Marketing Audit

Perhaps, the most difficult question every specialist asks himself at a certain moment is probably as follows: "Was there something I could do better?" How should I answer this question? What is behind it? Is it a morbid perfectionism or sound intention to get more by contributing just as much as it needs?

We believe that the answer to this question is useful both for the improvement of business mechanisms and the business itself because it helps to earn more, but spend as much as we have to. Our solution is marketing audit.

We advise out clients to carry out marketing audit once a year. Thus, you can control your business and assess its productivity and efficiency without hampering implementation of important and challenging projects. You make each project to be realized helping the creative process, but stimulate the projects which are useful for the business.

Some people think that marketing audit is a very formal procedure and its formalities impede implementation of creative projects. That's not true. In fact, modern technologies of marketing audit are focused on the creativity of projects. The task of marketing audit is to give an impetus to development and minimize risks. Creativity and ability to think outside the box, fast decision making by wasting less recourses is a formula of successful business. This formula works with the financial crisis as effectively as with the active economic growth.

We are sometimes told that marketing audit is the tool to reduce marketing budgets.

There is a joke in the marketing world: "I know that a part of my advertising budget is wasted. The problem is I don't know what part exactly".    

That's true, advertising budget is often the first to be pruned to cut spending. Sometimes, it can be fully justified, but sometimes it can not. If you want to cut marketing expenses you should first carry out the marketing audit to find out what particular marketing procedure brings to your business. The result will probably surprise you. Besides, you will learn how much Euros you earned from each Euro you spent.

The budget can sometimes be really bloated. However, it hardly ever happens. Secondly, bloated budgets are usually bloated by less developed lines of marketing activities. Harmonization of marketing procedures stimulates the yield of the company's marketing activities as a whole.

In fact, the task is not just to refuse this or that marketing activity, but to assess its efficiency and find out how business can benefit from it.  

What is assessed during the marketing audit?

Marketing audit estimates the company's expenditure efficiency of marketing activities. Marketing events include advertising, PR, exhibition and conference activities, as well as special sponsorship projects, information and communications projects, charity projects.

Learn about the blocks of the marketing audit procedure. You can carry out full marketing audit or you can choose the blocks you are interested in.

Study Case

Daria Chernova, Marketing Director

Out client list includes the company which I like most. There are several reasons for that. Firstly, that company was one of the first serious marketing tests for me. We met when the company's management was thinking whether to promote a very successful brand in the west in Russia and how. Secondly, together we have realized so many successful projects that at some point out client thought that any project he undertook would be success. We parted for two years, but then the company returned to us. The fact that the client returns and continues cooperation with us for many years after some time is very important for us from professional point of view and humanly. It is the best recognition of our professionalism and quality of our services. It's quite tough (in fact, a lot of effort is spent on every project giving our best shot, therefore, parting severely wounds our sensibilities), but fair thing, because the client has a choice and when he returns he estimates you as a professional. It's much more valuable than any rating because it's a real success.

But let's get back to marketing audit. Having parted with us our client launched a very challenging project - a shop for those who like cooking. A very brain storm idea and a very productive ground as family values are back into our lives. More and more people choose the isea of slow living which is based on simple human joys with the cuisine full of divine flavours, tea-drinking with tasty home pie, big table with noisy family around it... In short, everything pointed to the project being an impressive success. Special divisions of DARS Consulting were deisgning a corporate identity and a concept of the shop. Neither us nor our dear client doubted success. However, it turned out to be that by no means every project is bound to succeed. Shortly afterwards the first shop was closed, which was planned to become a flagship. Western partners refused the project as a whole.

Our client actually returned to us after that (and maybe because of that very case?). We were upset that the wonderful story of the shop ended so quickly and we decided to find out the reason for that. Of course, we carried out the marketing audit and found out that the project was at a marketing risk from the very start.  Rather than following the potential customers who live their lives, go to work, raise children, buy clothes, travelling, go to the theatre and so on and so fourth, our client made big mistake. He placed a stake on the niche media which didn't reach the target audience of the shop. Instead of arranging cuisine in the shop the promotional campaigns were organized during the culinary courses which, of course, failed to attract customers to the shop. In fact, a conceptual shop will be successful only when they can explain the concept of the shop to the customers. There is no sense in demonstrating knives, pans, meat thermometers to the people who can't assess the shop's concept as the shop, in this case, doesn't sell the products of ceratin brands (by the way, they are usually represented in several trademarks), but a certain lifestyle where we can find the place for this very knife, this very magic pan and this very wonderful bucket. Our client could have avoided the sad end of this story if he had carried out a marketing audit one year after the launch of the project. Marketing audit could have allowed them to study the efficiency of each marketing tool (and there are a lot of them - advertising and PR are just those tools about which many people have their own opinion), understand the administrative procedure of decision making at this or that marketing stage and find out how the business can benefit from it protecting the business itself from unreasonable expenses and creating a margin of safety by using effective marketing tools which provides a direct and substantial profit to a certain shop.

However, I don't think that the story with the shop is over. We are working at relaunching the project and we will tell you what the second life gives to the project and how successful it turns out to be.

November 2009

To find out if your company needs marketing audit we offer you to take the test on marketing audit.