A marketing audit is the complete, systematized, scrutinized evaluation and interpretation of the company’s marketing environment. The audit covers the business’ internal and external marketing environment, its objectives and goals, strategies and principles to determine the areas with opportunities and challenges and to make recommendations on the best plan of action to improve a company’s marketing performance.
A third party, not a member of the company performs a marketing audit. When conducting a marketing audit, it is essential to keep the following in mind:
- The marketing audit should be comprehensive – the audit should cover the marketing areas where issues persist, and it should not consider a single marketing issue.
- The audit should be methodical – that is, an orderly evaluation and analysis if the company’s marketing principles, both micro and macro environments, strategies, objectives, and goals as well as other operations either directly or indirectly affect the business’ marketing performance.
- It should be independent – marketing audit can either be conducted by internal parties or external parties. However, the best way to do a review is via an external auditor, who can work independently and not favor any side.
- The audit should be done on a regular basis – mostly, businesses conduct a market audit when some issues pop up. Nevertheless, it is recommended for an audit to be performed regularly to avoid major problems.
Components of a marketing audit
- Macro-environment audit – this includes all the external factors which affect the business’ marketing performance. Some of these factors are demographics, cultural, economic, political and environmental.
- Task environment audit – the factors that are closely associated with the company, and affect the efficiency of the marketing strategies. These factors include markets, competitors, retailers, distributors, and competitors.
- Marketing strategy audit – assessing the viability of a business’ marketing strategies and objectives, goals, and mission strategies that can directly influence the business’ marketing performance.
- Marketing organizational audit – this is the evaluation of the business’ employees at different levels of management.
- Marketing systems audit – updating and maintaining various marketing systems like marketing planning system, new product development system, marketing control system and marketing information system.
- Marketing productivity audit – doing an evaluation of the performance of different marketing activities. This should be done regarding cost-effectiveness and profitability.
- Marketing function audit – monitoring the company’s critical capabilities like the product, distribution, sales force, marketing communication, and price.