Marketing audits: A strategic approach for scale-up success

Marketing audits: A strategic approach for scale-up success

As scale-up businesses enter their growth phase, they must employ high-quality strategic thinking and decision-making to encourage growth and ensure it is sustainable. Before steaming ahead, it is important to put the handbrake on and take a pause, assess what direction should be taken and what needs to be done to get there. This should happen at different growth stages to ensure the team has everything they need in place for the next part of their journey. A marketing audit is a great tool to use during these stages – we’ll talk more about that later.

There are various points when an audit might be conducted in scale-up businesses, and those who have gone through investment already will be familiar with commercial due diligence (CDD) audits. If you’re unsure, it’s a deep dive into a company’s internal and external operations, value, and growth potential while looking at the competitive market. 

At Moreno, we use our years of experience to provide a specialist look at a business’s sales and marketing as part of the CDD audit. Increasingly now, we are seeing these audits being requested by the portfolio company post-investment. We like to call them flash audits as they’re designed to be quick while identifying the areas for work, and then the execution of the next phase can begin swiftly. 


What is involved in a marketing audit?

Think of a marketing audit as a rapid yet thorough examination of key aspects of a business’s marketing and commercial operations. From dissecting marketing strategies to evaluating sales performance, a marketing audit offers invaluable insights to drive growth and transformation. CDD is a requirement that has to be met when undergoing investment, so making sure scale-ups have this set up right is crucial and will benefit both the organisation and the Private Equity firm/investor. We see the post-investment marketing audit as an MOT – a chance to check your readiness before the next stage of the journey.

So what does the process typically involve?

  • Research and interviews – Gathering relevant information about the marketing strategies used, sales performance, customer insights, and competitive analysis of the organisation.
  • Analysis – Conducting an in-depth analysis of the collected data to identify areas for improvement, starting with the strategic board vision and growth plan while also delving into the operational marketing analytics.
  • Evaluation – Assessing the effectiveness of current marketing and commercial strategies, as well as identifying any gaps or inefficiencies and benchmarking against best practices. 
  • Recommendations – Providing actionable recommendations and insights to enhance performance, drive growth, and achieve KPIs set out in the investment stage. At Moreno, we provide a RAG status of where we believe the organisation is currently at with certain aspects of the business and what we think is missing.


In essence, a marketing audit is a tool used to help businesses, commonly in the scale-up phase, gain clarity on their current state, identify opportunities for improvement, and map a route for success. It’s designed to be useful – not rocket science. 


How we use marketing audits and how they help scale-up success

Myself and my team at Moreno have been running marketing audits for scale-up companies for over five years, so we know what we’re looking for when it comes to assessing and setting up for growth. We’ve got plenty of experience in guiding scale-up businesses towards success. If you want to check out some of our real-life examples, head to the case studies page on the Moreno website. 

Our process is swift yet thorough, carrying out all of the processes mentioned in the above section. By focusing on these critical aspects, we gather valuable insights that help scale-up organisations to make informed decisions and drive growth. Often, once we’re brought in for a marketing audit, we then move on to consultancy work which involves using our findings to create an actionable blueprint that scale-ups can realistically use to drive growth. 

Not only do marketing audits provide quick and actionable outcomes, enabling businesses to understand what needs to be done to successfully grow, but they also offer a comprehensive understanding of existing strengths and weaknesses. marketing audits play an important role in setting the foundations by analysing what is there and is effective and what isn’t. It’s only once understanding this, that an effective plan can be implemented.


Why we encourage marketing audits

Marketing audits stand as valuable tools for scale-up success. They not only help businesses get their ducks in a row but also enable them to look forward and create actionable plans, which can often be the most challenging part of the growth journey.

Visit the Moreno website to learn more about our marketing audit services and discover how we can help transform your scale-up business. If this is what you’re looking for, then drop me a message on LinkedIn or an email on