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Conducting a thorough marketing audit at your car dealership

A marketing audit is an excellent way to review your procedures and create recommendations for what needs to happen next.

How do you know your dealership marketing policies are effective? Is your dealership marketing team following industry best practices? A marketing audit is an essential tool to help you ensure you’re getting the maximum benefit out of your dealership’s marketing processes and procedures. Below are some tips for creating a successful marketing audit at your dealership to ensure your marketing policies work.

Know the Difference Between Marketing Analysis and a Marketing Audit

It’s easy to get these two concepts mixed up. Both of them are tools you can use to improve your marketing strategies. However, a marketing audit takes a different approach. The analysis takes a deep dive at the parts of things like a marketing project or campaign and compares the initial results to the end.

It is an effective tool for seeing the results and your need. In contrast, an audit shows a snapshot of what things are. It helps uncover whether procedures are followed, and plans are adequately executed. It is a great tool for looking at policies.

Have all the Necessary Marketing Elements in Front of You

What happened during last year’s marketing efforts? To effectively conduct a marketing audit, having all the information you need in front of you is helpful. One of the best ways to do this is to have a year-end marketing report or a dashboard snapshot of your dealership’s marketing efforts. This process can include things like:

  • Budgets and spending for your marking campaigns and ads
  • Last year’s marketing benchmarks and key performance indicators or KPIs
  • Every marketing channel (ex., social media, inventory pages, email campaigns) used during the year
  • Dealership webpage performance (ex., Google Analytics, SEO, conversions)

Having all of this information on hand can allow you to go through each detail to get a gauge of how things went.

Look At Your Goals – And Ensure They Make Sense

What were your dealership marketing goals for last year? Was it to increase customer acquisition in a specific customer base? Did you want to add a new marketing channel to raise revenue? Now it’s time to look at your goals, and not necessarily see whether you met them (that’s where analysis comes in), but whether they’re appropriate.

SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound) are the standard for creating well-crafted and practical goals. Does each of your goals follow this format?

For example, “increasing revenue” is an objective but isn’t specific enough. On the other hand, a goal like:

“See a 30% rise in contact form fill-outs” is specific and measurable but isn’t time-bound.

Also, compare last year’s goals to the previous year’s. If you met the previous year’s goals, were last year’s more aggressive? Looking at your goals can help you assess this.

Monitor Your Data Collection Procedures

This is also a time to look at how you’re collecting data. Is it easy for your team to locate the information they need? Also, what is the quality of the data? Is it accurate? This step is where you want to determine how well your data collection procedures perform because you can only conduct a precise analysis if your data is correct.

For example, you’ve determined that critical pieces of data are in two separate data programs, and marketing team members are spending twice the time they should for gathering data.

You can solve this by reviewing data collection procedures and talking with team members to see the gaps. From there, you can create a plan to fix the issue, whether getting a new system or doing away with data points you don’t need.

Make Sure All Procedures and Best Practices are Documented

Your marketing manager and the team may be rock stars. They may have created excellent new ways to manage marketing campaigns and data. However, what happens if they leave? Has the information been stored somewhere for someone else to enter and start where they left off?

Someone must document all procedures and best practices throughout their tenure. This process can involve everything from the storage of passwords for accessing marketing software to how to conduct an effective SEO analysis. See where the documentation could be improved, and speak with your team about creating a marketing documentation library if you still need to.

Final Thoughts

A marketing audit is an excellent way to review your procedures and create recommendations for what needs to happen next. Marketing audits should be done regularly to ensure that your marketing processes and procedures work the way you intend them to. A thorough marketing audit will make periodic marketing analysis easier and likely lead to greater success.

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Chanell Turner
Chanell Turner
Chanell Turner is a contributing writer and investigative journalist for CBT News.

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