I think everyone in communications probably had a double-take when they read this headline and are now shaking their head in disbelief. But, like many other things in life, a digital audit is a necessary process to carry out in order to progress to greater things. Like doing your laundry and cleaning your fingernails. From a brand perspective, it is an essential way to keep your online reputation in check and forms the foundation for a forward-looking strategy.
Ideally carried out in-depth on a quarterly basis, but usually undertaken by a new agency to provide clear starting points for all parties to work from, an proper dig should inform a company exactly where they stand in terms of efficacy of message but also what people are saying about them. Are they having any influence on their target market, and if not what/who is? A decent audit often throws up relevant competition as well as examples of effective campaigns that have “moved the needle”.
A great article I just read on the topic, courtesy of Econsultancy, covers off most of the key points here, but perhaps the most important thing to note is this: audits aren’t really sexy at all, that’s why you need a third party to do your dirty work and tell you what needs fixing, conveniently removed from any potential internal politics.
I’ve recently been working through a knowledge nanagement course via the wonderful MOOC that is edX, littered with intriguing modules delivered by Harvard, MIT and other global leaders in education. What drew me to this course was a common concern clients have, which is linked to intellectual capital.
It is remarkable how much company knowledge is held inside the minds of employees, but not recorded anywhere else. The danger here is if you lose the employee, that knowledge is lost forever. Short of inserting a dystopian microchip into employee heads that can easily be extracted as they finish their contract, the only option available is to elicit knowledge through interview or conversation.
This initial knowledge audit can help build out the framework for a knowledge database, because until you have a firm handle on what they know you can’t really start classifying for later accessibility. Perhaps most important in the whole process is how the data is recorded. Clear naming and tagging should enable easy access, with hosting in a shared drive possibly hosted in the cloud. The next step is defining access levels per company member.
Two examples from my five year career in agency spring to mind.
Upon arrival in Dubai, my agency didn’t even have a shared drive, which scared me! Imagine if a laptop broke that stored all aspects of a project, or supplier database goes missing? Wasted time and frustrations would run high, but a shared drive with clear folder structure is a step in the right direction.
The second example was at my last agency, and my excitement when they launched a global knowledge repository and encourage everyone to upload case studies, credentials and best practice. Brilliant innovation and empowered individuals to blow their own trumpets through posting success stories to share with your global colleagues. Although I was somewhat surprised it was only happening in 2015, it was a major step forward in company-wide knowledge sharing.
When the knowledge is accessible, it makes it easier to tell your stories and enhance your business efficacy in a much shorter timeframe. The job of the content creator and strategist is streamlined, always appreciated and something we can put into place for your business as part of our comprehensive communications planning.
Cut to the chase. Time is money and all that, and we know you busy business people just want results.
Time to get “sales-y”: Ashton and Ashton are offering special rates on their range of benchmark audits, in order to give your company ammunition when designing marketing strategies. Get in touch to know more about your industry and how to get ahead.
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