It is true to say that planning gives direction to an organisation, planning enable an organisation to achieve its objectives, but without control measures planning is of no mean, it’s just an empty exercise without control.
Business organisations do marketing planning to incorporate overall marketing objectives, strategies, and programs of actions designed to achieve marketing objectives. Marketing Planning involves setting objectives and targets, and communicating these targets to people responsible to achieve them.
After an organisation develops and implements the marketing plan, next task is to control the marketing performance. Marketing plans and strategies are required to be monitored, evaluated, and adapted to meet the changing market environment, market needs, and market opportunities. The process by which an organisation adapts its marketing plans and strategies to reach its marketing objectives is called marketing control.
Marketing Control can be defined as “the process of measuring and evaluating the results of marketing strategies and plans, and taking corrective action to ensure that marketing objectives are achieved.”
Marketing Control can also be defined as “the set of practises and procedures employed by firms to monitor and regulate their marketing activities in achieving their marketing objectives.”
Developing and implementing marketing plan is not enough to reach marketing objectives; marketing plans and strategies are required to be monitored, evaluated, and adapted to meet the changing market environment, needs, and opportunities. Marketing control ensures performance improvement by minimising gap between desired results and actual results. If the actual results are found deviated from the expected results, plans and strategies are adapted to bring the results back to the desired level.
Marketing Control Process
Marketing control is a four step process:
- Define Marketing Objectives
- Set Performance Standards
- Compare Results Against Standards
- Corrections and Alterations
Resources are scarce and costly so it is important to control marketing plans. Controlling marketing plan is not an one time activity, it is a series of actions, and it is required to be done regularly. Marketing control process starts with the review of the marketing objectives.
After defining/redefining marketing objectives, performance standards are set. Performance standards provide benchmarks to enable managers and employees to decide how they are progressing towards achieving objectives.
Actual results are compared against standards. If the actual results are in direction to the expected results, there is no problem in marketing plan and its execution.
If actual results are deviated from the expected results, there is requirement to correct and alter marketing plan to bring the results back to the desired level.