Let’s Start at the Very Beginning - In order for you to get the very best out of your investment – in terms of both time and money – in marketing, we believe that the very first step should always be an audit.
Taking time out to review, a step back to “see the wood for the trees”, is one of the most important things you can do in terms of gathering information to help you plan ahead. You will very probably know your practice inside out, but rarely have the time to consider in depth how all the different aspects of how you get new clients and service your existing ones fit together. Planning ahead requires as much quantified and impartial knowledge as possible to allow you to work with certainties, rather than historical assumptions.
An audit will bring all sorts of information together to give you an independent overview of your current activities, many of which will possibly be working well in isolation, but could perhaps be rolled out across the practice for a consistent approach. It may be the case that staff are already doing an excellent job at maintaining the practice’s reputation for good service but the marketing challenge is to maintain the right balance of new clients coming through and communicating with existing clients regularly and appropriately about developments in your practice and legislation relevant to them.
Taking this step back to look in depth at your marketing is vital if you have growth plans in place and/or are diversifying into new services – if you don’t know what is currently happening and what works well, building for the future will be that much harder.
- Your Business
As a first step, a marketing audit would refer very closely to your business plan to collate important background information. If there is no formal plan, the information we collate could be used for that purpose ..... looking at where you want your business to be in five / ten years’ time, what are your biggest opportunities (and threats), what you currently do to stay in touch with your clients, what IT systems are in place, whether formal budgets are allocated to marketing and what was your most recent spend in this area, how you see yourself being different to (and better than!) your competitors.
The more information you can provide upfront, the easier it will be for us to understand your practice and assist you.
- Meeting the Team
Face to face meetings with as many of your staff as practicably possible will give us a valuable insight into how people perceive the business and the importance of marketing.
Understanding how the practice’s key aims and objectives are communicated internally will show what staff think marketing actually is and how much value they feel they can add – peoples’ perceptions are frequently their reality and for marketing to be cost-effective and efficient, it needs to be a core part of the practice’s culture. Staff may believe in all sincerity that their role has little to do with developing the business, citing that “marketing is done by the Partners and senior managers” but if you are not aware of that belief, you can do little to address it.
- Materials and Tools
The next stage of our audit is to review any marketing collateral you have in place and are using to communicate with your clients – eg brochures, factsheets, legal guides and newsletters. This allows us to review how you promote yourself and whether your branding is effective.
In addition we would look at your website and any internet marketing you are investigating, or have already started, to ensure you are maximising your potential to communicate your brand and message through all channels of communication. Of vital importance also will be the statistics we can give you about the effectiveness of your website, eg which pages are most regularly looked at and which terms are being picked up most by the search engines.
At the end of this process, we will provide you with a detailed report, summarising all our findings and recommendations for your review and action. You may decide to implement a full marketing programme, or just a few recommendations initially as a “toe in the water”, but having audit information in the first place is a key part of your marketing for the future.
Above all else, our approach to auditing your marketing is designed to give you detailed and balanced information, and the ability to make informed choices about the future of your business.
Getting Started Checklist.
A Marketing Audit should be considered if you can’t answer in the affirmative to the following:
- Is your approach to marketing and business development effective?
- Can you easily identify your top 20 clients?
- Do you know which of your services are the most profitable?
- Does your marketing collateral reflect your brand?
- Have you identified your firm’s values and created a strong culture?
As clients want certainty on fees we will conduct a marketing Audit on a fixed fee basis. The charge would be based on the time involved, quality of the information available etc. Please call David Gilroy now on 0117 325 0202 to discuss costs or any other element of the service. We look forward to hearing from you!