MODERN MARKETING INFORMATION SYSTEM.
The major responsibility for identifying significant marketplace changes falls to the companyâ€™s marketers. More than any other group in the company, they must be the trend trackers and opportunity seekers. Although every manager in an organization needs to observe the outside environment, marketers have two advantages : They have disciplined methods for collecting information and they also spend more time interacting with customers and observing competition.
Some firms have developed marketing information systems that provide management with rich detail about buyer wants, preferences, and behavior.
DuPont commissioned marketing studies to uncover personal pillow behavior for its Dacron Polyester unit, which supplies filling to pillow makers and sells its own Comforel brand. One challenges is that people donâ€™t give up their own pillows: 37% of one sample described their relationship with their pillow as being like â€œ an old married couple,â€? and an additional 13% characterized it as being like a â€œchildhood friendâ€? They found that people fell into distinct groups in terms of pillow behavior: stackers (23%), plumpers (20%), rollers or folders (16%), cudders (16%), and smashers , who pound their pillows into a more comfy shape (10%) . Women were more likely to plump, whereas men were more likely to fold. The prevalence of stackers led the company to sell more pillows packaged as pairs, as well as to market different levels of softness or firmness.
Marketers also have extensive information about how consumption patterns vary across countries. On a per capita basis within Western Europe, for example, the Swiss consume the most chocolate, the Greeks eat the most cheese, the Irish drink the most tea, and the Austrians smoke the most cigarettes.
Nevertheless, many business firms are not sophisticated about gathering information Many do not have a marketing research department. Others have a department that limits its work to routine forecasting, sales analysis, and occasional surveys. Many managers complain about not knowing where critical information is located in the company; getting too much information that they cannot use and too little that they really need; getting important information too late; and doubting the informtionâ€™s accuracy. Companies with superior information enjoy a competitive advantage. The company can choose its markets better develop better offerings, and execute better marketing planning.
Every firm must organize and distribute a continuous flow of information to its marketing managers. Companies study their managersâ€™ information needs and design marketing information system (MIS) to meet these needs. A marketing information
System (MIS) consists of people, equipment, and procedures to gather, sort, analyze, evaluate, and distribute needed, timely, and accurate information to marketing decision makers. A marketing information system is developed from internal company records, marketing intelligence activities, and marketing research. The first topics are discussed here; the latter topic is reviewed .
The companyâ€™s marketing information system should be a cross between what managers think they need, what managers really need, and what is economically feasible. An internal MIS committee can interview a cross section of marketing managers to discover their information needs.