All journeys need to be planned. Understanding exactly where your starting point is will be critically important in ensuring you end up where you want to be.
Early navigators can thank John Hadley, the 17th century mathematician for the invention of the sextant, an instrument which remained the principal navigational tool for nearly 200 years.
Companies wishing to start a new journey must be able to chart a route to success before setting off on their adventure. They can do this by conducting a marketing audit.
Why consider a marketing audit?
A marketing audit provides useful information as to what the market looks like, where the key challenges lie and a breakdown of the various opportunities, which may present themselves. It also highlights the key drivers that can dictate and shape the future marketing environment.
A marketing audit will also identify competitors and potential clients, review previous marketing activity and provides a useful framework for capturing previous knowledge and experience.
Zulu works with its clients to understand the broader corporate strategy that provides the context for the marketing audit. The fusion of corporate objectives combined with a thorough understanding of the market provides real insight as to how to plan, prioritise and implement your marketing strategy.
Zulu helps clients work through this process, providing knowledge, experience and guidance in order to obtain the best results and ownership of the next steps.
What does a marketing audit consist of?
A marketing audit can vary in length and detail. Companies should ensure that both the external and internal environments are reviewed and a comprehensive picture is developed in order to provide an informative framework from which plans and campaigns can be tested and reviewed.
The external environmental marketing audit
The aim of the external environmental audit is to develop a comprehensive understanding of the wider context in which the organisation exists. The framework should provide a rich picture that can be modeled, adjusted and updated in order to make sure the framework is kept as a living document and useful throughout the process. The external audit should consider the macro environment and should review the general economy, key demographics, technological implications, any political or legal considerations, cultural attitudes and any environmental issues.
Zulu facilitates the development of the external audit, ensuring that key considerations are identified and highlighted. These points should be consistently assessed up until the final deductions are made and the key observations are recorded.
The macro environment needs to be drawn down to the task environment where the ‘big picture’ is broken down to give an understanding of the localised markets, key customers and the competition, as well as the market dynamics (distribution channels, suppliers and size and potential of the market).
The macro and the task environment combined should give a good understanding of the wider context and should provide insight to potential threats and opportunities.
The internal marketing audit
As organisations look to move forward, it is essential that they fully utilise and learn from previous experiences. An internal audit should incorporate a review of the business marketing strategy and key objectives, as well as the structure and processes which the organisation has developed to deliver it’s marketing plan.
The marketing audit should highlight how competitive products and services have, and will perform in their chosen markets. This process should include a review of the product/service range, the pricing policy, the distribution channels and the capability further to the marketing and sales functions.
A starting point, a guide and a destination
Conducting a marketing audit is an essential starting point for any journey. The review acts as a guide to the development of a comprehensive marketing strategy and ensures that your company achieves its goals.