Performing a marketing audit

The marketing audit is of pivotal importance to the planning process, as it provides the backbone analysis that supports both the corporate and marketing decision-making processes.

Its primary objective is to ensure that the decision-making process is an informed one and that the organization is coming from a position of strength in respect of its knowledge of the marketplace, as opposed to ‘planning in a vacuum’.

In this audit, two key aspects of the marketing environment will be examined, the external environment and the internal environment, otherwise known as the ‘macro’ and ‘micro’ environments.

An analysis of the macro environment focuses primarily on the external conditions in which the company operates, taking into account the following:

♦ Global political and legal environment, not just on a local basis.

♦ Key economic factors – understanding key economic drivers that influence organizations’ ability to deliver high performance.

♦ Social/cultural issues – this element includes demographics, population trends, birth rates and life expectancy, changes in family life cycles and the changing role of women.

4 Ps of Marketing

Marketing is a tricky task, one that requires a great deal of time and effort to do well. It comes as no surprise to marketers that their marketing plan is often considered the backbone of the business.

A marketing plan needs to be clear and concise, outlining who your target audience is and what you want them to think about you.

These 4 Ps are an excellent starting point for anyone looking to create their own marketing strategy: Product, Place, Price and Promotion. Product: What is your product? What is it about and how does it appeal to your target audience? Is the product unique and if so , how can you go about showing this? So many products fail because the makers don’t take the time to ask themselves these questions.

A well-thought-out and unique product has many advantages: Your target audience will like you and recognise your brand.

They will be interested in what you have to offer. Your product will stand out from the crowd, meaning it has a better chance of selling. Place: Where are you selling your product ? Is it a physical location or a virtual one? If a physical location, where is it and what is the overall look and feel of the place

Creating a Marketing Strategy

The most common marketing strategy is to try to appeal to the widest possible market, but this strategy will cause your product to lose its uniqueness. A better strategy is to determine your target audience and then develop a niche marketing plan that is geared towards getting the interest of just the perfect type of customer.

Common Mistakes in Marketing Planning

One such mistake is not identifying the business goals. The goal of marketing planning is to align your marketing activities with your business goals and to create a roadmap that helps you achieve those goals.

1. Establish strategic goals

Although traditionally strategic objectives are set by top management, more democratic processes involving key stakeholders, if not all employees, are becoming more common. 

While formulating the organization’s purpose, mission, and objectives, they should be kept in mind and reflected in the final plan throughout the writing process. In order to make it clear how the plan contributes to achieving these objectives, they should be included in the written plan as well.

2. Perform a marketing audit

By using this process, a company can analyze and understand the environment in which it operates. The next step in planning is the SWOT analysis. Both internal and external audits are conducted.

In addition to evaluating the business and economic environment, the market, and the competition, external audits should also look for important trends that will affect the market and industry in the future. As well as asking about competitors and customers now and in the future, it should ask about market trends.

As part of an internal audit, organizations should look at the operational efficiency, service effectiveness, key skills and competencies of their employees, the resources they access, their products and services, and their ‘core business.

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The Marketing Planning Process: How to plan your marketing strategy

The marketing planning process is a systematic and methodological approach for planning, forecasting and coordinating all marketing needs and objectives. It is a structured and systematic approach for developing, implementing, executing and evaluating marketing strategies.

The marketing planning process

The marketing planning process starts by defining the company’s business environment and competitive positioning. From there, it moves on to identifying what is needed in terms of market research, target markets, and marketing objectives. This is followed by a SWOT analysis to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Finally, a strategy is developed based on the findings from the SWOT analysis with a plan for implementation.

A marketing plan is a systematic process that includes an assessment of marketing opportunities and resources, the determination of marketing objectives, and the development of a plan for implementation and control.

Thus, the objective of the marketing plan is to provide detailed information about the company’s marketing activities for the future. This may include:

♦ An organization can follow this pathway to reach its ultimate destination.

♦ Within the plan are a number of deadlines for marketing activities, such as 6 months, 12 months, etc.

♦ High levels of performance can be achieved by allocating resources efficiently and effectively.

♦ Besides identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, it also suggests ways to address, exploit and improve these factors.

♦ Ideally, it ensures that the business is marketing-driven and customer-focused, striving to meet customer needs, wants, and expectations.

♦ To achieve corporate objectives and marketing objectives, the organization structure may be shaped.

The marketing strategy is implemented and controlled by it.

Planning is crucial to the successful implementation of strategy and achievement of objectives.