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Marketing Communication Audits Reveal Hidden Insights and Power

Do you have someone audit your Financials? More than likely you do. Why? To keep your financial focus sharp and to look for missed opportunities that you overlooked. Third party financial audits are common practice and we appreciate the experts who validate good accounting and operating practices and point out areas for improvement. Using that same logic, shouldn’t you consider having someone audit your marketing communications to keep them sharp too?

If you’re not sure your sales and marketing messages are working hard enough to engage buyers powerfully, drive action, or increase loyalty to your brand or organization, you may want a third-party to take a closer look

Why should you invite a third-party to review your communications?

A third-party, independent auditor can take a fresh look at what you’re saying and how you’re saying it and give you an opinion on how hard your current marketing assets are really working at connecting with your target audience. They will provide an objective opinion as to their takeaway and will search for missed opportunities to better connect with your target audience and drive the intended behavior.

Sometimes, when you’re too close to your own product or organization, you can lose perspective within your communications. You clearly understand what you mean to say, and what you want a reader or listener to take away from your message. But do they really interpret it that way? Do they appreciate the key messages? Do they remember what you want them to remember? An independent audit is a chance to find out.

Creators of a message can also gain insight from having someone describe the tone and style by which the message is being delivered. In communications, what we say is only part of the picture. Research tells us that how we say it counts even more. So it’s important to get a read on the way in which our messages are being delivered, and the feeling that recipients get when exposed to our messages.

Don’t let the theory of commitment and consistency work against you

Robert Cialdini, author of The Psychology of Persuasion, describes the theory of commitment and consistency as a desire to be consistent with what we have already done. In other words, once you take a stand for something, you have committed to it, and will behave consistently toward that idea. How would that work against you when applied to your sales and marketing communications? Once you have approved creative, used a new business presentation, or adopted certain language when talking about your brand, you have taken a stand. And if an agency has helped you develop those materials, so have they. Therefore, you will all be resistant to seeing weaknesses in the messages or readily making changes that could help deliver better results. This built-in human dynamic causes us to lose objectivity once we commit to any idea. Therefore, once you’ve been using a set of sales and marketing messages, you’ll continue to believe in the power of those messages, whether there is an opportunity to improve them or not. At that point, only an outsider can objectively review the materials and probe for missed opportunities.

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Deb Rapacz
Deb Rapacz helps brands and non profit organizations build a solid core of highly-committed buyers or donors. She is a highly-rated marketing instructor at St. Xavier University and conducts research on the psychology of brand commitment and consumer engagement.


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