A written strategic marketing plan is very important in a business. This strategic marketing plan serves as a guide for making operational decisions. In this strategic marketing plan, one of them is needed a marketing audit. Well, this marketing audit will be further discussed in this article.
Definition of marketing audit
A marketing audit is a formal and systematic review of the marketing strategies and plans adopted.
This marketing audit can be done externally by an independent auditor and can also be done internally by the marketing department.
The meaning of auditing itself is to test records and procedures and identify problems that exist in the environment, within the organization, and between the organization and its suppliers.
The purpose of marketing audit
The purpose of a marketing audit is to see how well the company is applying its marketing concepts, as well as creating value for its customers on a profit level.
By conducting marketing audits or marketing audits , it allows management to see far beyond sales forecasts and market share forecasting so that companies can develop more.
The Importance of Marketing Audit
Not every company applies a marketing audit. Because, often they think that this marketing audit is not something important and urgent.
The need for an audit often does not arise before things have gone wrong. That is, before a problem is seen, most companies are not aware of the importance of auditing.
When signs of a problem arise, such as a decline in sales, a decline in profits, a reduction in market share, maximum production capacity that can not be used and others, then the management is just starting to try to correct the symptoms of the wrong symptoms.
They will try to reduce prices, introduce new products, attract problematic products, reorganize salespeople, cut costs or make other efforts.
To restore a company’s performance, the problem must be precisely defined. In this case, the audit is the right way to help define it.
Simply stated, an audit is a structured approach to gathering and analyzing information and data in a complex business environment and is an important prerequisite in solving a problem.
Forms of Audit
The form of audit can be divided into two types, namely external audit and internal audit. The following explanation.
1) External audit
External audits relate to variables that cannot be controlled directly by the company, such as environmental, market and competition variables.
The external audit starts with an examination of information about the general economic situation, and continues with a view of the health of market growth served by the company.
2) Internal audit
Internal audits relate to variables that can be fully controlled by the company. This variable is called an operational variable .
The purpose of internal audit is to measure or assess organizational resources related to the environment and competitor resources.
Also see: Understanding Distribution Channels, Factors, Types and Distribution Strategies
Basic stages of the auditing process
In the auditing process, there are basic steps that need to be done. The following are the basic stages of the auditing process. ”
1) Identification, measurement, collection, and analysis of all facts and opinions that affect the company’s problems.
2) The use of judgment for things that still remain unclear, until the initial analysis is completed.
When and Who Conducts a Marketing Audit?
Marketing includes a function that is fairly complex. Therefore, in this marketing audit, it is very necessary to carry out a comprehensive analysis, at least once a year, which is carried out at the beginning of the cycle, namely on planning.
A company that has successfully conducted a marketing audit properly can use normal information, control procedures and marketing research throughout the year.
In addition, through a good planning cycle, a formal review can be conducted annually, through a process such as an audit. Thus, companies can understand and master all the factors that have an important influence on marketing activities.
As a result, future marketing activities can also run optimally and various problems that may arise can be avoided. Even if a problem arises, the problem can be detected more quickly.
Regarding who conducts the audit, the company can make wise decisions, by appointing company managers or can also use the services of outside consultants.
Because the purpose of a company’s audit is to determine the goals and marketing strategies of a company, it will be more helpful if the format created can be formulated to organize the findings obtained.
One way to organize the findings is in the form of a SWOT ( Strength Weakness, Opportunity, Threat ) analysis . SWOT is a summary of the audit that includes internal strengths and weaknesses in relation to external opportunities and threats.
The SWOT analysis in this case should contain no more than four or five pages of comments that focus on only key factors. The analysis is carried out by describing the internal strengths and weaknesses of the differentiator in relation to opportunities and, the main threats from competitors. In addition, a number of reasons why good or bad performance is included are also included.
In conclusion, conducting marketing audits routinely and thoroughly with structured steps is very useful. Because, this can provide a company with business knowledge, trends in the market, and where the added value possessed by competing companies.
Audit becomes the basis for setting goals and strategies. Thus marketing audits are very important and need attention from the company.
Assumptions in marketing audits
Every company has a major determinant of success that must be assumed before the planning process can be continued. This is a question about standardizing the planning environment.
For example, it is not useful to accept a plan from two product managers, where one party believes that the market will increase by 15%, while the other manager believes that the market is down by 15%.
Assumptions made must be as relevant and as small as possible. If a plan is possible to be released from the assumptions made, then the assumptions can be ignored.
Thus the article on Understanding of Marketing Audit, The Purpose and Shape. Hopefully this article can provide the information needed and broaden your horizons