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Communications Audit

Communications Audit

Georgiana Dearing, Mar 16, 2009

Budgets are going to be pretty tight in the next few years, and the short answer is to just cut, cut, cut. And yet you still have to keep business moving.

A communications audit is a chance to take a look at your total budget, each category of spending, and marry the money up with the physical pieces they represent. Define the goal of each communications product, the way it is distributed to your team, your vendor partners, and your customer.

Here is an example of what an audit can reveal: How much paper is really sitting in a sales rep’s storage unit? If you are producing a product catalog twice a year, chances are they are not all being delivered before the new issue is released. You may be able to save by cutting the print run of each edition, or switching to an annual update.

For promotional brochures, how about shifting the print run from a large run funded by corporate and shipped across the country, to posting print ready files and have reps print on demand? The production costs of a publication can shift from one budget to the other, and be more directly tied to sales.

Sometimes it is cheaper to contract a function rather than perform a service in house. And sometimes it can make sense to take control of a process. An audit can help you make a case for these decisions. Once you  identify where your budget is being spent, then you can ask for bids for like services.

It can be an intensive process, but the investment you make in a good audit can pay off in a leaner, more effective marketing program.

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