This report presents an extensive study of the main components and principles of a marketing audit with specific reference to the firm Penton Ltd'. Penton Ltd. is a medium sized DIY manufacturer which has been facing declining profit margins and stagnant sales in recent years. A detailed audit of the company's situation (internal and external factors) is critical to provide the essential analysis that the company needs to formulate its future marketing strategy and thereby improve its performance. Alluding to the case study, the report utilises some of the most popular analysis tools and techniques to outline the main components of the audit.
Lastly, the report makes recommendations on how the results of the marketing audit can be effectively used by a firm such as Penton Ltd. to support its marketing planning process and execution, particularly with respect to mitigating its challenges and weaknesses and capitalising on valuable opportunities and capabilities.
The marketing audit is amply described with the following definition: A marketing audit is a comprehensive, systematic, independent and periodic examination of a company's marketing environment, objectives, strategies and activities with a view to determine the problem areas and opportunities and recommending a plan of action to improve the company's marketing performance'.
As such, the audit is concerned with studying the company's present situation, considering both the internal and external influences on its current and future performance, and it is a fundamental part of the marketing planning process. A number of tools and techniques such as PEST and Segmentation analysis can be used to assist the research and analysis of specific components of the audit. Marketing research is the process by which intelligence for
the analysis is obtained and this is often a significant task; utilising interviews with individuals inside and outside the company, online/desk research and, if budget permits, customer/prospect surveys.
[...] The most renowned way of presenting the marketing audit results is through a SWOT analysis. This is a categorization of both internal and external factors, drawing attention to the critical organizational strengths and weaknesses and the opportunities and threats the company is facing (Kotler, 1999). A thorough audit of the company itself (internal analysis), its micro environment and its macro environment leads to a well conceived SWOT profile which can then be effectively used to form recommendations for the marketing plan Internal analysis An internal analysis involves a comprehensive appraisal of the company's strengths and weaknesses. [...]
[...] Free Press: New York Figure SWOT analysis of Penton Ltd STRENGTHS WEAKNESSES Steady market growth over the Growth performance levels are last ten years. below the industry average. Long-established distribution Poor profitability with networks. increasing pressure on margins. Strong manufacturing and Heavily reliant on existing operational capabilities as distribution networks which are evidenced by production now outdated. orientation. Minimal spending on advertising. Enthusiastic and highly Failure to capitalize the qualified R&D staff. potential strength of the brand name. Overly production focused. [...]
[...] Firms which do not undertake an audit or do not consider its results thoroughly are likely to take greater risks in their planning and their individual strategies may bear little resemblance to the firm's resources and capabilities Conclusion The marketing audit is an essential constituent of the marketing planning process, describing the target market, the company's internal situation and its wider business environment. It includes analysis of market characteristics, performance of each of the marketing mix elements, the competitive environment and broader political, economic, social and technological forces. [...]
[...] An example of a SWOT analysis for Penton Ltd using the information gleaned from the Penton case study and the issues outlined above is displayed in Appendix figure 4. As highlighted by the case study, the most critical areas for development include A stronger marketing orientation to remind the organization that it works for the customer (Brooksbank, 1996); A more effective planning culture and process, and A more adequately structured new product development process. Marketing plan/strategy formulation In today's dynamic and complex business environment, the ability to develop effective marketing plans which enable the firm to be responsive to the market is essential for achieving sustainable success. [...]
[...] to end-users and building New ways of marketing threaten stronger relationships with to devalue Penton's existing retailers. distribution networks. Investment in new plants could Price competition may further improve performance and cost increase pressure on margin. efficiency, enabling greater value for consumers. Staff changes in marketing and at board level could lead to greater customer orientation and improved planning. Exploit new ways to market, such as the internet or new types of retailers. Capacity to exploit supplier bargaining power in order to achieve greater value for customers. [...]
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