Tools for Conducting a Marketing Audit

We covered the basics about marketing audits, now it’s time to explore some of the tools you can use when you start your audit. The more analysis and measurement tools you incorporate into your audit, the more you will learn to make your marketing activities more successful.

SWOT Analysis

A SWOT analysis is a strategic tool that evaluates your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to assess your business and develop a plan for moving forward.

It plays an important role in an effective marketing audit, and you will most likely want to tackle the analysis at the beginning of your marketing audit so you have the information available to use as measurements for the rest of the process.

For more on SWOT analysis, go to How to Use a SWOT Analysis to Blast Your Business Out of Complacency.

PEST Analysis

“PEST” stands for “Political, Economic, Social, and Technological,” and it refers to the analysis of internal and external environmental factors that impact your marketing process.

Internal factors may include you and anyone else working with you, and issues that relate directly to personnel and technology. External factors could be your clients, legal or government issues related to the work you do, or technological change.

A PEST analysis is primarily used to understand market growth or decline, your current business position, and your future potential.

For more on PEST analysis, go to MindTools.com.

Five Forces Analysis

Five Forces Analysis is a tool for evaluating the competitive environment.

Developed by Michael E. Porter of Harvard Business School in 1979, this analysis focuses on the five forces that determine potential competition in order to gauge attractiveness of a market for a specific product or service. The five forces include:

  1. Supplier Power: What factors play a role in how easy or difficult it is for suppliers to raise their prices?
  2. Buyer Power: Is there an underlying risk that your clients will move to another provider who charges less and offers what you offer?
  3. Competitive Rivalry: How many competitors do you have, and how comparable are their service offerings to your own?
  4. Threat of Substitution: Can your clients find another way to do what you currently do for them?
  5. Threat of New Entry: Is your industry consistently growing with new providers joining the ranks?

For more information, see QuickMBA’s Strategic Management Guide.

There are a number of other tools you can use to develop a well-rounded and comprehensive marketing audit. Whichever tools you use, though, the outcome should be the same. You want to learn how your current marketing activities measure up against your competition, stay within the resources you have available, and develop a plan for improvement.

It can be a long process, especially the first time you tackle it, but doing it on a regular basis can increase the return you get on the time, money and other resources you dedicate to marketing.  Do you do marketing audits? If not, why not?

Image credit: forwardcom

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