For marketing agency owners, learning how to administer a comprehensive marketing assessment can not only magnify areas of opportunity for your business but also act as a mechanism to acquire and close new leads.
In this post, we’re sharing everything you need to know to craft a unique marketing assessment at scale to help you prospect and win more deals.
What is a Marketing Assessment?
A marketing assessment is a structured analysis of internal and external marketing initiatives meant to identify areas of improvement and gain insight into the current state of the marketing landscape. It’s a systematic review to formulate calculated strategies and finetune how resources are allocated.
The purpose of a marketing assessment is to dive deep into a business’s marketing materials and campaigns to reveal and refine how high- and low-performing activities impact their bottom line.
A marketing assessment is often referred to as a marketing audit. While the two share many similarities, a marketing assessment is typically administered and delivered as a prospecting tool by an external third party (like an agency), while a marketing audit is often an in-depth, paid report and analysis that is delivered by either an agency or internal team.
Benefits of Using a Marketing Assessment as a Lead Gen Funnel
Despite in-house efforts to gauge marketing success, a fresh viewpoint often requires an objective third party who’s not familiar with (or biased towards) a business’s processes.
Fortunately, a business request for a marketing assessment is also an opportunity for your agency to gain a client.
Offering marketing assessments is the ultimate lead-generation tactic to demonstrate your agency’s expertise and essentially demo how your team could elevate the business’s marketing.
The benefits of leveraging a marketing audit as a lead gen funnel include but are not limited to:
- Gain deeper insight into the marketing landscape. The more your marketing agency investigates current trends and explores various industries and demographics, the better you can navigate the marketing landscape and craft strategies to meet business objectives.
- Access unlimited competitor analysis details. The multiple components of a marketing assessment allow your agency to analyze the different tactics other businesses deploy across the ecosystem to reveal areas of opportunities to get ahead of the competition.
- Get more granular with lead generation forms. The biggest mistake a marketer can make is to assume that every little action a prospect takes classifies them as a qualified lead. Offering a marketing assessment helps indicate a business’s fit as a potential client.
- Streamline current paths to conversion. The average marketing agency website is home to several service pages and hundreds of blog posts that can serve as a conversion path. However, a marketing assessment is a straightforward BOFU lead gen asset.
How to Create a Unique Marketing Audit
Chances are your agency already offers a type of marketing audit when onboarding new clients to plan upcoming marketing campaigns.
Offering a marketing assessment to businesses that have yet to select an agency can position your team as top contenders, as well as industry thought leaders. Follow these five steps to create a unique marketing audit that can attract new clients to your agency.
Identify your target audience
Like any marketing initiative you begin for your business, the first consideration should always be the target audience for it. What kind of organizations do you want to offer marketing assessments to? Does your agency specialize in specific industries, such as B2B SaaS marketing?
It can be helpful to establish an ideal customer profile (ICP) for the types of leads you want to offer a marketing audit. Be sure to define the firmographic and environmental attributes of your target audience, such as:
- Industry and vertical
- Number of full-time employees
- Average annual business revenue
- Company culture and demographics
- Stability amongst economic downturn
- Potential to maintain budget or retainer
From here, consider how important alignment to your core values is to the types of businesses you offer marketing assessments to. For instance, if you have a vision to be paper-free by 2025 or position yourself as a sustainable agency, how important is it for your clients to share these values?
After all, if the purpose of your marketing assessment is to fuel your lead gen funnel, you must strive to target the types of businesses you want to work with.
Determine the key components of the assessment
A marketing assessment can include one or more of the following: A SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats), a competitor analysis, and a collection of relevant market research. Then, it is organized into these five components.
- Marketing environment. Involves the trends that could impact marketing efficacy, such as consumer behavior, spending power, policy changes, and industry competition.
- Marketing strategy. Compares existing marketing goals to the current environment and analyzes the strategic positioning, brand vision, and target audience.
- Marketing alignment. Reviews the consistency between a brand’s values, tone, and voice across all online properties, including social media and website activity.
- Marketing performance. Gauges the ROI of marketing initiatives alongside factors like website effectiveness, content relevance, user experience, and brand discoverability.
- Marketing systems. Evaluates the various systems used to conduct marketing activities, from content organization and website structure to analysis tools.
If you’re a full-service marketing agency, you may offer all the above components in your marketing assessment. On the other hand, if your agency focuses on one area of marketing, such as paid media and pay-per-click ads, you may only focus on marketing environment, strategy, and performance.
Create a user-friendly report and/or dashboard to view results
Once you decide on the variables to assess during a marketing audit, it becomes more clear how you can present your findings to a client. It can be helpful to think of audit results as a marketing report card. Consider the fields you’ll need to include, a potential grading scale, and the financial impact.
For instance, imagine you’re providing an audit for marketing performance. You might create a table in Excel or Google Sheets for each marketing campaign or asset type, such as blogs. Then, you could implement a grading scale of Minimal, Moderate, or High to indicate the financial return of each.
As you decide how you will present your marketing assessment, remember that ease of use and scalability should be top of mind. That’s why it is best to use a format that can be partially or even fully automated, like the report in HighLevel’s Prospecting tool.
Provide actionable insights
There is only one hard and fast rule for creating marketing assessments and it’s to provide actionable insights. You should never only highlight problems for an organization, you must also suggest realistic solutions. Actionable solutions and suggested next steps are the key to turning a prospect into a client.
Also, it’s best to rank marketing priorities for businesses that may be less savvy. Consider the required effort and potential impact of each action item—like if a minor investment in blogs could have a moderate to high impact—then present these insights listed from most to least priority.
Figure out what to automate
While offering marketing assessments can be a great way to turbo-charge your lead gen funnel, it goes without saying that creating more work for your agency will also create more work for your team. So, it’s imperative to find areas of the audit process that you can automate to save resources.
That’s why using HighLevel’s prospecting tool can be helpful. It will help you not only find the right leads to reach out to, but you can even build your own audits in minutes.
Avoid These Common Obstacles Agencies Face When Implementing this Lead Gen Strategy
Between minimizing how much work your agency does for free and motivating leads to ultimately choose your services, here are the challenges to expect (and how to navigate them).
- Losing revenue over marketing assessments. Because this can be performed for free, you run the risk of losing revenue by spending time on unpaid work versus billable hours. It’s vital to establish a targeted audience and vet qualified leads before agreeing to the audit.
- Facing a biased response from an audited business. Even though organizations require an external third party to complete a marketing assessment, they may not love the results. Be sure to incorporate tons of data points and actionable insights to back up your claims.
- Failing to provide action items in assessment results. Agencies must include the next steps to explain why they are equipped to handle marketing and to encourage leads to convert. Remember to include an area for actionable insights in your results template or dashboard.
- Providing a marketing audit but losing the client. If marketing assessments are going to play a role in the lead gen funnel, agencies must follow up with the client post-audit to explain why they are the best (and only) agency that can transform their marketing.
Ready to create your own marketing assessment for your agency? Start your 14-day free trial and give our prospecting tool a try.