Skip to content
All posts

How To Audit Your Marketing Process

This post is the fourth of five segments in the How To Audit Your Marketing series. Visit the main post for an overview of why to conduct a marketing audit, things you'll want to consider, and what to do with the results of your marketing audit.

How To Audit Your Brand Strategy How To Audit Your Marketing Financials


Marketing Audit - Marketing Process Feature Image - Cropped


Your marketing process audit will help you understand how marketing work is carried out within your organization, so that you can understand how your marketing efforts go from concept to fruition and how they’re being set up to achieve their goals.

Your marketing team should develop your marketing plans and execute your marketing initiatives, but their work shouldn’t happen in a silo. You should also have processes for marketing to integrate with other teams, especially those that will be impacted by their work like sales and customer service. And, as the definition of what your company does and how it relates to your customer, your brand should be understood by everyone in your organization and reflected in everything you do.

Understanding how your marketing work is carried out both within your marketing team and within your broader organization will help you streamline your marketing projects and align your teams around your marketing success.


Gather your materials

For the marketing process audit, you'll need the following documents if you have them:

You’ll also want to think about how you’re going to document everything. A spreadsheet or note taking app can be helpful for keeping your notes organized. Use whatever works best for you to keep a lot of information together in one place.

Once you have everything together, let's get started!


Conduct your marketing process audit

In this audit, we’ll cover four marketing process areas: marketing planning, marketing execution, team interaction, and communicating your brand.

You’ll want to talk to not just your marketing team, but all your related teams to understand how they bring your marketing to life and where there might be disconnects.

Talk to your different teams about how they manage the following activities:


1. Developing your marketing plans

The goal of your marketing planning process is to create marketing strategies and tactical plans that ladder up to your business goals, so that your marketing efforts provide value to your overall organization.



This process should begin with the business goals that have been set by senior management based on company mission, market factors, current position, and past performance.

These business goals should then be used as the basis for developing the goals of marketing and other teams. What does the team need to do to support the business goals? As mentioned in the marketing strategy audit, these should be quantifiable SMART goals that are achievable and measurable.

You should also conduct a review of your previous marketing performance at the outset of each new project to understand what worked and what didn’t and if changes need to be made.

Then, your marketing goals should form the basis of the marketing tactical planning done by your marketing subject matter experts (SMEs) and marketing service providers. Tactics should be designed to deliver against your marketing objectives, with KPIs and targets planned in advance, so everyone knows what they are trying to achieve and what success looks like.

Marketing Audit Graphics - Marketing Process - Planning-1



Annual or longer-term planning by your senior team uses management tools like competitive and marketplace research and analyses, situation analysis, gap analysis, and financial analysis to understand the current state of the company and where you want to go.

Marketing goals may be set by senior management as a component of your business plans, or they may be set by your marketing team based on direction from leadership. This may take the form of annual planning meetings or individual project kickoffs.

Marketing tactics are designed by your various marketing SMEs. These are often kicked off in a briefing meeting, with a briefing document that provides guidance on project goals, target audience, brand guidelines, and desired outcomes. Internal reviews and approvals of final plans should occur before work begins.


Where to find this information:

Your senior leadership team should have a process for developing business plans and communicating those expectations to marketing and the other teams within your organization. Your marketing team should then have its own planning process for creating marketing strategies and designing tactical plans. Talk to your teams to understand what their process is.

Your company should have a clear process for providing direction to your marketing team and reviewing marketing plans so they can support the overall direction of the business.


2. Executing your marketing tactics

In marketing execution, the goal is to implement marketing initiatives on time, on budget, and according to plan, so your marketing activities can deliver the results you’ve designed for.



The marketing execution process should begin with your approved marketing plans that include all your proposed tactics and how they will be measured. Your marketing team should develop execution plans for each tactic including deliverables, specs, process, components, and costs.

These should be reviewed and approved before the work starts, and then consistently referred to throughout project execution. There should be an ongoing process for checking the work against the plans, budget, dates, and deliverables to ensure work is being developed as intended.



Project management tools like workback schedules and regular status meetings are incredibly helpful for keeping everything on track throughout the execution process.

Documentation of all deliverables, due dates, and specs can help make sure nothing falls through the cracks, and adequate reviews and approvals of materials makes sure the final product has been developed in alignment with the original vision and that all components have been executed as planned.


Marketing Audit - Workback Excel Image

A workback schedule can help keep track of all the deliverables, deadlines, and responsibilities on a project.


Project management software like Asana, Monday, Basecamp, or Wrike can help keep track of all the moving parts and make sure everyone knows what’s expected of them.


Where to find this information:

Talk to your marketing or project management team about what their process is. Ask if they have any consistent issues or pain points, as these might indicate a process problem that needs to be addressed.

Upfront planning, consistent communication, and formal system of checks and balances can help projects stay on track and be delivered as planned.


3. Creating interaction and visibility between teams

You want to provide line-of-sight and get buy in from other teams affected by your marketing activities to help avoid potential disconnects or conflicts and make sure your marketing projects integrate with the work of the rest of the organization.



You should begin by including other teams in the marketing planning process. Sales and customer service, especially, are directly affected by the work marketing does. Include them in reviews of previous marketing initiatives and get their input into new ones. They can provide insight about how marketing efforts perform after the marketing team hands them off and what customers and stakeholders might need as a part of new plans.

Then, ensure there are regular check ins between teams, especially around points of integration. Are sales leads provided by marketing converting to purchase? Are there consistent issues that customer service hears about from clients that marketing or management might want to address?

Finally, provide line of sight to other teams. One team may have ideas or raise red flags about another team’s project that the first team hadn’t thought of. Providing visibility and transparency helps everyone feel involved and keeps your marketing work running smoothly.



Regular all-hands meetings or team standups allow everyone to share what they’re working on and for other team members to ask questions. Team leads should also meet often to understand what one another’s groups are working on.


Marketing Audit - Marketing Process - Hands Raised - Edited


You can also hold regular events like a monthly town hall where you communicate your company’s key initiatives to your whole team.

Digital tools like a company intranet and email are useful for sharing and storing team information, but don’t expect everyone to read them unless you implement some kind of follow up. People get busy and these kind of tasks often fall to the bottom of their list.


Where to find this information:

The tone for company communication is set by senior management. What processes do you have in place for sharing information and getting feedback?

Your individual team leads will also set the process within their teams. Talk to them, and consider implementing consistent communication processes company-wide.

If you regularly have breakdowns in communication or conflicts between teams, these are good indicators of a lack of alignment and integration that may need to be addressed.

Both formal and informal processes like these can help make sure everyone in your company knows what’s going on and has an opportunity to provide their input.


4. Communicating your brand within your organization

If everyone in your company understands your brand, what it stands for, and how it relates to the world, you can provide a consistent experience across customer touchpoints and align your team to your company vision and goals.



Your brand is the rallying cry for your organization, and it should be a part of everything that goes on within the company. New team members should be trained on who the company is, what it stands for, and how it provides value to clients.

Your target audiences and brand should be reviewed and considered during planning and project execution and should be reflected in internal communication and practices within your organization.

Ongoing company activities, both formal and informal, should reflect the brand and your company’s unique way of doing things.



Brand plans and guidelines, training manuals, branded company materials, and company write ups and vision statements can all help align your team around your brand and provide guidance on how to bring your brand to life.


Marketing Audit - Brand Guidelines

Brand guidelines outline your brand's purpose, positioning, and how it should be represented in the marketplace.


Company activities that align to brand persona and goals, like retreats, social activities, and team building can all help you create the right ethos and communicate your brand’s personality and values.

Meanwhile, your brand goals should inform internal processes like performance reviews – how does your team’s work support your brand and provide value to customers? Making sure the brand matters to your team will help them reflect the brand in all the work they do.

Company procedures, policy, and manuals should all reflect your brand values and the way you want to do things at your company.


Where to find this information:

At its highest level, these processes will start with senior management. Communication and reinforcement of your brand will come from them.

Your marketing team likely designed your brand guidelines and tools, and your HR team likely has policies and procedures for things like company activities, training, management, and performance.

Talk to sales, customer service, and marketing about how they reference the brand when communicating with customers. HR, operations, and other teams all play a part in implementing your brand throughout your organization as well.


How a fractional CMO can help

Need some support with auditing your marketing processes? A fractional chief marketing officer like me can help. 

With 20 years’ experience managing marketing initiatives both in-house and at marketing agencies, from small teams to complex multi-stakeholder environments, I can help you get clear on how marketing projects currently run in your organization, what's working well, and what's getting in the way of your teams doing their best work.

If you need help with the other parts of your marketing audit or determining your next steps once your audit is completed, I also offer marketing strategy, planning, and management services on a project or fractional basis. Get in touch if you’d like to learn more!


What to do next

Having well-defined marketing processes will help you to develop marketing plans that support your business goals, align your teams around your brand and key messages, and ensure your teams are all onboard with your marketing initiatives to maximize your ability to meet your goals.

If you found that you didn't have some of the information to complete your marketing process audit, a marketing leadership consultant (like me) can help you design them. Clear processes for planning and executing work across departments are important for making sure work is done on time, on budget, and according to plan and that everything your company does ladders up to your overall business goals.


How To Audit Your Brand Strategy How To Audit Your Marketing Financials