Definition of Marketing Audit
The definition of marketing audit as stated by Abe Schuchman is as follows:
“Marketing audit is a systematic, critical and impartial review and appraisal of the total marketing operation: of the basic objectives and polices and the assumptions which underlie them as well as the methods, procedures, personnel and organization employed to implement the policies and achieve the objectives.”
Abe Schuchman gave this definition of marketing audit in his writings on its first extended discussions. He wrote this discussion for the American Marketing Association (AMA) in 1951.
Meaning of Marketing Audit
The meaning of marketing audit is depicted in the following chart.
Marketing audit is an analysis, examination, review or evaluation of marketing activities of a company. It evaluates marketing environment, objectives, plans, policies and strategies of a company. After evaluation, it identifies various defects, vulnerabilities, deficiencies, problems, and other weaknesses encountered in the company's marketing activities. It suggests measures and/or recommendations to overcome, solve or remove these limitations. It also seeks out new marketing opportunities for a company. Overall, it tries to enhance (improve) the marketing performance of a company.
Marketing audit is an extensive, systematic, independent and regular examination process of a company's marketing activities.
- It is an extensive or comprehensive process because it covers all (entire) marketing activities of a company.
- It is a systematic or methodical process since it strictly follows all involved steps or procedures properly.
- It is an independent or autonomous process conducted by an external person. This person is not from the marketing department of a company.
- It is a periodic process because it is conducted continuously after some fixed interval of time.
Marketing audit is very beneficial for the success of a company. It examines, “How well the marketing department of a company works or functions.” It compares the marketing plans of a company with its actual marketing performance. It finds out the strengths and weaknesses of a company's product. It suggests measures to remove the product's weaknesses. It guides a company to adapt its marketing strategies with the changing marketing environment. It helps a company to update its marketing strategies and control its marketing expenses. In short, a company cannot survive without conducting a proper marketing audit.
Additional topics on marketing audit are continued in the following articles:
- Characteristics of marketing audit.
- Types of marketing audit.
- Methods of conducting a marketing audit.
Marketing audit evaluates the following three main (key) responsible areas:
- External marketing environment : Here, the marketing audit mainly focuses on customers and competition in the business.
- Internal marketing environment : Here, the marketing audit studies the structure of company's marketing team and its effectiveness.
- Evaluation of current marketing strategy : Here, the marketing audit continuously reviews current marketing strategy of a company. It also takes help of lessons learned from its past marketing plans.