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The first stage of the audit is discovery, which includes a review of external factors that affect marketing. What kind of marketing are others in your industry doing?
What is working or not working for them?
Is there research data already out there that sheds light on what you should be doing? Discovery also entails a comprehensive internal examination of marketing activities-owned media (website, newsletter, collateral materials), earned media (PR, press coverage), paid media (advertising), and shared media (any social media activity and online reputation).
A successful marketing audit must have the following elements:
Comprehensive - The marketing audit covers all the major marketing issues facing an organization, from business strategies that lead to marketing initiatives to tactical digital performance.
Systematic - The marketing audit involves an orderly sequence of diagnostic steps covering the organization’s marketing environment, internal marketing system, and specific marketing activities. The diagnosis is followed by a corrective action plan involving both short-run and long-run proposals to improve the markets.
Independent - The marketing audit must be conducted by an outside party who has sufficient independence from the marketing department to maintain transparency and trust throughout the process and attain top management’s confidence and objectivity.
Periodic - To maintain the marketing operations of the organization functioning at a top level consistently, the marketing audit should be carried out periodically instead of only when there is a crisis.
Lastly, the auditor makes recommendations of the present general marketing environment and operational status, including a detailed proposal of marketing initiatives likely to be the most effective once the appropriate corrections and revisions of the marketing operation are performed.
Findings are compiled into a report that provides a thorough, objective third party assessment of the marketing function within your organization. To decide where you’re going, it’s vital to know where you’ve been. If you don’t have a clear picture, a marketing audit could be the answer you need.
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