A marketing audit is a comprehensive, systematic, independent and periodic evaluation of a company's marketing assets.

It is a effective tool in reviewing the competence of a marketing strategy, analyzing the objectives, policies and strategies of the company's marketing department as well as the manner and the means employed in attaining these goals. Because of the constantly varying business environment, marketing audit is frequently required, not only at the beginning of the planning process, but along with the implementation stage, providing also ground for evaluating possible future courses of action. Marketing audit on a regular basis is a strong reference point, reflecting evolution in external business environment, internal experience and strategy development. The marketing audit focuses on three key headings:
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The external marketing environment The internal marketing environment Evaluation on the current marketing plan

SETTING OBJECTIVES AND SCOPE OF THE AUDIT The first step of an audit is a meeting between company executives and the auditor to agree on objectives, coverage,depth, data sources, report format, and time period for the audit. GATHERING DATA:--One of the major tasks in conducting an audit is data collection. A detailed plan of interviews, secondary research, review of internal documents, and so forth is required. This effort usually involves an auditing team. A basic rule in data collection is not to rely solely on the opinion of people being audited for data. In auditing a sales organization, it is absolutely essential to talk to field sales personnel as well as sales management, and of course, no audit is complete without direct contact with customers and suppliers PREPARING AND PRESENTING THE REPORT:--After data collection and analysis, the next step is the preparation and presentation of the audit report. This presentation should restate the objectives and scope of the audit, present the main findings, and present major recommendations and conclusions as well as major heandings for further study and investigation. COMPONENTS OF THE MARKETING AUDIT:--There are six major components of a full global marketing audit. They are : (1) Marketing environment audit. (2) Marketing strategy audit. (3) Marketing organization audit. (4) Marketing systems audit. (5) Marketing productivity audit. (6) Marketing function audit. The marketing audit is a fundamental part of the marketing planning process. It is conducted not only at the beginning of the process, but also at a series of points during the implementation

How is our marketing team organised? How efficient is our marketing team? How effective is our marketing team? How does our marketing team interface with other organisations and internal functions? How effective are we at Customer Relationship Management (CRM)? What is the state of our marketing planning process? Is our marketing planning information current and accurate? What is the current state of New Product Development? (Product) How profitable is our product portfolio? (Product) Are we pricing in the right way? (Price) How effective and efficient is distribution? (Place) Are we getting our marketing communications right? (Promotion) Do we have the right people facing our customers? (People) How effective are our customer facing processes? (Process) What is the state of our business's physical evidence? (Physical Evidence) 2. The checklist is designed to answer the question. what is the current marketing situation? Lets consider the marketing audit under three key headings:    The Internal Marketing Environment. The External Marketing Environment. . MATERIALS (Factors of Production). The Internal Marketing Environment. In many ways the marketing audit clarifies opportunities and threats. and introduces a marketing audit checklist.e. MINUTES (Time). What resources do we have at hand? (i. MONEY (Finances). This lesson considers the basics of the marketing audit. as well as a review of the plan itself.of the plan. A Review of Our Current Marketing Plan. as well as the external environment. The FIVE 'M's):                     MEN (Labor/Labour). MACHINERY (Equipment). There are a number of tools and audits that can be used. 1. which focus solely on the external environment. The External Marketing Environment. Other examples include PEST and Five Forces Analyses. for example SWOT analysis for the internal environment. The marketing audit considers both internal and external influences on marketing planning. and allows the marketing manager to make alterations to the plan if necessary.

targeting and positioning in our markets. The standards and average levels of education. Their buyer decision process and consumer behaviour. Marketing communications uses of technology and media. and so on. What is the economic condition of our markets?    Levels of average disposable income. The way in which goods are manufactured. Their perception of our brand. Levels of regulation such as quotas or tariffs. for example. The evolving lifestyles of our target consumers. The relative strengths and weaknesses of competition. The nature of consumerism in our target markets. Taxation policy in the target market. 3. What customers 'value' and how we provide that 'value?.What is the nature of our 'customer?' Such as:      Their needs and how we satisfy them. gender make up.As a market orientated organisation. A Review of Our Current Marketing Plan . What is the cultural nature of the environment(s)?     Beliefs and religions. Information systems. The marketing plans and strategies of our competition. How does technology play a part?     The level of adoption of mobile and Internet technologies.' What is the nature of competition in our target markets?     Our competitors' level of profitability. What is the demography of our consumers? Such as average age. we must start by asking . and loyalty to it. Labour/labor laws such as minimum wage legislation. The nature of segmentation. Economic indicators such as inflation levels. levels of population. interest rates. exchange rates and unemployment. Their number/concentration. copyright and patents. Is the political and legal landscape changing in any way?    Laws.

You may also be surprised how much business information is available from your nearest city library. 1.will any changes have an impact on your business. If the answer is yes. with constant updates reflecting changes in the external environment and your own internal business experiences. the economic environment.uk. there are now many sources of information on your competitors and your environment.gov. External Audit External factors can be split broadly into three groups. the marketing audit should be used as a reference tool. What is our market share? (total sales/trends/sales by product or customer or channel) Are we achieving financial targets? (profit and margins/ liquidity and cash flow/ debt: equity ratio/ using financial ratio analysis) The Marketing Audit The marketing audit has certain similarities to a financial audit in that it is a review or appraisal of your existing marketing activities. Experience and learning. enabling you to assess past and present performance as well as to provide the basis for evaluating possible future courses of action. Consider these areas from your own business's point of view . Carrying out the marketing audit provides the opportunity to review and appraise your whole marketing activity. Because the business environment is constantly changing.companies-house. the competitive environment and your own market environment.          What are our current objectives for marketing? What are our current marketing strategies? How do we apply the marketing mix? (Including factors covered above in (a)) Is the marketing process being controlled effectively? Are we achieving our marketing budget? Are we realising our SMART objectives? Are our marketing team implementing the marketing plan effectively? Levels of staffing. 1. then the factors should be included in the audit. Company Reports are a good source of competitive information and can be found at www.1 The Economic Environment . And remember. Staff training and development. will they affect your competitors. With the advent of the internet. will they allow you to compete where you could not. or inhibit your ability to compete.

skills. growth and trends Products. home shopping UK Law (health & safety.do you know as much about your own situation as you should? . how big are they. likely to be doing? Evaluate the following:            The threat of new entrants to your industry The threat of substitute products The bargaining power of customers The bargaining power of suppliers The rivalry amongst current competitors Who are your competitors? Who are your major competitors. schools policy etc Income levels.do they diversify? What are their key strengths and weaknesses? 1. rate of inflation. prices Physical distribution channels Customers/consumers Industry practices 2.Political Economic Government actions. lifestyles and cultural values (changing beliefs. EU Law Affect of your business on environment. what is their market share? What reputation do they have? How do they distribute their products. what are their production capabilities? What is their marketing like . age).3 The Market Environment       Total market size growth and trends Market characteristics. privatisation. 'green' credentials Social and Cultural Technological Legal Environmental 1. family values) IT. tax levels. employment law. internet. rate of economic growth Demographics (population growth/distribution. Internal Audit This is your opportunity to put your own business under the microscope . employment levels.2 Competitive Environment How competitive is your market? What are your competitors doing. store opening etc).

split by geography. . industry. customer. product) Market shares Profit margins Costs Marketing information research Effectiveness of marketing mix Key outcomes from this audit can then be summarised in the Current Market Position and Market Overview sections of your marketing plan.      Sales (total.

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