8 Steps for Conducting a Marketing Audit
The marketing audit process helps your company analyse and evaluate your B2B marketing strategies, activities, goals and results. While the process takes time, the results can be enlightening and might:
- Focus your communication of a consistent message to the right customers.
- Reveal new, unknown or neglected markets.
- Help fine-tune current strategies and plans to help increase market share.
Here are the eight steps for conducting a marketing audit to capture the information a corporate marketer needs about their company and how they do business.
1. Assemble an Overview of Your Company. The details to include are:
- Company location, date established, sales history, number of employees, key personnel and chronology of company events like mergers, acquisitions and divestitures.
- An estimation of the current awareness level of company as well as perception of your company has among your buying influencers.
2. Describe Your Marketing Goals and Objectives. They can be concepts like increase company visibility, increase audience size, differentiate from competition, increase or maintain market share, generate qualified sales leads or increase usage within existing customers. List your goals and objectives as being:
- Long-term, with 6 to 8 goals listed a priority order to be accomplished in the next two years.
- Short-term, with a narrowing to 1 to 2 goals to be accomplished in the next 12 months.
3. Describe Your Current Customers. Include information like:
- Job titles or functions, industry or SIC codes, geographic location, company size and other demographic, ethnic or behavioral descriptions.
- Size of current customer audience.
4. Describe Customers You’d Like to Target. Include the same type of information used in # 3 but also include:
- If target customers are outside your usual industry, geography or size of current customers.
- Any internal or external factors that have changed in your business or industry causing you to target a particular group.
- A behavior that needs to be present for retargeting to occur.
- Size of target customer audience
Are you making the most of your marketing?
5. Describe Your Product or Service. Describe it in terms of its purpose, features, benefits, pricing, sizing and distribution methods. Also include:
- Strength or weakness as compared to competition.
- Any economic, legal, social, technical, seasonal or governmental factors that affect product/service.
- Current awareness level as well as perception of your product/service.
- Sales or market share history and any changes over time.
6. Describe Your Past Business or Marketing Encounters. Describe what has:
- Helped grow your business as well as what has not helped grow business.
- Not been tried but might have helped.
- Your competition has been doing to grow their business.
7. Identify Three to Six Competitors. Include the company name and location as well as:
- Describe their products/services in terms of their features, benefits, pricing, sizing and distribution methods.
- Sales or market share history.
- Competition’s strategy for the near future.
8. Begin to Outline a Communication Plan. Begin to list current and future media sources as well if costs are fixed annual costs, and what funds are available for new efforts for:
- Advertising vehicles like broadcast, print, out-of-home and online advertising.
- Promotional vehicles like website, collateral, direct marketing, interactive and online marketing.
- Media relation vehicles like media contacts, public relations and articles.
- Event vehicles like trade shows, special events, seminars and webinars.
- Analytic vehicles like databases, market research and tracking systems.
- List any promotional medium considered to be the most effective to date.
Once this information is written down on paper, you can refer back to it as your roadmap to achieving your marketing goals and objects for the coming year. And as new ideas pop up, this document can help remind you of the big picture. Minor adjustments can be made along the way as changes are bound to occur in sales, customer retention and product development throughout the year.