Classification of Marketing Information

The information used in the marketing job can be classified using two different approaches:

* Classification based on the end use/purpose of the information
* Classification based on the subject matter of the information

Classification Based on End Use/Purpose:

As per this approach, marketing information can be classified into three types a shown below.

1. Information needed for marketing planning
2. Information needed for marketing operation
3. Information needed for marketing control

Classification Based on Subject matter:

As per this approach, marketing information can be classified on the basis of the content or subject matter of the information.

Designing an MIS:

How do firms design a marketing information system (MIS)?
Before we proceed with the question, let us clarify that MIS is used as an abbreviation for management information system as well as marketing information system. We are using the abbreviation to denote marketing information system.

Broadly speaking, MIS involves a three step process of:

* Defining the information needs
* Getting the information
* Utilizing the information

A more elaborate list of the steps involved in designing and developing an MIS is given below

1. Defining information needs
2. Classifying information appropriately and identifying whether it is planning or implementing or control purposes.
3. Evaluating the cost of collecting and processing the information and comparing the cost vs benefits.
4. Identifying the sources of the information
5. Designing the mechanism/procedures for gathering, processing string and retrieval of the information
6. Deciding the frequency ad timing of collection/supply of the information
7. Processing, analyzing and interpreting the information and disseminating it to the right persons at the right time in the right capsule
8. Monitoring, maintaining, reviewing and improving the system.

Defining Information Needs: Defining information needs is the most important step in the development of an MIS. The efficacy of the system as a whole depends on this basic step. When clarity is lacking with regard to information needs, the MIS as a whole gets misdirected and handicapped. The MIS recognizes that different executive levels in the organization require different types/segments of marketing information and it ensures that the information needs are defined by the concerned executives themselves.

Classifying Information: As already stated, the information needs of marketing can be categorized broadly as follows:

1. Information needs of planning task
2. Information needs of operational task
3. Information needs of control task

Each of these tasks has its distinct information needs. And if the MIS is to be relevant and useful to the organization, it is essential that the information needs of each of these tasks are specifically defined. It is also essential the information needs be specified by the executives responsible for the tasks.

Defining Information Needs of the Planning Task:

Of the three tasks mentioned above, the needs of the planning task are the most difficult to define.

Classification of marketing Information based on Subject Matter:

It can be classified into marketing information relating to:

1. Product
2. Consumer
3. Pricing
4. Distribution channels
5. Promotion
6. Sales force
7. Competition
8. Sales methods
9. Internal operations of the firm
10. External environment of the firm.

Advantage in having a system for marketing Information:

A system framework provides a set of procedures and methods for regular, planned, purposeful and systematic gathering of data, and its analysis, storage and retrieval.

Helps sort out conflicting information which if left unattended will misdirect the effort of the decision makers.

Converts information into insights and creates customer insights out of routine transactional data. This, in turn, helps and deliver customer oriented marketing offers, helps customer retention and building of best customer relations. Put differently, an MIS helps offer superior value to customers by using routine transactional data.

Serves as a total knowledge management mechanism:
Converts data into information and information also serves as a mechanism for managing it; makes the knowledge flow where it is required; and ensures that it is available in a readily usable form.

Helps improve the data capture process, checking for reliability, consistency and quality of the data.