An augmented workplace, an upturn in subscription services, and omnipresent personalisation – just some of the predicted business trends of 2019.

auditThough, regardless of whether such trends take off, and regardless of whether you get on board, auditing your brand may just be your best business move this year. An audit in this sense refers to an official inspection of an organisation’s regulation; it’s time to rethink your brand.

The purpose of an audit

Generally, the purpose behind a brand audit is to gain clarity of where your business is currently. This should allow you to determine the current performance of your brand, uncovering any strengths and identifying weaknesses that may be hampering success. Moreover, it will let you align your strategy more closely with customers’ expectations. It should also help you to understand your place in the market in comparison to your main competitors.

When and why you should audit your brand

The perfect time to conduct an audit of your brand is during rebranding or refreshment of the current look of your company – it enables you to see just how far you have come. If there is anything you’re currently unhappy about when it comes to your business, an audit provides ample opportunity to establish the brand’s main beliefs and what it stands for.

An audit is important, as the power of a brand is untold. A strong, successful brand can empower and inspire employees and consumers alike. It makes for the perfect foundation for an unassailable company to be built. Furthermore, if that foundation becomes cracked anywhere, an audit of the situation paves the way for the correct processes to fix it.

Use customers during your audit

In a digital age, we’re all guilty of falling into the trap of becoming overly reliant on web and social numbers; however, such data does not paint a complete picture. Pick up the phone, or send an email, and conduct some surveys – get the lowdown from your customers on how your brand is really interpreted.

This mixture of qualitative and quantitative feedback will deliver a well-rounded view. Also, it’s essential that you thoroughly understand the customer experience of your brand if you really wish to move forward. Anecdotal customer feedback will help to humanise the audit among the masses of data.

Review social data

While qualitative data in the form of customer stories is important to understand how your brand is perceived, social data remains important as it can help to further bulk out the audit of the brand. Social data allows access to audience figures that are otherwise unavailable.

For example, with the demographic information available via social media, you can better understand your audience. If your actual audience behaves differently from your perceived audience, an audit will uncover this and pave the way for you to reposition your marketing strategy.

However, it must be remembered that, for digital marketing services to succeed, businesses must recognise the importance of using several digital marketing channels simultaneously. Limiting your brand to one specific channel will hinder process. Studies suggest that the digital marketing channels that businesses use most vary between social media, websites and email marketing. These three avenues are so common as they allow businesses to reiterate what their brand is about time and time again.

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