A marketing audit is a structured review of a business’s current marketing activities that is done to ensure that the marketing plan is performing as expected. Each aspect of the marketing plan is reviewed to determine whether or not it has led to increased revenue.
The audit should be very comprehensive and look at a number of factors, both inside and outside of your business. It should cover your company’s marketing environment, objectives, strategies, organization and systems.
Audits work best when they are done by someone who is independent of what is being evaluated. Self audits are good, but they tend to lack the objectivity of an audit done by someone who outside of the operation being evaluated. You don’t necessarily need to bring in an outside consultant to do the audit, though. Appoint someone from a different part of the company that is not normally involved with marketing.
While it is not necessary to put marketing audits on a set schedule, it is good to get into the habit of doing one more regularly than not. Too often marketing audits are done only when sales have fallen sharply and there’s a feeling of desperation. The crisis could often have been averted if the marketing strategy had been evaluated and redefined during the good times. Marketing audits can also help to make a good situation even better.
Note: All of the question below relate to businesses that sell products. The questions work just as well for service businesses.
Questions to ask in your marketing audit include:
Of Your Customers
- Who is buying your product?
- What are they buying and how much are they buying?
- Why are your customers buying your products?
- What needs do your customers have that your product is satisfying?
- How do your customers rate your product against the competition?
- How loyal are your customers to your brand?
- What is the demography of your customers? (Age, gender, ethnicity, language, etc.)
Of Your Product
- How does your product compare to competitive products?
- How is your product priced compared to its competition?
Of Your Marketing
- Is your current marketing appropriate given the company’s resources, position in the marketing and opportunities?
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