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Section 8. Monitoring Progress and Making Adjustments in the Social Marketing Campaign

Tool #1: A Sample Market Audit

(From Strategic Marketing for Nonprofit Organizations, by Philip Kotler and Alan Andreasen.)

This tool is meant as a guide for conducting a formal marketing audit. You can use it to help you think about what areas you need to look at as you review your social marketing effort; you can use pieces of it as they stand here; or you can actually try to carry part or all of it out in a formal way. A lot depends on your resources, the size of your marketing effort (and of your organization), and the overall importance of your social marketing effort to the work you do.

Part I. Marketing Environment Audit


  • Demographic
    • What major demographic developments and trends pose opportunities or threats for this organization?
    • What actions has the organization taken in response to these developments?
  • Economic
    • What major developments and trends in income, prices, savings, and credit have an impact on the organization?
    • What action has the organization taken in response to these developments and trends?
  • Ecological
    • What is the outlook for the cost and availability of natural resources and energy needed by the organization?
    • What concerns have been expressed about the organization's role in conservation, and what steps has the organization taken?
  • Technological
    • What changes are occurring in the relevant product, service, and process technology? What is the organization substitute that might replace this product or service?
  • Political
    • What new legislation could affect this organization? What federal, state, and local agency actions should be watched?
    • What action has the organization taken in response to these developments?
  • Cultural
    • What changes are occurring in consumer life-styles and values that might affect this organization?
    • What actions has the organization taken in response to these developments?

Task Environment

  • Markets
    • What is happening to market size, growth, and geographical distribution?
    • What are the major market segments? What are their expected rates of growth? Which are high-opportunity and low-opportunity segments?
  • Customers
    • How do current customers and prospects rate the organization and its competitors, particularly with respect to reputation, product quality, service, sales force, and price?
    • How do different classes of customers make their buying decisions?
    • What are the evolving needs and satisfactions being sought by consumers in this market?
  • Competitors
    • Who are the major competitors? What are the objectives and strategies of each major competitor? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What are the sizes and trends in market shares?
    • What trends can be seen in future competition and substitutes for this product?
  • Distribution and Dealers
    • What are the main distribution channels bringing products to customers?
    • What are the efficiency levels and growth potentials of the different distribution channels?
  • Suppliers
    • What is the outlook for the availability of different key resources used in production?
    • What trends are occurring among suppliers in their pattern of selling?
  • Facilitators and Marketing Firms
    • What is the outlook for the cost and availability of transportation services?
    • What is the outlook for the cost and availability of warehousing facilities?
    • What is the outlook for the cost and availability of financial resources?
    • How effectively is the advertising agency performing?
  • Publics
    • What publics (financial, media, government, citizen, local, general, and internal) represent particular opportunities or problems for the company?
    • What steps has the company taken to deal effectively with its key publics?

Part II. Marketing Objectives and Strategy Audit

  • Organization's Objectives
    • Is the mission of the organization clearly stated in market-oriented terms? Is the mission feasible in terms of the organization's opportunities and resources?
    • Are the organization's various objectives clearly stated so that they lead logically to the marketing objectives?
    • Are the marketing objectives appropriate, given the organization's competitive position, resources, and opportunities?
  • Marketing Strategy
    • What is the core marketing strategy for achieving the objectives? Is it a sound marketing strategy?
    • Are enough resources (or too many resources) budgeted to accomplish the marketing objectives?
    • Are the marketing resources allocated optimally to prime market segments, territories, and products of the organization?
    • Are the marketing resources allocated optimally to the major elements of the marketing mix, that is, offer quality, service, sales force, advertising, promotion, and distribution?

Part III. Marketing Organization Audit

  • Formal Structure
    • Is there a high-level marketing officer with adequate authority and responsibility over those organizational activities that affect the customer's satisfaction?
    • Are the marketing responsibilities optimally structured along functional, product, end user, and territorial lines?
  • Functional Efficiency
    • Are there good communication and working relations between marketing and sales?
    • Is the product management system working effectively? Are the product managers able to plan profits or only sales volume?
    • Are there any groups in marketing that need more training, motivation, supervision, or evaluation?
  • Interface Efficiency
    • Are there any problems between marketing and operations that need attention?
    • What about marketing and R & D?
    • What about marketing and financial management?
    • What about marketing and purchasing?

Part IV. Marketing Systems Audit

  • Marketing Information System
    • Is the marketing intelligence system producing accurate, sufficient, and timely information about developments in the marketplace?
    • Is marketing research being adequately used by managers?
  • Marketing Planning System
    • Is the marketing planning system well-conceived and effective?
    • Are sales forecasting and market potential measurement soundly carried out?
    • Are sales quotas set on a proper basis?
  • Marketing Control System
    • Are the control procedures (monthly, quarterly, etc.) adequate to ensure that the annual plan objectives are being achieved?
    • Is provision made to analyze periodically the profitability of different products, markets, territories, and channels of distribution?
    • Is provision made to periodically examine and validate various marketing costs?
  • New Product Development System
    • Is the organization well organized to gather, generate, and screen new product ideas?
    • Does the organization do adequate concept research and business analysis before investing heavily in a new idea?
    • Does the organization carry out adequate product and market testing before launching a new product?

Part V. Marketing Productivity Audit

  • Profitability Analysis
    • What is the profitability of the organization's different products, customer markets, territories, and channels of distribution?
    • Should the organization enter, expand, contract, or withdraw from any market segments, and what would be the short- and long-run profit consequences?
  • Cost-Effective Analysis
    • Do any marketing activities seem to have excessive costs? Are these costs valid? Can cost-reducing steps be taken?

Part VI. Marketing Function Audits

  • Products
    • What are the product line objectives? Are these objectives sound? Is the current product line meeting these objectives?
    • Are there particular products that should be phased out?
    • Are there new products that are worth adding?
    • Are any products able to benefit from quality, feature, or style improvements?
  • Price
    • What are the pricing objectives, policies, strategies, and procedures? To what extent are prices set on sound cost, demand, and competitive criteria?
    • Do the customers see the organization's prices as being in line or out of line with the value of its offer?
    • Does the organization use promotional pricing effectively?
  • Distribution
    • What are the distribution objectives and strategies?
    • Is there adequate market coverage and service?
    • Should the organization consider changing its degree of reliance on distributors, sales reps, and direct selling?
  • Advertising, Sales Promotion, and Public Relations
    • What are the organization's advertising objectives? Are they sound?
    • Is the right amount being spent on advertising? How is the budget determined?
    • Are the ad themes and copy effective? What do customers and the public think about the advertising?
    • Are the advertising media well chosen?
    • Is sales promotion used effectively?
    • Is there a well-conceived public relations program?
  • Sales Force
    • What are the organization's sales force objectives?
    • Is the sales force large enough to accomplish the organization's objectives?
    • Is the sales force organized along the proper principle(s) of specialization (territory, market, product)?
    • Does the sales force show high morale, ability, and effort? Are they sufficiently trained and incentivized?
    • Are the procedures adequate for setting quotas and evaluating performances?
    • How is the organization's sales force perceived in relation to competitors ' sales forces?