Simply put, a marketing audit is an analysis of your current marketing efforts and an assessment of the ways in which it can be improved.
The first stage of the marketing audit process is external analysis. It is a systematic approach to creating information necessary for an organisation in order to identify the key issues it will need to create a successful marketing strategy.
Marketing, by nature, is an outward-looking process and is the interface between a company and the outside world. A marketer must scan the environment, both internally and externally, in order to identify opportunities and threats. The company’s position and resources can then be adjusted based on the outcome of the analysis.
In order to understand the needs of its customers and to keep marketing at the heart of the business, the marketer must analyse the external environment. This all part of the marketing audit in order to identify future needs and develop the marketing mix.
Although the external environment consists of a wide variety of factors and influences, it is possible to group them under 5 broad headings:
- Political/Legal:- National government, local government, trade associations, the EU, and regulatory bodies.
- Economic/competitive:- Market structure, government policy, trading bodies, taxation, interest rates, trading blocs.
- Sociocultural:- Demographics, culture, attitudes, current issues.
- Technological – innovation effecting:- Products, materials/components, processes, distribution, marketing/administration.
- Legal – the EU, general legal and regulatory bodies
- Environmental:- Waste disposal, conservation, natural resources.
When to use PESTLE external analysis?
Use PESTLE environmental analysis to understand the key factors that are likely to drive change in your business environment. The aim is to then establish how these factors affect your industry in general and more importantly your organisation in particular.
What do marketing audits achieve?
Through a comprehensive, systematic and independent examination of your company’s external environment, you will be able to identify problem areas, future events and trends that may have an effect on your company. You may not have any influence over these events but by understanding the effects they may have on your business you will be able to recommend a plan of action to improve the company’s marketing performance.