Standard Article

Marketing Audit

Part 1. Marketing Strategy

  1. Bruce H. Clark

Published Online: 15 DEC 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444316568.wiem01036

Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing

Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing

How to Cite

Clark, B. H. 2010. Marketing Audit. Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing. 1.

Author Information

  1. Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2010

Abstract

A marketing audit is a comprehensive, systematic, independent, and periodic examination of a company's or a business unit's marketing. It is designed to evaluate marketing assets and activities in the context of market conditions, and use the resulting analysis to aid the firm in planning. An audit should cover both an analysis of the external situation facing the firm and a thorough review of internal marketing goals, strategies, capabilities, processes, and systems, and should result in actionable recommendations for the firm. Auditors use an audit framework to conduct a structured consulting project that identifies ways in which the audited firm can improve its marketing. A key benefit of the audit process is the deep, objective (and iterative) learning and planning process it can generate. Despite the compelling logic of the audit process, it is difficult to tell how widespread marketing audits are in practice, partly because many firms may engage in elements of an audit (e.g., situation analysis) without calling the process an “audit.” While empirical evidence is limited, it suggests that firms can benefit from the auditing process in terms of both planning and performance.

Keywords:

  • marketing audit;
  • control;
  • accountability;
  • marketing processes;
  • marketing capabilities;
  • evaluation;
  • planning