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.
July and August represent different things to different people. For all, they are The Summer Months, but this can be a time for switching off or switching on. I tend to prefer the proactive approach when things are a bit quieter and have been working with a few clients (exisitng and potential) on the Messaging House concept.
An organising principle for what you want to be famous for, the messaging house allows you to include your overarching principle, different pillars of your company DNA that ladder up to that and also reference the proofpoints that your pillars rest upon. By laying this out in a simple illustration it also allows all audiences, both internal and external, a glimpse of your planning. For those companies who like to lead with the facts this method also pays lip service to those important elements but shows how they contribute to a Bigger Purpose.
It should look something like a house, like this:
To save yourself some time getting lost in Powerpoint’s Smart Art or thereabouts, there are some handy versions of this messaging house structure available online you can edit to suit your own brand messaging. As simple as it may appear, like with most planning by getting it laid out in black and white is the most important thing.
For further information on defining key and core messages and how this fits into your overall marketing planning, get in touch.