When was the last time you did a marketing audit? If it’s been over a year (if ever) then now is a great time to tackle this important piece of marketing hygiene. This is especially true if the current world situation has slowed your company’s usually hectic marketing pace.

Conducting a marketing audit helps you take a good, hard, objective look at your marketing materials, content and other tactics to see if the look, feel and logo treatment are consistent with your brand standards.

While the audit can take many forms, we favor a simple chart with a color-coded rating system for easy eyeballing. This example includes categories for the company’s blog, sponsorships, social media, white papers and other activities.

The original plan was to rate everything on a scale of 1-10, but that turned out to be too complicated. So we went with a scale of 1-5 instead, with 1 = poor and 5 = great. Here’s a blank template to start you off.

Once you’ve taken a look at your internal marketing materials and content, it’s also a good idea to take a look at what your competition is doing as well.

As you browse through your competitions’ websites and social media, you may want to look for some additional things:

  • Do they brag about anything? Is it something you should be bragging about as well? Would it be useful to have something like this featured more prominently on your website?
  • Are there any certifications that they promote?
  • What kind of events are they attending? Offering? Sponsoring?
  • Do they have case studies? White papers? How do they compare to yours?
  • How would you rate your company versus the competition?

Here’s an example of a basic competitive audit we did for our client MightyVine tomatoes.

Click here for a blank Competitive Marketing Audit template.

Pro Tip:You should be signed up to receive all of your competitors’ newsletters!

We’re not generally fans of creating a lot of detailed marketing reports. However, in this case it is helpful to write up your findings, ideally with examples of the good, the bad and the ugly. This can be useful for taking others through what you’ve learned and giving context for your recommendations for fixing/refining things. It’s also a great baseline for future audits.

And while we sincerely hope that you never again have time on your hands like you do now, it is a great idea to try to do at least the competitive marketing audit every year to ensure that you’re keeping your finger on the pulse of what’s going on in your category and how your company’s marketing efforts measure up.

Bonus Read: If you’re looking for reasons to still keep marketing, look no farther than this Fast Company article about the fallout after Air BnB cut its marketing due to the Covid-19 pandemic..