Marketing audit is a detailed assessment of the environmental objectives, strategies and marketing activities of an enterprise, having the aim to detect areas with problems or opportunities, and to recommend corrective actions designed to improve the marketing performance of the company.
The main features of a marketing audit are: exhaustive, independent, systematic and periodic. The comprehensive audit (horizontal) covers all the major activities of the company, while vertical audit examines in depth one of the key marketing functions of the company. Green Roua team believes that conducting a vertical audit is not always the most opportune decision. For example, when auditing the sales force, if there is found a low income, the real cause might not be the lack of staff’s motivation or poor professional training of salespeople, but it could be the result of poor quality products or an inadequate promotion. Therefore, the marketing audit should be addressed in a holistic manner rather than a partial one.
The independent nature of marketing audit requires that it should be led by people who are not involved in the activities being evaluated. Perhaps the most effective audit is conducted by consultants or specialists outside the firm because they have more objectivity and have extensive experience that allows them to focus their attention on the right deployment of the audit.
The third feature of the marketing audit is that it is systematic. Normally, the effectiveness of a marketing audit increases when it incorporates an ordered sequence of diagnostic steps.
The last characteristic of a marketing audit refers to the fact that it is run periodically. Some companies initiate an audit only when they cross a period of crisis, as a consequence of the fact that they have not regularly revised their marketing strategies and activities. Green Roua believes it is important for the audit to be carried out regularly in order to correct the malfunctions which may emerge, regarding the established objectives and the strategies adopted. Why conduct an audit when things go well? Because we want them to go great. Why conduct an audit when things are going great? To prevent the situation where things take an undesirable turn.
Regarding the place of a marketing audit within the strategic management, it represents an important milestone in the strategic planning of marketing, that evaluates the current performance of the company and which the change of strategy and marketing performance improvement are based on.
The role of a marketing audit includes examining the environment, the marketing objectives and strategies, the marketing organizing, the productivity, specific systems and marketing functions. Through the audit, you can identify problems and marketing opportunities, future directions of action, incorporated in corrective plans in order to increase the overall efficiency of the organization.
The role of the auditor is to present the findings and offer the best recommendations. Most often, they are materialized in organizational changes, and here comes the duty of managers to implement them and react. The auditor’s work will not generate value and will be useless if the results are not put into practice. Thinking, knowing and wanting are not enough. Taking action is mandatory.