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10 Reasons Why Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SME’s) should consider an external Digital Audit

As a small medium-sized enterprise (SME) owner you wear many hats on a day-to-day basis with the constant juggle of prioritising between internal and external demands. Time is precious and so is the bottom line.

So what about digital marketing? Clearly there is growing evidence that business owners should be continually investing in online marketing but when was the last time you actually did an appraisal of how your current digital investments are performing? Is your social media strategy actually generating more business leads for you? Is that “Happy Friday” facebook post still getting engagement from your followers? How easy is your business able to be found online in comparison to your competitors? What are they doing that you aren’t?

“I don’t have time for complicated business reviews” I hear you say. Having the time and resources to manage and review digital marketing is indeed one of the growing challenges faced by small business owners. Those day-to-day demands keep pushing such activities further down the priority list.

Evidence argues that whilst digital marketing is indeed effective, it’s success is dependent upon using the right tools accompanied by a solid content strategy and proative on-going monitoring.

SME business owners are therefore challanged with the knowledge that digital marketing could indeed help grow their business but are held back by lack of resources.

What to do? – Call in the specialists and invest in an external digital audit.

What is a digital audit?

A digital audit is simply a health check of your businesses current online investments together with a thorough examination of other internal and external influencing factors.

10 reasons why you should consider a digital audit

1- Review of your Digital Effectiveness – The digital audit is an opportunity to review how effectively your current digital investments are performing. Its an examination of all the e-tools being used whilst also suggesting potential new ones. Contrary to popular belief, tools available for helping you aquire, convert, grow and retain customers are not just limited to Search Engine Marketing and Social Media!!

2- Business Goals Evaluation – Does your current digital strategy still align with you’re your latest business goals? A digital audit will reveal if any adjustments are required to realign your digital strategy with your business objectives so a uniformed approach is achieved.

3- Marketing Appraisal – Offline versus online. Are all of your marketing investments consistent in terms of messaging to your target audience as part of an integrated strategy? The audit will identify any potential gaps in your current marketing.

4- Internal Capability Assessment – What resources do you have to deploy and proactively manage your digital assetts? Skills and time? Do you need to consider outsourcing elements of your marketing to achieve business goals? The benefits of outsourcing are well documented.

5- Competitor Analysis – How are your competitiors currently positioned online? What are they doing bettter? What are their weaknesses? Understanding how your competitors are positioning themselves online will help you invest in the appropriate counter measures within your own strategy.

6- Who are your customers? When was the last time that you took a close look at your customer charateristics in detail? What are they buying? Where do they live? What service levels do your customers experience? The more knowledge you have of your customers the more easily you will find it to adapt/ refine your online offerings to engage with customers more effectively.

7- Marketplace examination – What are the opportunities and threats which are most likely to impact your business in the current external environment? Understanding the external environment in more detail will help you make appropriate adjustments to your own offerings. Perhaps there are new opportunities waiting?

8- Digital Marketing strategy – A digital audit is the all important FIRST STEP towards implementing an effective digital strategy for your business. Having a defined strategy for your business will help you qualify the following concerning your digital marketing :

a. “Where are you now?”
b. “Where are you going?”
c. “How are you going to get there?”
d. “How will you know if you are getting there?”

9- Budgeting – A digital audit will help you priortise which things to focus on and make appropriate allowances in your marketing budget. Perhaps some areas can wait until next financial year whilst others will take more priority.

10- Key Performance Indicators – A good strategy will allow for measureable goals to be deployed of which can be routinely reviewed so that appropriate adjustments can be made.

Outsourcing to a specialist not only means that you will benefit from impartial advice concerning the latest digital marketing best practices but will also enable you to make more qualified decisions concerning future marketing budgets.

Finally, its worth mentioning that according to a report prepared for Google Australia in 2013 “Small businesses making full use of the internet with high digital engagement enjoy better business outcomes, with a $350,000 or 20% increase in annual revenue. These small businesses also have better growth prospects, more diversified sources of revenue and a bigger customer base.”

So what are you waiting for?

For more information on how a Digital Audit could help your business you are very welcome to contact me.

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