Conducting a Marketing Audit Assessment
Key Elements of a Marketing Audit Assessment – and why you should have one
Conducting a Marketing Audit Assessment is an important step for a business to achieve its marketing goals and attain long-term growth and success, yet it is many times overlooked. A Marketing Audit Assessment should support the overall business goals and strategies of a company and answer the 7 essential questions of effective marketing:
Who? Why? What? Where? When? How? and How Much?
Who – Who defines the essence of your company and its marketplace, including its history, mission, products and/or services offered as well as a “situation analysis” by doing a SWOT Analysis. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats and is most effective with input from key management AND customers.
Who also identifies the company’s key customers by market segments: Who are they? Where are they? What is the size of the market? What are their needs, values and buying motives?
Lastly, Who addresses marketplace issues, such as who are your competitors and what are their relative strengths and weaknesses?
Why – Why is the rationale for implementing a marketing campaign. It specifies your company’s goals and objectives and the role marketing will play in achieving them. The best goals are S.M.A.R.T. – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound.
What – What is the development of the message(s) you want to convey to your customers, also known as the Unique Selling Proposition (USP). The USP communicates the key benefit or promise your firm consistently delivers to customers and how it differentiates itself from competitors in the marketplace. When finalized, it forms the basis of a marketing strategy by revealing what to emphasize and where to focus.
Where – Where concentrates on the mediums used to publicize your sales message – the magazines where your print ads appear, publications your press releases target, websites or email newsletters where your banner ads will appear and the trade shows at which you exhibit. Of course, Where also explores the location of your customers – are they local, regional, national or international and how will you reach all of them?
When – When is your marketing timeline: the chronology for developing the marketing tools to be used in your campaign. This is when creative magic happens! Advertising is developed, press releases are written, brochures are printed, trade shows attended and social media is posted. We know that you can’t rush perfection but deadlines dictate when work should be completed, and who is responsible to produce them.
How – How is the implementation of the “game plan” through which marketing objectives are achieved. It specifies which marketing tools, tactics and media to use, along with timing, emphasis and budget allocated to each.
How Much – How Much refers to the budget that is necessary to fully implement your market program, and how to best allocate funds for each marketing tactic being used.
Answering these essential questions will generate a flight plan and vector you to a successful strategy. Now that we have taken a tour of the Key Elements of a Marketing Audit Assessment Plan, check out our 7 reasons below for why you should have one – in case you thought we forgot.
7 Benefits of a Marketing Audit Assessment Plan
- Encourages a thorough review of all factors that impact success for your business and brings to light opportunities and pitfalls often overlooked by “winging it.”
- Clearly delineates goals and provides a long-range view and direction to your business – minimizing impulsive decisions which can prove costly.
- Provides an accurate data-driven foundation on which to build your marketing campaign.
- Builds consensus and support with internal staff and departments fostering coordination and consolidation of efforts and maximizing efficiency and effectiveness.
- Empowers team members to take actions which are appropriate and consistent with established marketing goals.
- Results in optimal use of your marketing budget and resources.
- Facilitates measurement of previous marketing effectiveness and promotes objective evaluation of past actions and results. Avoids repetition of mistakes by recognizing marketing tactics providing superior performance and exposing those which under perform.