July 17, 2006
Marketing Audit Approach
"A marketing audit is a comprehensive, systematic examination of a company's marketing organization, strategies, tactics, objectives, and activities. A marketing audit enables senior management to discover the organization's strengths and weaknesses in relation to opportunities and threats it faces in the marketplace, and pinpoint more effective uses for the available marketing resources" (Willson, 2003). "Half the money you spend on marketing is wasted. The trouble is: you don't know which half." (William Lever founder of Lever Brothers, 1885 now Unilever PLC) Most companies wait until they see their sales and profits decline before they launch an examination of their marketing efforts and, by this time, they are scrambling for solutions. The best time to prepare for a potential downturn in sales is before it happens, while management can still act to maintain the company's hard won gains. The goal for this document is to outline the evaluation of current environment, target market, customers, competition, services, and marketing strategies to be used to develop a marketing audit plan for ChaiNet, a hypothetical company in the business of cyber café. The resources, approach, and steps of the marketing audit will also be discussed. "The marketing audit will be used as a fundamental part of the marketing planning process. It will be conducted not only at the beginning of the process, but also at a series of points during the implementation of the plan. The marketing audit will consider both internal and external influences on marketing planning, as well as a review of the plan itself (Marketing Teacher, 2006)." The marketing audit plan will be used to make the sales goals outlined in the ChaiNet business plan a reality in the year 2007. ChaiNet, unlike a typical cafe, provides a unique forum for communication and entertainment through the medium of the Internet. ChaiNet is the answer to an increasing demand. The public wants: (1) access to the methods of communication, entertainment, and volumes of information now available on the Internet, and (2) a place to socialize and share these experiences with friends and colleagues. More than just a great cup of coffee, ChaiNet's big flat screen Macintosh computers provide faster and easier than ever interface to the internet. The ChaiNet Cafés are warm and traditional - with wood paneling and comfortable seating, providing a relaxed, friendly, low-pressure, atmosphere to explore the information age. These computers also contain a number of different software programs including: word processing; fax center; Internet Relay Chat, LAN gaming, Telnet, email, and Webcams. High resolution laser printing is also available. The Café also provide a hot spot for wireless broadband connection for laptop users with WiFi features. Marketing will play a vital role in the success of ChaiNet. ChaiNet must build a brand around the services it offers by heavily promoting itself through local television, radio, and print advertising. Marketing efforts are just beginning by the time a potential customer enters ChaiNet for the first time. A strong emphasis will be put on keeping customers and building brand loyalty through programs focused on staffing, experience, and customer satisfaction. The marketing audit will begin with a meeting between the ChaiNet's senior management and the auditor. They will decide on the audit's objectives, report format, timing, and other matters. The business plans, company financials, organization charts will be reviewed. The interviews with management and staff, tours of the facilities, visits/interviews with the customers and competitors are performed to collect data for analysis. The marketing budgets, product costs, and sales numbers will be reviewed by auditor. The collected data will be used to assess the current market situation, effectiveness of the current marketing plan,...