How to Conduct a Marketing Audit

August 29, 2022

A marketing audit is an incredibly useful tool that allows marketers to evaluate the marketing performance of a company, highlighting areas that perform well and revealing underlying issues that require attention.

But what is a marketing audit? Simply put, a marketing audit is a thorough analysis of the marketing activities of an organisation. By scrutinising a company’s strategy, tactics, brand, channels and resources, a marketing audit allows marketers to identify growth opportunities and have a quick business impact. 

When might you need to perform a marketing audit?

  • You are new to a company and want to get up to speed.
  • You work for a company and want to identify trends and growth levers.
  • You are applying to a company and want to conduct research so you can impress them in your interview. 
  • You are a consultant hired to deliver on marketing strategy.

In all cases, a marketing audit is an easy way to make an impact and also learn about the company. No matter where you are in your career, conducting a marketing audit is always beneficial, from identifying growth opportunities for your company to standing out from other marketers in an interview.

How to conduct a marketing audit

But the prospect of carrying out a marketing audit may be daunting. Where do I start? Which are the key areas to analyse? What resources do I have at my disposal? Consider this guide to conducting a marketing audit. Below is a brief checklist of the categories you should research, as well as resources you can access and questions you should ask yourself throughout. By following these steps, you can gain an in-depth understanding of any company’s marketing environment.

1. Context

  • Consider the overall situation of the company. To know how to improve in the future, we must understand the company’s current circumstances. 
  • Focus on company-specific data points such as revenue, customers, retention and churn as well as social-economic trends that impact the company like a shift in consumer behaviours, trends or an economic downturn.
  • This will provide you with a comprehensive picture of the company and highlight additional areas for analysis.

2. Challenges

  • Any company will have its fair share of challenges. It is important to consider them in your marketing audit so you know how to tackle them.
  • Identify the challenges facing the company. 
  • How did the company try to solve such challenges in the past? What worked and what didn’t?
  • This analysis will prevent the company from repeating previous mistakes and is an opportunity to rediscover successful past approaches to ensure growth.

3. Objectives

  • What are the company’s SMART objectives?
  • Try to link these goals to sales and revenue targets as much as possible, and ensure that they are realistic.
  • Your marketing goals should align with the overarching business objectives.

4. Target Audience

  • We need to consider who the company wants to attract and try to get into the psyche of that person. By doing so, we can evaluate customer needs to increase sales and revenue.
  • Who are the company's customers and target audience?
  • What is their persona? Are there any trends in their needs? Have there been any behavioural shifts?
  • Does the company want to attract another target audience?
  • Ideally, conduct 10-15 interviews with members of the target audience to get their feedback on the product and understand their preferences.
CMO Tip: If you want to understand how a lion hunts, don’t go to the zoo. Go to the jungle! (Jim Stengel). Meaning – talk to your customers!

5. The Product

  • At the core of any company is the product they are trying to sell. An important part of a marketing audit is ensuring you are familiar with that product.
  • Research the website with a focus on product offering.
  • Analyse the product launches and campaigns. Look at the past social media posts and PR announcements to learn more.
  • If possible, try the product! Whether this means buying the product or subscribing to software, this is the best way to learn about the product. Document your buyer journey with screenshots.
  • Read product reviews on platforms such as Trustpilot, feefo, Capterra, G2, etc.
  • Try to reach Customer Support via email and live chat or Community Management via social media. Ask detailed questions about the product. Observe how fast they reply.


6. Past Marketing Activity

  • The main purpose of a marketing audit is to evaluate which past or current strategies have worked well and which have not, to understand where to invest your time and money going forward to maximise growth. So analysing the past marketing activity of a company is integral to conducting a comprehensive and useful marketing audit.
  • Focus on the past: what has the company done that worked well to drive growth?
  • Can certain campaigns or promotions be replicated or expanded on?


7. The Brand

  • It is important to familiarise yourself with the company’s brand identity – this is how consumers view the company. We want to ensure that every aspect of a company endorses the same messages and values to create a strong, unified brand.
  • Explore the company website and social media (paid and organic). Pay attention to brand, design, messaging themes, content and tone of voice.
  • Google the brand name + ‘brand guidelines’ – some big companies have their brand guidelines available online or their agencies showcase their brand guideline work.
  • Get inspired from the BrandStyleGuides website that contains hundreds of guidelines.
CMO Tip: Review platforms such as Trustpilot, feefo and Capterra are all amazing sources of consumer insights as well as brand image.

8. Pricing analysis

  • How easy is it to understand and explain the company’s pricing structures? Why do you think the company designed its pricing this way?
  • Compare the pricing strategy with the competition while conducting a competitor review.
  • Promotional activities – how does the company run discounts and other promotions?


9. Competitors

  • A core component of marketing analysis is comparison with direct and indirect competitors to determine what they are doing better/worse and whether any of their methods can be implemented.
  • Provide in-depth analysis of a company’s competitors, including their brand campaigns and promotions. What promotions/discounts are they running?
  • You can subscribe to their emails as well as monitor their PR, organic and paid social media, and email activities to rigorously analyse their campaigns.


 10. MarTech Stack (Marketing Software and Technology)

Complete a full analysis of the marketing tools used in the company. Focus on:

  • The Content Management System (CMS) tool they use for their website.
  • The Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool they use to manage B2B activities such as calls and meetings.
  • Any marketing automation tools to send both one-off and automated emails.
  • Use analytics tools to analyse the data.
CMO Tip: Use the fool BuiltWith to learn about the marketing technology and software used by the company.

11. Digital and Offline Channels

  • What channels worked well in the past?
  • Are there any opportunities to drive growth leveraging other channels?
CMO Tip: Analyse which channels and messaging are working and double down on these channels to maximise growth. Experiment with new channels.

12. Content Assets

Map out all the company's content or marketing assets, including:

  • Brand assets
  • Website
  • Landing page
  • Social media
  • Digital brochures
  • Printed material (brochures, posters)

Which assets are most valuable to the target audience? Which are the most effective at driving growth?[PH1] 

If this seems overwhelming, narrow your focus to assets from the past 6 months. This will provide you with sufficient data without inundating you with work.


13. Resources

Finally, we need to assess the resources a company has to turn their goals and campaigns into a reality.

This will involve looking at:

  • The marketing and extended team available to execute on projects.
  • Network of agencies and freelancers available.
  • Budget.

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Best of luck with your marketing audit!