Now that Marketing Departments are Data Rich and Skills Poor is it time for a Digital Audit?

March 31, 2017

The vast majority of businesses are failing at social media and digital marketing. Most when ranked (Fanpagekarma) have performance ranking in the single digits out of a top score of 100. Why is this? There are many reasons but it usually gets down to some basics problems. My agency PRDA along with our partners NMC Interactive perform digital audits on some on top global businesses and we find the same mistakes repeated. With so many moving parts in digital marketing it is far too easy to get off track. A fresh set of eyes with clarity of vision can dramatically illuminate instant wins and bring fresh excitement. My dad says “if life is hard you’re doing it wrong”. So if you are continuosly frustrated to generate ROI or validate contribution to the business. . . well maybe you just need a reboot or digital audit.


“Based on a Social Media Examiner study:


  • 90% of marketers think Social Media is important
  • 50% of marketers only have 2 years of social media experience
  • The #1 question is what tactics will get vanity metrics rather than what strategy will provide sustainable business benefit
  • 2/3rds of marketers can not calculate ROI”



  1. Demographic targeting is by far the most common problem for businesses when it comes to social media marketing. My personal experience is 9 out of every 10 businesses on social media are targeting people OTHER than their customers. There are many technical issues that can get demographic targeting off, but the most common is the race and chase for Fans and Engagement. Chasing Fan growth and Engagement rates will almost always lead to low brand control and low quality fans. Most companies audited miss their target demographic from 50% to 100% consistently.


“Most companies miss their target demographic by 50% to 100%.”


  1. Miss – ing/use of KPIs is the second most common problem of businesses. KPIs are guidelines not absolutes. They vary based on a large number of variables and so can be a challenge to define, but the race and chase for Fan growth and Engagement is the biggest reason KPIs fail businesses. There are 4 KPIs that are required to ensure sustainable digital marketing:


  • Fan growth
  • Engagement
  • Demographic targeting
  • Conversion


If anyone of these 4 are removed from the equation, then it is not possible to have a sustainable and viable digital strategy. In short, KPIs are guidelines NOT absolutes and having any fewer than these 4 KPIs will lead to failure. Example. Coca Cola U.S. Facebook has a performance rank of 2% (Fanpage karma March 23, 2017). They have 12.3 million Fans and engagement rate of .00054, demographic targeting that appears appropriate and a page value (conversions) of only US$1,200. With the KPI knocked out the ROI tends to zero quickly


  1. Skill set inventory: How vs Why is the third biggest gap uncovered by a digital audit. Many manager were “volunteered” into the role of social media and others that started are still learning its workings. I inevitably receive the same greeting “our team is so talented and

passionate about their work, we are so proud of them”. That is great to know as I look across a room filled with more people than necessary to do the job. All smiling and attentive 20 somethings with years of business experience that can be counted on one hand ready for the next challenge. I don’t question talent, passion or capability to do the job, but I do question if they know WHY they are doing their job. It is a factor beyond their control; not having sufficient amount of experience precludes one from seeing the larger picture, the intricate mechanism of activities that eventually drive the bottom line which in turn pays everyone’s salary.


“I don’t question talent, passion or capability to do the job, but

I do question if they know WHY they are doing their job.”


  1. OMG! I forgot my website is a startlingly epiphany for most digital marketers followed quickly by frustration as they realize their website maybe outside of their grasp. In many organizations the website is firmly entrenched in the traditionally separate SEO world. A special group of tech gurus that few understand whose domain is literally your company’s domain.   the beginning and end of a businesses but now they are a fully integrated part of the customer journey and usually the destination for conversions and customer retention. But because of this history of segregation it is a challenge for digital marketers to connect the most critical touchpoint in a customer’s journey. This lack of connection is also a significant factor in why demographic targeting is most often off. SEO/ SEM is very precise as it necessarily targets only the correct Demographic as anything else would result in high bounce rates and low performance (Conversion) which are KPIs 3 and 4. But since social does not often link to the website, it is easier to focus on Fan Growth and Engagement excluding the important  Demographic and Conversion KPIs needed for success.


5 The bigger picture is far off on the horizon while most are staring at their feet. The marketing department has a history of questionable value. It is often viewed as a  necessary evil in most companies. How do you quantify “branding” as it impacts the business bottom line? But with social media, the marketing department becomes the “tip of the arrow”! The marketing department now has access to more customer data; past, present and future than any other department. When a Fan “clicks” you know their name, where they live, their likes and dislikes, their friends, shopping habits, married or single, children, income, job and much much more. The marketing department now owns the proverbial keys to the kingdom.


Much success,