Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Concept and Component of Marketing Information System (MKIS)

A marketing information system (MKIS) is defined a set of procedures and methods designed to generate, analyze, disseminate, and store anticipated marketing decision information on a regular, continuous basis. An information system can be used operationally, managerially, and strategically for several aspects of marketing.

A Marketing Information System can also be defined as 'a system in which marketing data is formally gathered, stored, analysed and distributed to managers in accordance with their informational needs on a regular basis'
A marketing information system can be used operationally, managerially, and strategically for several aspects of marketing.

As we all know that no marketing activity can be carried out in isolation, know when we say it doesn’t work in isolation that means there are various forces could be external or internal, controllable or uncontrollable which are working on it. Thus to know which forces are acting on it and its impact the marketer needs to gathering the data through its own resources which in terms of marketing we can say he is trying to gather the market information or form a marketing information system. This collection of information is a continuous process that gathers data from a variety of sources synthesizes it and sends it to those responsible for meeting the market places needs. The effectiveness of marketing decision is proved if it has a strong information system offering the firm a Competitive advantage.

Locating data and developing information
The information needed by marketing managers comes from various sources which includes: - internal company records, marketing intelligence and marketing research. The information analysis system then processes this information to make it more useful for managers.

Internal Records
These are information gathered from sources within the company to evaluate marketing performances and to detect marketing problems and opportunities. Most marketing managers use internal records and reports regularly, especially for making day-to-day planning, implementation and control decisions. Internal records information consists of information gathered from sources within the company to evaluate marketing performance and to detect marketing problems and opportunities.
Information from internal records is usually quicker and cheaper to get than information from other sources, but it also presents some problems. Because internal information was for other purposes, it may be incomplete or in the wrong form for making marketing decisions. For example, accounting department sales and cost data used for preparing financial statements need adapting for use in evaluating product, sales force or channel performance.

Marketing Intelligence
The total information needs of the marketing department can be specified and satisfied via a marketing intelligence network. The marketing intelligence system determines the intelligence needed, collects it by searching the environment and delivers it to marketing managers who need it. Marketing intelligence comes from many sources. Much intelligence is from the company's personnel - executives, engineers and scientists, purchasing agents and the sales force. But company people are often busy and fail to pass on important information. The company must 'sell' its people on their importance as intelligence gatherers, train them to spot new developments and urge them to report intelligence hack to the company.

The company must also persuade suppliers, resellers and customers to pass along important intelligence. Some information on competitor’s conies from what they say about themselves in annual reports, speeches, press releases and advertisements. The company can also learn about competitors from what others say about them in business publications and at trade shows. Or the company can watch what competitors do - buying and analyzing competitors' products, monitoring their sales and checking for new patents. Companies also buy intelligence information from outside suppliers.

Marketing research systems
Marketing research is a proactive search for information. That is, the enterprise which commissions these studies does so to solve a perceived marketing problem. In many cases, data is collected in a purposeful way to address a well-defined problem (or a problem which can be defined and solved within the course of the study). The other form of marketing research centers not on a specific marketing problem but is an attempt to continuously monitor the marketing environment. These monitoring or tracking exercises are continuous marketing research studies, often involving panels of farmers, consumers or distributors from which the same data is collected at regular intervals. Whilst the ad hoc study and continuous marketing research differs in the orientation, yet they are both proactive.

Marketing Information should not be approached in an infrequent manner. If research is done this way, a firm could face these risks:
1.Opportunities may be missed.
2.There may be a lack of awareness of environmental changes and competitors’ actions.
3.Data collection may be difficult to analyze over several time periods.
4.Marketing plans and decisions may not be properly reviewed.
5.Data collection may be disjointed.
6.Previous studies may not be stored in an easy to use format.
7.Time lags may result if a new study is required.
8.Actions may be reactionary rather than anticipatory.

Advantages of Marketing Information System
1. Organized data collection.
2. A broad perspective.
3. The storage of important data.
4. An avoidance of crises.
5. Coordinated marketing plans.
6. Speed in obtaining sufficient information to make decisions.
7. Data amassed and kept over several time periods.
8. The ability to do a cost-benefit analysis.

The disadvantages of a Marketing information system are high initial time and labor costs and the complexity of setting up an information system. Marketers often complain that they lack enough marketing information or the right kind, or have too much of the wrong kind. The solution is an effective marketing information system.

The marketing information systems and its subsystems

Marketing information systems are intended to support management decision making. Management has five distinct functions and each requires support from an MIS. These are: planning, organising, coordinating, decisions and controlling
Information systems have to be designed to meet the way in which managers tend to work. Research suggests that a manager continually addresses a large variety of tasks and is able to spend relatively brief periods on each of these. Given the nature of the work, managers tend to rely upon information that is timely and verbal even if this is likely to be less accurate then more formal and complex information systems.

Managers play at least three separate roles: interpersonal, informational and decisional. MIS, in electronic form or otherwise, can support these roles in varying degrees. MIS has less to contribute in the case of a manager's informational role than for the other two.
Three levels of decision making can be distinguished from one another: strategic, control (or tactical) and operational. Again, MIS has to support each level. Strategic decisions are characteristically one-off situations. Strategic decisions have implications for changing the structure of an organisation and therefore the MIS must provide information which is precise and accurate. Control decisions deal with broad policy issues and operational decisions concern the management of the organisation's marketing mix.

A marketing information system has four components: the internal reporting system, the marketing research systems, the marketing intelligence system and marketing models. Internal reports include orders received, inventory records and sales invoices. Marketing research takes the form of purposeful studies either ad hoc or continuous. By contrast, marketing intelligence is less specific in its purposes, is chiefly carried out in an informal manner and by managers themselves rather than by professional marketing researchers

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