Marketing Audit Basics

A marketing audit is a review of the marketing resources, objectives, strategies, activities and efficiency. We need marketing audit in order to measure our commercial progress, to identify weak aspects and improve the marketing activity.

The marketing audit can help us to identify opportunities and threats.

The marketing audit considers both internal and external influences on marketing planning.

As a fundamental part of the marketing planning, we need to make the marketing audit at the beginning and at different stages of the implementation process as well.

Marketing auditing tools:

SWOT analysis – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. It is used for both the internal and external marketing environment analyses.

PEST – Political and legal forces, Economic forces, Sociocultural forces, Technological forces. It is used for the external marketing environment analyses.

Five Forces Analyses - the threat of new entry, the power of buyers, the power of suppliers, the threat of substitutes, the competitive rivalry. It is used for the external marketing environment analyses.

For our marketing audit we have to analyse two important aspects in order to know what is the current marketing situation of our company:

1. The internal marketing environment;

2. The external marketing environment;

 

1. The internal marketing environment

The internal marketing audit helps us to have an image about: company’s mission statement, objectives, corporate culture, profitability, efficiency etc.

Regarding the internal marketing environment, we have to consider all the resources the company has.

Main resources: human resources (staff experience level and learning/training program), finances, equipments, materials.

Besides resources, we have know aspects regarding the organisation and the functionality of the internal departments.

Important aspects:

- the organisation and the quality of activity of the marketing department;

- the information circuit and communication efficiency, both inside and between departments;

- the work style of the marketing team (is it effective?);

- the Customer Relationship Management;

- the current state of New Product Development;

- marketing mix – product, price, place/distribution, promotion;

- marketing communications;

- the results of the interaction with the customers – satisfaction level, sales speed etc.

 

2. The external marketing environment

The external marketing audit helps us to have an image about: market size, market structure, consumers, suppliers, distributors, competitors, economic, political situation.

In order that our marketing plan to be market oriented, we need to know better both our competitors and our customers.

We are interested to find out the customers/consumers needs and values, in order to know what and how to satisfy with our products/services and marketing actions.

Important aspects regarding the external marketing environment:

For our customers:

- the buyer decision process;

- the consumer behavior;

- the market segmentation;

- our targets;

- our brand awareness and public perception regarding our brand, product/service;

- our position on market.

The cultural environment:

- traditions, beliefs and religions;

- educational standards;

- lifestyles.

The economic condition of our markets:

- market trends;

- average disposable income;

- interest rates;

- exchange rates;

- taxation policy;

- inflation levels;

- unemployment.

Political and legal conditions – regulations.

For our competition:

- the level of competition on the product market – general, regional etc.;

- the differences between our marketing presence and the competitors;

- strengths and weaknesses of competition;

- the marketing plans and strategies of our competition.

 

Reviewing of the marketing plan

Another important point of the marketing audit is a review of the plan itself. When the results of the marketing activity are not what we forecasted, we have the possibility to review the marketing plan in order to make the necessary changes.

We have to reanalyse aspects as the followings:

- marketing budget;

- marketing objectives – short-term, long-term;

- marketing strategies;

- marketing mix;

- level of the marketing plan implementation;

- marketing forecasting and results (market share, profit etc.).