For effective marketing, marketing information system is an essential component in the today’s global competition by shifting the trends from customer needs towards customer wants & from pricing competition to non-price factors. Almost every organization runs some form of marketing information system (MIS) but there is variation among these systems on the basis of sophistication. There are many organizations that do not posses proper marketing information system; in some cases they do not get the proper information & sometimes they even do not know what kind of information is required for effective competition.
The marketing managers in the organizations require a lot of information for the provision of superior value to the customers so that they are better satisfied through the marketing efforts. There are certain cases where the marketing managers do not hold the right kind of information or keeps a lot of information of the wrong kind. In order to eliminate these problems, many organizations are developing a comprehensive & a sophisticated marketing information system. The marketing managers require necessary information at every new step of their efforts for making the customers satisfied through the delivery of superior value to them. The required information is related to the areas like customers, government, competitors & other forces of the market.
A system that is composed of people, procedures & equipment to provide the required information on proper time to the decision makers of marketing by gathering, sorting, analyzing, evaluating & distributing that information. Following are the ways in which marketing information system works.
01- An effective marketing information system starts and ends with the user. The assessment of the required information is firstly made by the marketing information system through the conduction of interviews of marketing managers & performing surveys of the decision making environment. In this way the required, desired & feasible information is analyzed by the system.
02- The next step of marketing information system is to prepare the information & deliver it to the managers for its proper usage. Certain information is provided through the internal records like information on cash flows, costs, sales, and accounts payable & receivables. The data on these areas is easily searched but the marketing decisions adjust it according to the requirements.
Information on the external marketing environment is provided through the marketing management supplies. The intelligence includes employees of the organization, suppliers, customers & resellers etc. The published reports, advertisements, actions of competitors, conferences & other activities of the marketing environment are also included in the intelligence category. Marketing research is also a useful method of collecting information on specific topic or problem.
03- In the last step the right kinds of information, which is collected through a number of sources like internal records, marketing intelligence & marketing research, is distributed to the managers at the required time.
How Marketing Information System Works
The marketing information system works by adopting the following steps.
- Assessment of the Required Information:
The marketing information system assesses the required or preferably required information. For this purpose, the organization should prepare some guidelines for the necessary information.
- Development of the Information:
Internal records play a significant role in the provision of the basic information about the activities of the organization. The useful information is developed by marketing information system by organizing & summarizing balance sheets, shipments, schedules, orders & inventories into trends that can be associated with the decisions of the management on changes in the marketing mixes.
- Marketing Intelligence
The marketing managers need the information on certain environmental variables in order to develop & implement their Marketing Plans. The marketing intelligence helps the managers in this regard. The components of marketing intelligence vary according to the requirement of the situation, but in general it includes both the external sources & internal sources.
- Marketing Research
Through an exchange of information, the marketers, customers & public are linked by the marketing research which is conducted with the help of marketing information system.
Types Marketing Information System
There are four subsystems of marketing information system & these are as follow.
- Internal Records:
The data on the costs, sales, inventories, accounts receivables & payable and cash flows of the organization are acquired from the internal records. In certain organizations, the internal records are present in the advanced computers that quickly & comprehensively provide the required data.
- Marketing Intelligence System
The routine information on the developments in the external market environment is provided to the marketing management by the marketing intelligence system. This subsystem has the scientific method, multiple methodologies, model building, creativity & cost/ benefit measures for valuing the information.
- Marketing Research
The information on certain marketing problem which is faced by the organization is obtained through the process of marketing research. This method consists of five steps which are as follows.
- Definition of the problem & objectives of research
- Development of the research plan
- Collection of information
- Analysis of the information
- Presentation of the findings
- Marketing Decision Support System (MDSS):
Marketing Decision Support System (MDSS) is the fourth subsystem of the marketing information system that contains statistical & decision tools for the assistance of managers in making certain marketing decisions. There is supporting hardware & software in the MDSS along with the combination of systems, tools, data & techniques. The marketing information is obtained and interpreted with the help of MDSS for the purpose of getting assistance in making decisions.