employee, or if you use an agency, you can still benefit from an audit. We showed a biotech supply company how to expand its marketing spend in a way that was supported by cash flows, thus reducing risk. The company has since grown revenues 200%.

An Audit Framework

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image of Christine Slocumb

Christine Slocumb is the president of Clarity Quest Marketing a marketing agency that grows healthcare, technology, and biotech companies.

Twitter: @CSlocumb

LinkedIn: Christine Slocumb