If you’re a growing firm, it’s very likely that your company’s approach to its materials, content, website, and messaging, has been a bit scattered and haphazard. As you’ve grown, you’ve seen the need for a website, and so you had one built. You then decided you should be sending out quarterly market commentaries, and so those pieces were tacked on somewhere in the website. Maybe you should be blogging regularly? You added a blog on to the website. In the midst of all of this you were busy—focused on running your business.
As your company continued to grow, it’s doubtful that you had the time to take a deep breath, sit back, and ponder what your marketing efforts really communicate: What are we seeking to portray in the content we produce? How do we want to be seen and understood in the competitive landscape? How are we coming across through our website, materials, and reports? Is everyone on the same page when it comes to messaging?
These are tough questions worthy of careful consideration, and best contemplated through fresh eyes or from a new perspective. In our view, one of the most useful tools at your disposal as you work through these questions is an asset audit.
An asset audit is a complete, thorough, top-to-bottom review of your company’s website, materials, messaging, and content. It’s possible (though difficult) to conduct such an effort in-house, but you’ll probably prefer the cold, dispassionate, unbiased eye of a third party to weigh in on marketing efforts or content pieces without the baggage of having produced any of it themselves. Asset audits are the answer to disparate initiatives and messaging that seem to have gained lives of their own. They provide an opportunity to really come together and take stock of what your company is saying to the world.
At the end of an asset audit, the auditor should have specific, actionable feedback on the content and messaging your company has produced, as well as how it can be improved or modified to highlight your firm’s core value propositions. When the auditing process is concluded, you should have a better idea of the varying effectiveness of the pieces of content you’ve produced, what messaging is redundant, and what is most evocative and powerful. A good asset audit will also take a close look at your company website—arguably the most publicly visible face of your company—and make suggestions when it comes to content, organization, and copy edits where necessary.
By bringing a third party into the process, you’ll also be taking some of the emotion out of the equation that is common when companies are really focusing on who they are and what they stand for. A competent asset auditor won’t be afraid to point out shortcomings or inadequacies in your marketing and content efforts, and will provide feedback even on tough questions that may require heading back to the drawing board for a new catch-phrase or slogan, or getting rid of a piece of content that doesn’t quite work.
The bottom line: if you’re struggling to get a handle on all of your messaging, marketing, and content efforts, and need someone to provide actionable feedback, an asset audit may be a good option.