Marketing Audit – Features, Components, Process & Examples of Audits

What is Marketing Audit?

A marketing audit examines and analyses the marketing activities, objectives and goals of a company. An audit helps the company analyse its marketing efforts, i.e. how they are planned and executed and if they help reach the original marketing plan’s goals.

A marketing audit is the best way to figure out which parts of a company’s marketing plan are working and which aren’t. Further corrections and adjustments can be made according to this analysis. A company can refocus its marketing efforts through marketing audits.

Marketing Audit – Features

1. Comprehensive

Instead of considering a single marketing problem that persists, a marketing audit should consider all areas of marketing as a whole and act accordingly.

2. Systematic

A company’s objectives, marketing principles, macro and microenvironment, strategies and other activities that might indirectly or directly affect the company’s marketing performance must be systematically analysed and evaluated.

3. Independent

Audits must be independently conducted so that the people who develop and implement the marketing plan cannot influence it.

4. Periodic

Even though companies conduct audits after problems arise in their operations, conducting regular marketing audits is recommended. This helps correct problems at its source.

Marketing Audit – Components

  1. Macro-Environment Audit
  2. Task Environment Audit
  3. Marketing Strategy Audit
  4. Marketing Organization Audit
  5. Marketing System Audit
  6. Marketing Productivity Audit
  7. Marketing Function Audit

1. Macro-Environment Audit

These are the exterior factors that influence the marketing performance of a firm. They are

  • Demographic
  • Economic
  • Environmental
  • Political
  • Cultural

2. Task Environment Audit

Internal factors impacting the performance of the firm are

  • Markets
  • Facilitators and Marketing Firms
  • Distributors and Retailers
  • Competitors
  • Customers
  • Public

3. Marketing Strategy Audit

  • This checks the feasibility of
  • Business Mission
  • Marketing Objectives and Goals
  • Marketing Strategies
  • Marketing Organisation Audit

4. Marketing Systems Audit

Various marketing systems are updated and analysed

  • Marketing Information System
  • Marketing Planning System
  • Marketing Control System
  • New-Product Development System

5. Marketing Productivity Audit

The implementation of marketing activities, such as the following, is evaluated

  • Profitability
  • Cost-Effectiveness

6. Marketing Function Audit

The firm’s main abilities are kept in check, such as

  • Product
  • Price
  • Distribution
  • Marketing Communication
  • SalesForce

Example – Product Audit [Samsung Galaxy Fold 2]

Structure wise, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 exceeds its predecessor Galaxy Fold. In the updated version, dust does not cause hindrances in opening and closing the phone by getting stuck on the hinge. Instead, the dust is led away from the folding mechanism.

Although the Samsung Galaxy series was the first of the foldable kind, it wasn’t the most durable. Apart from the hinge being fragile, a lot of bulges and dents were noticed on the screen. A weird noise disturbed a few customers while opening and closing the device.

The South Korean smartphone maker managed to fix these problems in their new Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 to an extent where the device seems appealing.

Example – Market Audit [Gillette]

Gillette chiefly depended on comprehensive research to come up with a single product for global distribution. But Gillette grew its market share dramatically in India by setting its traditional strategy aside. The brand had been adapting a cheaper-end-US-developed razor marketing strategy till 2010.

But Gillette’s low-income Indian customers depended on the old fashioned and traditional double-edged razor since they couldn’t afford Gillette’s premium price. Gillette realised that the 400 million customers that were not happy with the market offering made for a promising growth opportunity.

Hence they shifted focus and spent hours understanding and interviewing customers in order to study the role of grooming in their lives and their general needs. After understanding and studying customer needs in India, Gillette launched a new personalised product.

Gillette Guard was then created in 2010 specifically for the Indian market. They charged Rs.15 per razor which was around 3% of the premium Fusion ProGlide range and was less than 35 cents.

The refill cartridge was priced at Rs.5 and met customer needs and expectations with respect to safety and ease of use. Lots of changes were made to the developed country’s traditional razor system by Gillette.

Example – Advertising Audit [Axe]

After discovering that only 2% of its advertisements show intelligent women, Unilever in 2016 decided to drop all the sexist stereotypes from its ads. Unilever owns brands like Dove and Lynx. Unilever vowed to remove old fashioned portrayals of gender and came up with strategies to “unstereotype” its ads.

They are one of the world’s largest advertisers. On conducting an ad study research, they found that most of the stereotyping, irrespective of it being conscious or otherwise, happens in the portrayal of women.

Example – Consumer Taste Audit [Starbucks]

The Alphonso Mango Frappuccino makes an appearance every summer. It was created for Indian mango lovers and is a combination of mango, milk and ice with a whipped cream topping.

Example – Market Audit [IKEA – China]

IKEA accommodates new cultures by tweaking its products when it is entering new countries. The showrooms in countries with smaller apartments have to be smaller since they have to be relatable.

When compared to Northern China where balconies are used as food storage, a small balcony will be exhibited differently in Southern China since balconies there are doubled as laundries. Mattresses in China are firmer than that of the U.S., whereas beds in the U.S. are bigger than that of China.

Example – Market Audit [IKEA – China]

IKEA’s china retail chief, Gillian Drakeford said “As we become more and more global and we expand more in China and we grow into India, we will need, probably, to have a wider range, then each country will be able to secure relevance by taking the part they really need. But of course, we will still secure IKEA’s identity.”

In markets where low prices are the norm, IKEA targets the developing middle class that is inclined towards international lifestyle products. Whereas in developed markets, it is a low priced mass-market brand.

Example – Brand Audit [Unilever]

‘Fair and Lovely’ faced a backlash due to its name and decided to change it. The best seller has been renamed by Hindustan Unilever as ‘Glow and Lovely’ after deciding to eradicate nomenclature that cultivated racial stereotypes.

In an exchange filing, HUL said that the men’s range is to be called ‘Glow and Handsome’. The terms ‘fair’, ‘lightening’ and ‘whitening’ will be removed from its packaging and marketing material. In their future advertisements, they vow to feature women of all skin tones.