To deal with the many surprises that occur during the implementation of marketing plans, the marketing department has to monitor and control marketing activities continuously. The lists of four types of marketing control needed by companies are: annual plan control, profitability control, efficiency control, and strategic control. Annual-Plan Control
The purpose of annual-plan control is to ensure that the company achieves the sales, profits, and other goals established in its annual plan. The heart of annual-plan control is the four-step management by objectives process in which management (1) sets monthly or quarterly goals; (2) monitors the company’s marketplace performance; (3) determines the causes of serious performance deviations; and (4) takes corrective action to close the gaps between goals and performance. This control model applies to all levels of the organization. Top management sets sales and profit goals for the year that are elaborated into specific goals for each lower level. In turn, each product manager commits to attaining specified levels of sales and costs; each regional district and sales manager and each sales representative also commits to specific goals. Profitability Control
Successful companies also measure the profitability of their products, territories, customer groups, segments, trade channels, and order sizes. This information helps management determine whether any products or marketing activities should be expanded, reduced, or eliminated. The first step in marketing-profitability analysis is to identify the functional expenses (such as advertising and delivery) incurred for each activity. Next, the firm measures how much functional expense was associated with selling through each type of channel. Third, the company prepares a profit-and-loss statement for each type of channel. In general, marketing-profitability analysis indicates the relative profitability of different channels, products, territories, or other marketing entities. However, it does not prove that the best course of action is to drop the unprofitable marketing entities, nor does it capture the likely profit improvement if these marginal marketing entities are dropped. Therefore, the company must examine its alternatives closely before taking corrective action. Efficiency Control
Suppose a profitability analysis reveals poor profits for certain products, territories, or markets. This is when management must ask whether there are more efficient ways to manage the sales force, advertising, sales promotion, and distribution in connection with these marketing entities. Some companies have established a marketing controller position to work on such issues and improve marketing efficiency. Marketing controllers work out of the controller’s office but specialize in the marketing side of the business. At companies such as General Foods, DuPont, and Johnson & Johnson, they perform a sophisticated financial analysis of marketing expenditures and results, analyzing adherence to profit plans, helping prepare brand managers’ budgets, measuring the efficiency of promotions, analyzing media production costs, evaluating customer and geographic profitability, and educating marketing personnel on the financial implications of marketing decisions. Strategic Control
From time to time, companies need to undertake a critical review of overall marketing goals and effectiveness. Each company should periodically reassess its strategic approach to the marketplace with marketing-effectiveness reviews and marketing audits. Monitoring marketing performance
Regularly monitoring your marketing campaign is important for it to succeed. You will need to assess and analyze its performance to ensure that it...