A global marketing audit can be defined as a comprehensive,systematic and periodic examination of a company's or business unit's marketing environment,objectives,strategies, programs,policies and activities,which is conducted with the objective of identifying existing and potential problems and opportunities and recommending a plan of action to improve a company's marketing performance.
The global marketing audit is a tool for evaluating and improving a company's global marketing operations.The audit is an effort to assess effectiveness and efficiency of marketing strategies,practices,policies and procedures vis-a-vis the firm's opportunities , objectives and resources.

A full marketing audit has two basic characteristics.The first is that it is formal and systematic.Asking questions at random as they occur to the questioner may come up with useful insights,but this is not a marketing audit.The effectiveness of an audit normally increases to the extent that it involves a sequence of orderly diagnostic steps as is the case in the conduct of a public accounting audit.
The second characteristic of a marketing audit is that it is conducted periodically.Most companies in trouble are well on their way to disaster before the trouble is fully apparent. It is therefore important that the audit be conducted periodically and that this should include even periods when there are apparent problems or difficulties inherent in the company's operations.
The audit may be broad or it may be a narrowly focused assessment.A full marketing audit is comprehensive.It reviews the company's marketing environment,competition,objectives, strategies,organization,system,procedures,and practices in every area of the marketing mix including product,pricing,distribution, communications,customer service and research strategy and policy.
There are two types of audit:-

Independent and internal.An independent marketing audit is conducted by someone who is free from influence of the organization being audited.The independent audit may or may not be Objective:-
It is quite possible to influence a consultant or professional firm that you are paying.The company that wants a truly independent audit should discuss with the independent auditor the importance of objectivity.A potential limitation of an independent marketing audit is the lack of understanding of the industry by the auditor.In many industries,there is no substitute for experience because if you don't have it,you are simply not going to see the subtle clues that any pro would easily recognize.On the other hand,the independent auditor may see obvious indications that the experienced pro may be unable to see.An internal or self-audit may be quite valuable because it is conducted by marketers who understand the industry.On the other hand,it may lack the objectivity of an independent audit.Because of the strengths and limitations of the two types of audit,we recommend that both be conducted periodically for the same scope and time period,and that the results be compared.The comparison may lead to insights on how to strengthen the performance of the marketing team.

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