The universal digital marketing audit

This is the second in a blog series about the new B2B marketing playbook. The first in the series is all about why pipelines are being strangled, organic performance is declining and the cost of paid media is out of control. This second one is about the new B2B marketing blueprint.

When I recently stumbled upon Jon Miller’s insights on his new B2B Growth Playbook, I found myself nodding in agreement. If you haven’t come across it yet, it’s an insightful framework that challenges the outdated strategies we B2B marketers have relied on to spur growth over the last decade.

Jon’s views struck a chord with me. Not only because his proposed methodology mirrors almost perfectly our approach at Velocity when crafting digital marketing audits and blueprints (more on this later) but also because it echoed a feeling we’ve had for a while with our own clients. Coincidentally, we recently explored this very topic in this blog post.

Something is shifting in the realm of B2B marketing

It’s hard to put your finger on it just yet, but it’s there, quietly brewing beneath the surface. Perhaps it’s the lingering disillusionment with data-driven marketing, once celebrated as the most groundbreaking trend since I started my journey in B2B marketing 15 years ago but now facing scrutiny (”Why are my leads not converting?!”). Or maybe it’s the rapid, mind-boggling, pace at which AI is reshaping our industry. The tech sector’s post-pandemic downturn and apparent recovery add another layer of complexity, contributing to what feels like a perfect storm of change to come. Things are about to get real.

The exact shape of this new digital marketing era is yet to be defined. But one thing is clear: The importance of revisiting the fundamentals that underpin truly exceptional marketing has never been more important.

In a landscape where marketing teams are grappling with cutting-edge concepts like generative AI, new search engines and LLM-driven content personalisation, those who fail to get the basics right will find themselves at a significant disadvantage. Very soon.

For the seasoned digital marketer, the foundations I mention may not seem particularly groundbreaking. However, for those of us deeply immersed in the day-to-day realities of managing B2B marketing audits & campaigns, the nuances between theory and practice are as profound as the gap between your MQL and SQL conversion rate (ouch).

I’m talking about mapping out your baselines to establish your team’s goals and priorities. Aligning those goals with the best channels and KPIs. Effectively running always-on, full-funnel campaigns. Understanding the role of each paid media channel in your GTM strategy. Honing SEO skills. Getting your cost per lead under control. Making that Looker Studio dashboard pull in the right data in real-time so you can go back and optimize what’s underperforming.

These topics are staple chatter around the marketing department’s water cooler or Zoom call. But despite their fundamental nature, they are also often undermined by the complexity of platforms and data sets, bloated tech stacks, poor lead conversion and outdated problems that have lingered for over a decade.

To me, defining the new B2B growth playbook sounds a lot like going back to basics. Meaning, Metrics and Mojo. Being great at the basics. Excelling at the fundamentals to prepare ourselves for the more complex challenges ahead.

So. Let me unpack the practicalities of how we guide clients through this process.

Enter The B2B Marketing Audit

Our initial step in any digital marketing audit is understanding where we stand. We call this the Audit Phase: Hardcore deep-dive fact-finding. This isn’t just a glance at what brands are up to with their marketing and sales efforts; it’s a thorough examination, season-one True-Detective-style delving deep into the nitty-gritty details of things.

Our approach here is multidisciplinary, diving deep into brand messaging, creative and performance elements. We bring together thoughts and ideas from folks on the client’s side, all backed up by rigorous data analysis which involves scrutinizing SEO metrics, delving into GA4 analytics, exploring HubSpot databases, reviewing past campaign performance and checking out what our competitors are up to.

To streamline this audit process and zero in on the essential details, we create tailored marketing performance questionnaires. These are designed to guide these initial conversations and extract the specific information we need to shape our upcoming strategy. They look like this.

Here are just some example areas we explore at the audit stage:

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