Planning successful marketing and public relations campaign starts with knowing your brand’s current standing and with knowing the direction of the conversation in your industry. That information comes from conducting media, marketing and messaging audits.
Comprehensive audits will give you a complete picture and benchmarks from which to build your communications strategy and campaign goals as you move forward. Audits can take several forms—you’ll find a description of what five types of media or messaging audits should include in our checklist here—each focusing on a different type of information.
Among the audits we have conducted for clients over the years, we have helped major national brands identify ways to confront weaknesses and control the conversation in changing markets. See if these situations sound familiar to you.
Qualcomm Software: Leveraging A SWOT Analysis
While many audits focus on what is being said in the media about your brand and your competitors, sometimes it is important to look behind the actual stories and commentary to the individuals making the comments. This can be especially important in determining how your company is perceived by the business and financial community, rather than consumers.
In conducting a media audit for Qualcomm Software, JONES took the next step to initial direct discussions with business and market analysts about their view on Qualcomm, it’s competitors and the software industry.
What we found was that while Qualcomm was well-known for its chips and as a hardware company, the software side of the company, which powers the chips, was largely overlooked. Isolated examples of coverage showed awareness and acceptance of Qualcomm’s software initiatives, but it was obvious continued education was needed.
What conversation was happening was deep, technical and lacked visibility and understanding not only by end-users, but also by Wall Street and many industry analysts.
Based on extensive feedback from direct contact with industry analysts, JONES developed a SWOT (strengths, weakness, opportunities & threats) matrix for Qualcomm that showed that opportunities existed to tie software into a broader company strategy. The strategy needed to demonstrate how Qualcomm’s software solutions create “better mobile experiences,” a term which also needed more clarification in the company’s messaging.
The recommendation, based largely on what was learned from the analysts’ perceptions of both Qualcomm and its competitors, was to stake claims that show not only the strength of the company’s solutions, but the strength of the company’s strategy.
Qualcomm needed to appeal to both original equipment manufacturers in the technology industry and to the business and financial world.
Without the insights gained through direct discussions with industry analysts, Qualcomm may not have known the need to bring the strength of their software to the forefront of the conversation.
Major Auto Manufacturer
Precisely who your competitors are isn’t always obvious, especially as technology morphs lifestyles and melds traditional industries with communications and more. Such is the case for the automobile industry, which a major manufacturer recognized in contracting with JONES for a competitive media audit focused on the future of automobiles and technology.
We reviewed the top 200 articles during a set time period from Tier 1 and Tier 2 business media, technology media and select auto trade media looking at references to five companies involved in auto manufacturing and/or technology, including the client.
Share of voice and media presence were considered, both as totals and in looking at several topics individually: automobile technology, autonomous cars, self-driving vehicles, automobile connectivity, car-sharing and electric cars.
Guess who the leading voice was on those topics. Not a car company. Even including specific auto trade media, the leading voice on the future of automobiles was a technology company. While our client was leading in some topics, the information gathered showed the need for them to take control of the conversation.
The audit made it clear that with the changing nature of automobile ownership and usage, driven and enabled by rapid advances in technology, manufacturers who fail to address those changes are likely to lose media attention and market confidence to the technology companies seen to be actively driving advances.
In our recommendations, which should be a part of every comprehensive audit, JONES suggested that the client actively seek opportunities to be a part of the media conversation, talking about the future and changes in the market, as well as taking those changes into account in making strategic product decisions moving forward.
Audits don’t only inform the message; they can also guide product development through insights in the market.
These are just two examples of how media, messaging and competitive audits can provide brands with the information needed to craft game-changing strategies moving forward. You’ll find two more audit success stories in our Best Practices Case Study: Media, Marketing & Messaging Audits.