What is Marketing Information Systems
All businesses are operating under conditions of risk and uncertainty. The success or failure of any firm or company depends on many factors like economic situation, the changing tastes of customers, the extent and nature of competition and competitive activities and more. Business decisions and especially marketing decisions, are actually the decisions about the future of a company. The management of successful companies always focuses on each of the aspects of their business in order to make achievable decision. Marketing is usually that area of a company which requires lots of attention. Company sales depend on marketing so company must use adequate solutions for the more effective promotion of their products. For this purpose companies rely on marketing information system. Marketing information system allows a company to use all relevant information for developing its marketing strategies more effectively.
Definition of Marketing Information System
Philip Kotler defines MIS system as “people, equipment, and procedures to gather, sort, analyze, evaluate, and distribute needed, timely, and accurate information to marketing decision makers”. In simple words we can say that Marketing information includes all those facts, estimates, guidelines, opinions, policies and other important data which is necessary for taking marketing decisions. This information may be collected from internal and external sources. This information usually collected from customers, competitors, company salesmen, suppliers, government sources, specialized agencies and others. Now a day MIS system uses modern technology and techniques for collecting, analyzing, storing and distributing information.
Steps of Marketing Information System
In order to use marketing information, companies have to focus on three main steps of marketing information systems.
- Assessing Information Needs
- Developing Information
- Distributing Information
Assessing Information Needs
First of all marketer should know why the marketing information is necessary? MIS system primary serves the management and company’s employees. However it may also provide information to external partners, such as suppliers, retailers and other marketing agencies. For example Wal-Mart gives their key suppliers access to their information system. Dell creates premium pages for their customers, giving them access to product design and other services information. Company’s managers must know about a new product that competitors plans to introduce. By all this it is clearly disclosed that marketing information system plays a vital role for a company to make on time decision making and effective business strategy.
Markers can get information from:
- Internal Records can be found in company’s marketing, sale, accounting departments.
- Marketing Intelligence collect and analyzed publically available data of competitors and other developments in the marketplace.
- Marketing Research analyzed the collected data for report generation.
- Marketing Decision Support Systems are tools help in marketing decision process.
The second and most important step in marketing information system is to develop or collect information. There are various techniques adopted by different companies for collecting data and information. The techniques of collecting data may vary from company to company according to their specific needs. The common methods of data collection are as under:
- Observational research
- Survey research
- Focus group interview
- Personal contact method
- Sampling research plan and
Distributing & Using Marketing Information
The gathered information has no value until it is used to make better marketing decision making. So the information should be timely available to managers and other top level management who make marketing decisions and deal with customers. This can only be happen by regular performance reports, intelligence updates and other information collected by research studies.