The retailing activity has always been developed in conjunction with the dynamics market conditions. In order to maintain and expand the market audience, the retail managers have to create the proper planning as the effort to make the right decision. The market planning is essential for the company to be able to face the hostile competition and other business environment (McDonald, 2007). However, although the manager has created the perfect market planning, it will go fail if there is no control system to support it (Kotler, 1991). Control system has the role as the continuous monitoring of marketing activities and allows the executive to analyze the opportunities and problem in marketplace (Proctor, 1991). The aim of the essay is to examine the importance of the evaluation and control function in the implementation of retail marketing plan.
II. Control System
2.1 Control System as Part of Marketing Information System
Controlling is a fundamental activity that happens in management environment (Jaworski, 1988). In business strategic planning, controlling has the important role to determine the success of the objective that was made for the organization (Wheelen and Hunger, 2012). Some of the area in which a business might establish its objective is in profitability, company growth, shareholder wealth, reputation and market share, and company strategic objective. Thus, controlling should be taken into account make the objective achieved. However, the failure to fit the control within the firm context may lead organizational decline in long run (Ouchi, 1979). Even so, control system requires the information in order to make its mechanism works effectively. Well-managed information source will consequently help the company create the control framework to be fit with its business. In this case, many literatures support that marketing information system is the essential part in terms to control marketing strategy and any changes that allow improvements to results.
The control system in marketing field is present in marketing information system (MkIS). MkIS helps the manager in short term planning, target setting and controlling the business function (Hakhu et al., 2013). According to Kotler and Keller (2009) the marketing information system should contain four core subsystem elements. From figure below, the matrix illustrates that the each element of the subsystem are interrelated with each other. This will facilitate the manager to analyze, plan, implement and control the source related to the current condition in the market.
Figure 2. 1 Marketing Information System Kotler and Keller (2009)
Kotler and Keller's (2009) subsystem includes:
a. The internal reports allows the company to monitor and analyze the performance based on their internal information resource such as the sales report, inventory report, etc.
b. The marketing research allows the company to collect and analyze the data findings that is obtained from the marketing environment to encounter the marketing problems.
c. Marketing intelligence allows the company to monitor the environments that might affect the business from many resources such as government, trading association, economic surveys, etc.
d. The market analytical that uses the appropriate analytical tools to help the manager make the decision.
2.2 Positive Impacts and Limitation of Marketing Information System
Various benefits could be obtained by implementing MkIS and it is not limited for marketing purposes only. Hakhu et al (2013) argue that MkIS effectively benefit the company in such as revenue and profit growth, production innovation, enhancing customer focus, improving competitive and marketing both in short term and long term. Moreover, the research of Queiroz and Oliviera (2014) shows the positive things of MkIS implementation are possibly reducing cost, accelerate the decision making process, make more accurate report, and also give competitive advantages for the company. In the presence of a well-maintained information system, many things can be empowered and avoided. Furthermore, the manager could easily synthesize the source as needed. However, depending on company management style, there is no standardized form of marketing information system (Mattar et al., 2009). Thus, the company should create its own MkIS based on their type of business.
2.3 Control System in Marketing Performance
MkIS basically execute the control in marketing information resources that help the management to arrange and control the stages of the marketing planning. However, it is also necessary to implement the control system in marketing performance so that the objective of the company can be realized. Some cases in many business fail to success at the end due to the lack of evaluation and control although they already composed their program with credible resource. Kotler and Keller (2009) distinguish four main control systems in marketing performance; they are annual plan control, profit control, efficiency, and strategic control. All of them have different approach for the control measurement but they have a same purpose that is to achieve the marketing objective.
Moreover, some points should be considered for the control implementation. The first is the performance standard should be set specifically in order to make the program clearly to be conducted and assessed. The second is the periodic assessment that is necessary to monitor the progress of the plan and it helps to maintain the further stage. Otley (1999) suggests that the periodic control should be assessed during and after the implementation of the plan that enables the company to use it as the input for further planning development. Finally, during implementing the corrective action of the plan, the manager have to ensure it will works to achieve the same objective like the previous.
In conclusion, the control system is a substantial component in order to maintain the program works as it is planed. This is inseparable from the role of the marketing information system (MkIS) that helps the manager and executive to process the information in effective way as the solution to make the marketing planning for the business. Likewise, the marketing performance control system that is published by Kotler and Keller (2009) can assist the decision maker to set further direction of the business. However, control system should be conducted periodically to monitor the program still run on the track and the performance standard should be set in specifically to simplify the measurement.
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