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Marketing Audit

INTRODUCTION

Marketing is an essential activity of every company which conducts its operations in domestic or across international territory. This function of management deals with conducting an in-depth research of preferences and needs of customers and thorough study of overall business environment. Market practitioner then decides the strategy and makes a market plan aimed at promotion and sale of products and services of organisation. The business-marketing planning process is a systematic approach that is aimed at engaging the members of an organisation in developing marketing goals and then executing the in enterprise. This process is adaptive according to the situation, target customer base and position of company in market. Business marketing planning process can be executed with the aid of specified marketing concepts, theories and philosophies. These are aimed at aligning the efforts of individuals within an organisation towards the desirable outcome. Market practitioner of any entity identifies and fulfils the need and wants of customers for the long term benefit of company.
The current report is based upon marketing audit. It deals with the key considerations by market practitioner while designing a business-marketing plan. It also includes the 9 key objectives of any business enterprise in relation to the process of marketing. A marketing questionnaire is prepared containing quantitative and qualitative questions in relation to the function of marketing. The questions included in questionnaire will reflect the relevance of those aspects for the company.

Statement of purpose:

Marketing audit can be carried by analysing the current market requirements and the efficiency of business efficiencies in coping with the situations that arise during the operations of business. There can be various hindrances in the application of this process. While conducting the process of marketing in new location, there may be barriers like economic, political, social and environmental factors.

MAIN BODY

Marketing audit is a process of studying the marketing process in business environment. It involves the stages of collecting, analysing, designing, developing, implementing and evaluating (CADDIE) the marketing planning environment. A qualified and professional person possessing high knowledge of field of marketing, concerned about regular networking events related to it can be referred to as a marketing practitioner. The basic job of marketing practitioner is to analyse the environment by conducting research and then implementing marketing concepts, theories and philosophies in the operations of business.

Marketing Definition

Q1. Do you think there is a difference between definition of marketing in traditional and contemporary context?

What:
According to traditional definition, marketing is concerned with the satisfaction of needs and wants of customers along with exchange process. Exchange process, here, means the activities conducted in relation to buying and selling of products and services. On the contrary, contemporary definition states that marketing involves listening, learning and adapting to changes in market. All the strategies which are implemented in an organisation aim at providing a wide variety of products and services dependent upon the needs and wants of target market. While the traditional definition states that marketing is customer oriented, the contemporary definition concludes marketing to be a market oriented process. Marketing is that function of an organisation that deals with exchange of relationship between customers and management of an entity. This function is mainly aimed at satisfying the customers and their wants.

Why:
It is essential for marketing practitioner to understand the difference between traditional and contemporary definition of marketing as this will equip them with the knowledge as to what is to be included in the process of marketing. Marketing practitioners in an organisation are responsible for laying down the foundation of marketing. Also, they plan and execute business marketing planning process for which understanding of the concept of marketing is necessary. By gaining an insight into the various aspects included under the process of marketing, marketing practitioners can aim at achievement of desired results.

How:
Understanding of both classical and contemporary definitions of marketing aids the organisations while taking decisions about adopting various concepts, theories and philosophies of marketing. Also, by gaining an insight into both the aspects of marketing, marketing practitioners present in an enterprise can decide their way of implementing business marketing planning process. By ensuring that the marketing department is well equipped with knowledge in relation to various theories of marketing, organisation aims at accomplishment of organisational goals as the department will successfully execute marketing plan. This will result in increased revenue for company.

Marketing Objectives

Q2. Do you think increasing sales volume is the only way to generate high revenues?

What:
Increasing sales revenue is the primal-facie objective of any organisation that aims to gain a competitive stake in market. For this, business entities understand the need of improving unique value proposition of products. By this, they aim at making the product more desirable and preferable among customers. Customers may then be willing to pay a premium price in response to the quality products and services delivered to them. High prices for same products would imply larger generation of revenues for the entity. This reflects that high revenue generation is not just associated with increasing the sales volume of products.

Why:
It is imperative for any organisation to understand that increasing sales volume is not the only way of revenue generation for company. Along with that, business entity needs to adopt such methods which are helpful in meeting the needs and requirements of customers. Gaining an insight into other methodologies and techniques to increase sales may assist the business in gaining a competitive edge in market. Also, research conducted by market practitioner to gain knowledge of customer behaviour is important to develop marketing strategies for an organisation.

How:
Understanding that there are other ways of increasing revenue for company than just by increasing sales volume, company can grow into market by analysing the needs and wants of customers. By equipping other tools like enhancing quality of products without compromising with any other aspect of business operations, company can gain a competitive advantage in market ahead of its competitors. Increased revenue would ensure ways of growth and expansion of entity and its operations across various geographical locations.

Q3. Do you think increasing sales revenue is the only financial objective of an enterprise?

What:
Financial objectives of an enterprise are the goals in relation to revenue generation for company. These include a number of aspects like increasing sales revenue, reducing cost as a percentage of sales and developing values of entity. All these objectives together constitute the foundation of financial objectives. Increasing sales revenue may lead to increased revenue generation. But along with increase in sales revenue, cost associated with production or manufacturing also rises. To deal with this, the marketing objective is reduction of cost in proportion to sales. Reduction in cost as a percentage of sales will result in enhancing the level of satisfaction in customers and will lead to enhanced customer loyalty towards the brand and company. As a result of this, the stake of business entity in market will flourish.

Why:
It is imperative for an organisation to understand that increasing sales revenue is not the only way to raise revenue generated by company through sales. Along with raising sales revenue, it is necessary for marketing practitioners to understand that reducing cost of production as a percentage of sales and building company values that aim at customer satisfaction are important financial objectives. When all these 3 objectives are met by the company in long run, it ensures that company maintain its name and brand position in market. Also, developing an understanding of the 3 financial objectives is necessary so that business entity can maintain its stake in market.

How:
Developing an understanding of financial objectives of organisation helps the marketing practitioner to realise that increasing sales revenue is not the sole financial goal of any company. Along with that, keeping the other two aspects of financial objectives in consideration tends to make sure that business retains its identity in market for long run. This will lead to widespread acceptance of products and services offered by company among the people. By ensuring low cost of production without sacrificing with the quality of products, organisations aim at larger customer satisfaction and building an ethical image in market. This develops a sense of loyalty and belongingness in customers towards the brand and company. Increased customer loyalty gives the organisation a competitive edge in market ahead of its competitors and raises the stake of company in business industry and market. This opens up the routes of growth and expansion for company. Growth can be in terms of increasing the reach of business by opening up new stores or outlets across different parts of globe. Furthermore, expansion may include routes like increase in product lines, launch of new product or service and introduction of variants of existing products.

Q4. Do you think product leadership is an essential strategic objective for an organisation?

What:
Product leadership as a strategic marketing objective aims to build a culture in organisation that continuously brings superior products to market. Products developed by an enterprise are distinct, distinguishable and discernible from other products available in market in same product line. Such products which are differentiable from alternate products of competitive business organisations provide meaningful benefits to customers at a cost they are comfortable to afford. Product leaders recognise that excellence in creativity, innovation and teamwork is critical to the success of product in business industry and also the success of organisation in market.



Figure 1: Product Leadership
(Source: Product Leadership, 2018)

Why:
Product leadership strategy is imperative for every organisation as it is concerned with bringing unique value to the marketplace and customers. Companies that focus on product leadership encourage the process of product development as per the needs and preferences of customers and the upcoming trends in technology and business environment. They create products that change the way customer lives bringing superior comfort to customers in terms of satisfaction. Entities create a culture of innovation, out of the box thinking and develop products beyond the thinking of rivals and buyers. This provides a strategic edge to business for conducting its operations in the long run in market.

How:
Developing an understanding of product leadership strategy is necessary for every organisation. Marketing practitioners realise the need to pursue product innovation at regular intervals both in order to retain their leadership in the market with the existing products as well as to introduce new revolutionary products in marketplace. Some organisations pursue the path of improving the current products by innovating them using new technology. There are other business entities who strive to understand the preferences and needs and demands of customers and work in accordance to develop those products that address the needs. By offering such products to customers that are leaders in related industry, organisation charge premium prices from customers. Also, customers are ready to pay high prices for such products as they best suit the needs of buyers and derive maximum customer satisfaction.

Marketing Concept

Q5. Do you think it is necessary to apply marketing concept in any organisation?

What:
Marketing concept is a premise stating that organisations that satisfy the needs and wants of customers in market are best placed to satisfy their own organisational needs. Customers have the tendency to search for and then select those products that they think to have best satisfied their preferences and needs. Thus, organisations keep in consideration this aspect and deliver the best perceived value. Such organisations are the first priority of customers and are most likely to stay in market for a long run. Also, every organisation exist to solve a problem that customers experience while living and thus every organisation that takes decisions and investment in favour of customer have chances of long term sustenance in market. Along with that, conducting business operations with a customer centred approach tends to gains widespread acceptance from people.

Why:
The organisations that run with a customer centred approach aim at maintaining their brand position and stake in market. These organisations can think of growth and expansion due to its wide spread acceptability within the market and customers. Also, following a market concept in the organisation can assist market practitioner to gather knowledge about the needs and demands of people and develop products or render services according to changes in preferences of customers or new trends in society or market. A product that best satisfies the needs of selected target market of customers, fulfils all the promises made by seller in relation and gains acceptance from buyers seems to stay in market for sale for a long period of time in future.

How:
Every organisation runs for the motive of profit making and maintaining its brand image and position within the business industry and market. Organisations that follow the marketing concept gain acceptance and selection from a wide base of customers present within an economy. Such organisation develop a feeling of satisfaction among customers are able to build customer loyalty to brand and company for a long period of time. Also, such organisations can easily look for expansion in terms of increasing the product lines or introducing variants of existing products or launching a new product in market due to its widespread acceptability. Along with that, organisations that apply marketing concept to their working can look for growth in terms of opening up stores or outlets in new locations within domestic country or reaching various geographical locations across the world.



Figure 2: Circular nature of Marketing Concept

Consumer/Customer

Q6. Do you think as per marketing perspective, consumers and customers are same?

What:
Consumers and customers are two words that are often interchangeably used in everyday conversations without much consideration. But it is important to distinguish between the two aspects. Customers are those persons that get involved in the exchange process with a particular organisation. As per marketing perspective, generally, marketers refer to ‘consumers’ as this comprises of a broader group including both consumer and customers. Customers are a narrower group of people who enter into an exchange process. In simple words, consumers are those people who consume the goods which are not originally purchased by them and they have not entered an exchange process with an organisation for buying the commodity.

Why:
An understanding of difference between customer and consumer is important for any organisation as this helps the entity in decide who their target base for an exchange process would be. Also, this helps them decide who will be the final group of people who will be offered the goods produced by company for selling purpose and will ultimately enter the exchange process with th

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