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MK610 Audit Guide

MK610 Marketing Audit Guide
The final project for Principles of Marketing is the complete audit of an existing firm. This
project is designed to give the student an opportunity to demonstrate an understanding of
course learning objectives to include:
Understand what a customer-driven or market-driven organization is and how everyone in
the organization needs to work together to satisfy customer needs.
Have a good grasp of the process of formulating marketing strategy (from understanding
customer needs to the successful marketing of the product.)
Understand how product, price, promotion and distribution strategies interact to make a
successful marketing strategy.
Know how to critically evaluate marketing activity in terms of how well it accomplishes its
Students will choose a firm by the end of week 2 and notify the course instructor to assure the
firm is appropriate and to limit overlap from other enrolled students. Firms can be large,
publicly traded firms, new startup firms or small local businesses. The only criteria is that the
firm must have been operating for a year and is actively generating revenue.
Students are encouraged to begin considering the audit early in the semester as it will be
graded as a semester long project and the deliverable should demonstrate significant effort. It
is expected that a minimum of 40 hours will be spent on this audit.
Students can submit hard copies of drafts for feedback until the end of week 7, after that date
students must work independently, it is graded as a final exam and as such independent effort
is expected to demonstrate learning.
Access to information on larger firms can be found using electronic sources, particularly publicly
traded firms. Personal interviews will add credibility and depth to all audits and are
encouraged where possible. Smaller firms will require in person interviews and observation.
Please be respectful of small firm’s leadership, be prepared when you arrive and don’t ask for
too much time. Small firms are extremely busy attempting to manage all that the business
demands – your audit should ultimately be a value add to the entrepreneur – not a burden.
MK610 Marketing Audit Grading Rubric
and Action Plan
Learning Reflection
Submission includes an
executive summary and a clear
conclusion. The document is
professional presented, does
not include any spelling or
grammar errors, and uses
headings and subheadings to
guide the reader. The
document includes a cover
page, page numbers and a table
of contents.
Each of the identified audit
components are included and
thoughtfully considered. Each
question is answered and facts
and data are presented where
Detailed and thoughtful
recommendations are provided
appropriately. Categories of
recommendations (Low
Hanging, low-level and highlevel) and the category
determination makes sense.
Recommendations are
supported by facts and data and
an ROI is supported.
The student provided a
thoughtful summary of learning
objectives, connecting their
own experience in developing
the audit to the four objectives
outlined. The summary is
thoughtful, reflective and
demonstrates a clear
connection to designed
MK 610 Marketing Audit Major Components
1) Macro Environment Assessment
a) Demographic
i) What major demographic group(s) is the company targeting?
ii) What current trends within these segments pose opportunities or threats?
iii) What actions or plans for action does the company have in place to manage trends?
b) Economic
i) Describe the economic variables affecting the companies demographic group(s).
Income, savings, regional economic issues, etc.
ii) What is the general category your company is competing in? Entertainment, food
and beverage, education, on line retail, technology, etc.
iii) What unique economic issues are impacting short term opportunities or threats?
2) Market Environment Assessment
a) Markets
i) What is happening to market size, growth, distribution channels and profits?
ii) What are the trends and major market segments being targeted?
b) Customers
i) How do current and potential customers view the organization?
ii) How do targeted customers make buying decisions?
c) Competitors
i) Who are the current direct and indirect competitors? What are their strengths and
ii) What current trends will impact direct / indirect competitors and substitutes?
d) Suppliers
i) Are there any current issues that may affect the availability of key resources?
ii) What trends are occurring on the supplier side that may impact the firm?
3) Strategic Assessment
a) Mission and Vision
i) Does the firm have an existing mission and vision statement, does it address
multiple stakeholder groups?
ii) Has a SWOT assessment been completed? Does it accurately reflect the current
position of the firm?
b) Objectives and Goals
i) Are the mission and vision supported by a clear set of measurable goals that are
customer oriented?
ii) Are there identified trends that will impact existing goals related to suppliers,
customers or competitors?
c) Leadership
i) Does a marketing strategy exist that leadership is able to articulate?
ii) Has leadership allocated appropriate budget to achieve objectives and goals?
4) Organizational Assessment
a) Structure
i) Does the responsible person / people have authority to drive activities forward
affecting customer outcomes?
ii) Is the organizational structure appropriate to achieve objectives and goals?
b) Efficiency
i) Is internal communication effective?
ii) Is there effective training for new hires within the sales and marketing team?
iii) Is there friction between internal units affecting marketing outcomes?
iv) Is the firm using sound practices for projecting market trends and sales potential?
v) Is the company using analytic tools to manage marketing performance?
c) New Product Development
i) Is the company well organized to gather, generate and consider new product
ii) Does the company invest resources in review of new product potential before
iii) Does the firm conduct adequate product and market testing before launching new
5) Financial Assessment
a) Profitability
i) What is the profitability of the firm’s current product mix, territories, customer
segments and distribution systems?
ii) Are there existing or future segments, channels, products that would improve
profitability by expansion or withdrawal?
iii) Do the marketing activities have excessive costs? Can you prove that additional
investment in marketing expense would improve profitability?
6) Marketing Mix Assessment
a) Price
i) What are the pricing objectives, policies, strategies and procedures? To what extent
are prices set on cost, demand and competitive criteria?
ii) Do the current customers see the existing pricing structure as in line with direct
iii) Do the current customers see existing pricing structure as in line with value
b) Products
i) What are the existing product line objectives? Is the existing product line meeting
those objectives?
ii) Should the product line be stretched or contracted to increase profitability and / or
market share?
c) Distribution
i) What is the current distribution objective and strategy?
ii) Is there adequate market coverage and/or service?
iii) How effective are the channel members at achieving distribution objectives?
d) Promotion
i) What is the organizations advertising objective?
ii) Is the right amount being spent on advertising to achieve the objective?
iii) Are the ad theme and copy effectively support the brand?
iv) Is the advertising and promotions team qualified to achieve the objective?
v) Is the advertising budget adequate to achieve the objective?
7) Recommendations and Action Plan
a) Recommendations
i) What are the top recommendations (low hanging fruit) that you suggest the firm
consider? Are the recommendations justified by facts and data?
ii) What are the low-level recommendations? DO any second level recommendations
depend on first level success?
iii) What are the high-level recommendations? Are these recommendations justified
with facts and data that prove a return on investment?
b) Action Plan
i) What is the action plan for performance improvement with a timetable and budget
of resources?
ii) Are measurable metrics provided to assure milestone achievement?
iii) Is an alternative plan provided for leadership to consider?