What is Marketing Control? Process, Objectives, Techniques

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What is Marketing Control?

Marketing control is the process of monitoring the proposed plans as they proceed and adjust where necessary. If an objective states where you want to be and the plan sets out a road map to your destination, then control tells you whether you are on the right route or whether you have arrived at your destination.

Marketing control is concerned with analyzing the performance of marketing decision, identifying the problem/opportunities and taking actions to take advantage of opportunities and resolving problems. It is the sequel to marketing planning.

All managers need to exercise control over their decision and marketing operations. Hence, most control measures are designed with these parameters in mind. But today’s marketing needs to measure the following:

  • Market share
  • Sales and profits
  • Marketing effectiveness
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Customer perception of the firms and its brands
  • Feedback from customer’s satisfaction surveys
  • Cash flow statements
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems
  • Sales per thousand customers, per factory, by segment
  • Location of buyers and potential buyers
  • Activities of competitors to aspects of your plan
  • Distributor support

Objectives of Marketing Control

There are four types of controls with different objectives and tools and exist with different levels of management.

  1. Annual Plan Control
  2. Profitability Control
  3. Efficiency Control
  4. Strategic Control

Annual Plan Control

It is with top or middle level management to evaluate actual performance with given or set target to analyze differences or gaps. The tools used are sales analysis, market share analysis, sales and expense ratios, and financial analysis.

Profitability Control

It is used by marketing department to examine profitability by product, territory, customer segment and trade channel.

Efficiency Control

It is used to assess the effectiveness of money spent on sales force, advertising, sales promotion and distribution. It is used by both line and staff executives.

Strategic Control

It is used by the top management to examine whether the firm and marketing are capable to cope with the environment or not. The major tool used here is marketing audit.

Marketing Control Process

The marketing control process includes monitoring, evaluating and improving the performance in each activity.

6 steps of marketing control process are:

  1. Decide the Aspect of Marketing Operation to be Evaluated
  2. Establish Measurement Criterion
  3. Establishing Monitoring Mechanism
  4. Compare Actual Results with Standards of Performance
  5. Analyze Performance Improvement

Decide the Aspect of Marketing Operation to be Evaluated

The first step in marketing control process is deciding about the marketing operation to evaluate. For example, the effectiveness of media for product advertisement, sales person performance, or performance of company product.

Establish Measurement Criterion

In this stage, performance standards are decided against which actual performance is evaluated. For example, control sales person performance, in this one can measure new accounts obtained, call frequency ratio and order per call.

Establishing Monitoring Mechanism

After setting the standards, the next step is to develop monitoring mechanism tools like MIS (Marketing Information System). MIS is used to record the performance of all marketing areas like monthly sales volume for products.

Compare Actual Results with Standards of Performance

In this stage, results obtained through the monitoring process are compared with pre-established standards (benchmark) of performance.

Analyze Performance Improvement

If the result/performance is not up to the desired standards, a corrective action is to be taken to enhance the performance levels. For this performance improvement analysis is to be done.

Techniques of Marketing Control

There are various techniques of marketing control to measure and evaluate the results of market strategy:

  1. Marketing Audit
  2. Credit Control
  3. Budgetary Control
  4. Market Share Analysis
  5. Ratio Analysis
  6. Variance Analysis
  7. SWOT Analysis

Marketing Audit

Marketing audit is a systematic and objective study of the total marketing efficiency of the firm. It critically evaluates the marketing policies and activities of the firm, and measures the extent and direction of its growth.

It is concerned with the long-term business interests and challenges of the firm rather than short-term achievements. He may ask the following questions:

  • What is the pricing strategy of competitor?
  • What are the changes in consumer behaviour?
  • What is the distribution strategy of competitor?
  • What are the likes of consumer?
  • What are the needs of retailers?

Credit Control

Credit control is one of the important marketing control techniques. Credit control helps the firm to decide what credit facilities it can give to wholesaler, retailer and its customer.

Budgetary Control

Budgetary control is a very important tool in the hands of management as shown in Fig. 17.7. It helps in controlling cost and maximizing profit. It also helps in setting up effective budgetary control system.

Market Share Analysis

Market share analysis is the study of firm’s sales in relation to its competitor or competitor’s performance; rather it is to ascertain the percentage share of the firm in the industry’s sales.

The purpose is to identify the company’s hold or the status in the industry vis-à-vis its competitors and to determine whether it has attained the target market share both in segregate and break-up aspects like products, regions and the customers.

If used in combination with sales analysis, market share analysis should reveal certain useful clues regarding the firm’s marketing performance.

Ratio Analysis

It helps the company in knowing its profitability, liquidity, activity of the company. Net asset ratio, gross profit ratio, net ratio, current asset ratio, working capital ratio—all these are very important ratios for the company.

Variance Analysis

It helps the company in knowing what the differences between actual and standard performance are and in case of any deviation how these can be removed.

SWOT Analysis

SWOT analysis means strength, weakness, opportunity and threat to the company. Strength, weaknesses are internal to the company. The company must decide how it can increase its strength and how it can remove its weakness.

Opportunity and threat are external to the company. If the company avails the opportunity before its competitor then it will be beneficial for it. Similarly the company faces the threats from its competitors and it is necessary to remove them.

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