In contrast to mechanical systems, marketing activities are inherently more volatile. This is due to a constantly changing business environment driven by the needs and wants of the market. Measuring marketing performances a process of determining appropriate criteria by which to judge activity. Kotler (1997) identifies four main areas associated with the control of marketing activity (see Figure):
Control of marketing activities
These areas of marketing control are general in nature and specific measures of marketing performance are required. Performance measures and standards will vary by organization and market conditions. A representative sample of the type of data required to control marketing activities successfully is shown in Figure . The aim is to break the general areas (annual plan, profitability, efficiency and strategy) into measurable component parts to which responsibility can be assigned.Remember, in the context of marketing a balanced view is required.
Control of marketing activity
No one variable should dominate the control process. For example, marketing strategists have been guilty of following a credo of ‘market share at any cost’.While such a variable is important, it is not a panacea and consideration needs to be given to other factors such as profitability. Additionally, marketing control should measure only dimensions over which the organization has control. Rewards, sanctions and management actions only make sense where influence can be exerted. Control systems should be sensitive to local market conditions and levels of competition. For instance, developing markets and mature markets may require different control mechanisms.
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