Marketing Theories – Marketing Audit
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What is a marketing audit?
A marketing audit is like a health check for your business. It’s a great way to make sure your marketing strategy is effectively aligned with your business goals, whilst building those strong connections with your customers.
You can shape your marketing audit to suit you. It can be as simple or as detailed as you need it to be. It could solely focus on email marketing strategy, a single campaign, or (and this is the best one) cover your entire marketing communications mix.
As a general rule, the more thorough the better! Marketing audits should be:
It might feel easier to just jump into the audit at the most exciting parts. But it’s important for it to follow a step-by-step, systematic structure. Analyse your marketing activity right from strategy and planning to tactics and implementation.
A good audit should cover all the marketing activity from your business, including an analysis of internal and external environmental factors.
Much like a health check, don’t leave your audit until its too late! Regular reviews are important to ensure your business is in line with current trends and customer behaviours. Even if you think your marketing is doing quite well, there could be new opportunities for growth hiding in findings from an audit.
Where do you start?
1. Define the scope
Make a list of all the areas your brand puts out marketing activity. This can include branding, SEO, social media, email marketing, offline marketing, competitor analysis, your website, etc. Then decide which area(s) you want to focus on.
2. Set goals & objectives
What do you want your marketing activity to help you achieve? These must be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time bound.
3. Gather inventory
Think of this like an inventory list when you move into a new house. Compile all your marketing assets and collateral to form a detailed catalogue of brand materials. This will be useful when it comes to your analysis.
4. Review the marketing environment
It’s helpful to split your audit into the following sections:
External (macro): This is external environmental factors that have an impact on your business (the opportunity and threat section of your SWOT analysis). You might also include a PESTLE analysis which examines political, economic, social, technological, legal, and environmental factors.
Internal (micro): These are factors with a closer connection to the business, i.e. the company has some control over them, e.g. suppliers, competitors, customers, intermediaries, etc.
Competitor analysis: Find out who your main competitors are, and what they’re doing well (and not so well). This gives you the power to identify gaps in the market, develop new products and services and improve your overall marketing strategy.
If all of the above sounds a bit confusing to you, you can find some helpful guides below:
Start the analysis
Remember those goals and objectives? This is where you compare those with your current strategy, activity, and metrics to see if they’re aligned. If they are, great! But there’s always room for improvement. And if they’re not, why not? How can you improve this based on your findings?
- Brand consistency
- Customer focus / interaction
- How you compare with your competitors
- Customer behaviour/trends
Make a plan
This is the tactical bit. Put all your findings to good use and decide on ways to improve your marketing strategy. Maybe you’ve discovered your activity isn’t focused enough on customers, so you need to rethink and improve this. Or you've taken inspiration from a gap in the market and have some innovative new ideas.
Whatever your new goals may be, it's important to create a comprehensive plan that outlines your new and improved marketing strategy.
Why should you do a marketing audit?
- Gives you the insights you need to develop stronger connections with your audience and customers
- Evaluates your marketing activities against your business goals
- Considers new ideas and innovations
- Stay current with trends and customer behaviour
Want to learn more?
Professional Academy's Strategic Marketing Theories Explained is a video series that explains marketing models in more detail.
Watch the recording for the Marketing Audit to see CIM tutor, Professional Academy trainer and all-round marketing pro Peter Sumpton talk about the importance of comprehensively (and frequently) reviewing your business and its environment.
If you are interested in learning more about Marketing or Digital Marketing then you are in the right place. Professional Academy will help you progress further into your career!
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