In marketing, strategic planning revolves around issues such as launching new products, changing brand names, deciding which segments to target and designing new promotional campaigns. The marketing audit is a review of the firm’s current objectives, strategies, organisation, performance and activities, and its primary purpose is to pick out the firm’s strengths and weaknesses so that managers can improve on them in future. It evaluates how effectively the organization is performing its marketing tasks within the context of the seven Ps – products, price, place, promotion, people, processes and physical evidence. The marketing audit is a snapshot of what is actually happening now in the firm. It should therefore be carried out on a fairly regular basis – within the limits of the amount of money that can be spared for the task, and the amount of time that can be spared from doing the marketing tasks at hand.Such an audit encompasses the SWOT and STEP analyses but goes into considerably more detail. Once the exercise has been carried out, managers will have a very clear idea of what needs to be changed to meet the firm’s objectives.
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