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The strategic control defined as the process by which managers ensure that resources are used effectively and efficiently in the accomplishment of organisational objectives Keegan 1999 should be seen as a powerful engine of the companys strategic choices This process is also the way companies are able to set and move forward the process of marketing planning Assuming that the strategic choices are correct it is important to verify if there is coherence in relation to the changing markets the economic conditions and the competitive behaviour The increasing speed and turbulence of the business environment and a shorter product life cycle are testifying the necessity for every firm to develop a critical review of the overall marketing goals and effectiveness Waiting for problems to become evident or tragic situations to occur is the attitude of below-average companies and is likely to drive them out of the market boundaries Firms have to implement a strategic control instrument that defines problems and offer possibilities and clues The Marketing Audit a comprehensive systematic independent and periodic examination of a companys marketing environment objectives strategies and activities with a view to determining problem areas and opportunities and recommending a plan of action to improve the companys market performance Kotler 2000 is the answer The Marketing Audit is therefore the way companies assess the effectiveness and efficiency of all their marketing procedures preparing a solid base for a strategic development Giving Kotlers definition it is easy to understand which features make the audit a truly strategic instrument within the marketing framework First of all covering all the major marketing activities in the company the marketing audit is a comprehensive method Therefore its broad vision and analysis makes the process exhaustive However when it is limited to a part of the marketing activity it has to be defined as functional Concerning the methodology a clear sequence of steps that will lead to an unambiguous aim has to be prepared
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