“To manage a business well is to manage its future; and to manage the future is to manage information.”
In order to produce superior value and satisfaction for customers, companies need information at almost every turn.
Good products and marketing programs begin with a thorough understanding of consumer needs and wants
Companies also need an abundance of information on competitors, resellers, and other actions and forces in the marketplace. Marketers are viewing information not just as an input for making better decisions but also as an important strategic asset and marketing tool.
A company’s information may prove to be its chief competitive advantage. Competitors can copy each other’s equipment, products, and procedures, but they cannot duplicate the company’s information and intellectual capital.
Many factors have increased the need for more, better, and faster information: As companies become national or international in scope, they need more information on larger, more distant markets.
As incomes increase and buyers become more selective, sellers need better information about how buyers respond to different products and appeals.
As sellers use more complex marketing approaches and face more competition, they need information on the effectiveness of their marketing tools
Finally, in today’s more rapidly changing environments, managers need more up-to-date information to make timely decisions. 1
In fact, today’s managers often receive too much information!
One study found that with all the companies offering data, and with all the information now available through supermarket scanners, a packaged-goods brand manager is bombarded with 1 million to 1 billion new numbers each week.
Another study found that, on average, American office workers spend 60% of their time processing documents; a typical manager reads about a million words a week.
The typical business Internet user receives 25 e-mails a day;
15% of users receive between 50 and 100 e-mails per day.
Thus, the running out of information is not a problem but seeing through the “data smog” is.
Despite this data glut, marketers frequently complain that they lack enough information of the right kind. Thus, most marketing managers don’t need more information, they need better information. THE MARKETING INFORMATION SYSTEM
A marketing information system (MIS) consists of people, equipment, and procedures to gather, sort, analyze, and distribute needed, timely, and accurate information to marketing decision makers.
Marketing Information System
Developing Needed Information
Assessing Information Needs
A good MIS balances the information managers would like to have against what they really need and what is feasible to offer.
The costs of obtaining, processing, storing, and delivering information can mount quickly. The company must decide whether the benefits of having additional information are worth the costs of providing it, and both value and cost are often hard to assess.
By itself, information has no worth; its value comes from its use.
Information in the internal database can come from many sources. The accounting department prepares financial statements and keeps detailed records of sales, costs, and cash flows.
Manufacturing reports on production schedules, shipments, and inventories
The sales force reports on reseller reactions and competitor activities The marketing department furnishes information on customer demographics, psychographics, and buying behavior