Concept and Components of a Marketing Information Systems
Every firm is the
scene of many information flow of interest to marketing managers. Many
companies are studying their executives information needs and designing
marketing information systems (MIS) to meet these needs. Instead of a
plethora of unrelated data, an MIS combines various inputs and presents
integrated reports. We define a marketing information system as follows:
The marketing Information systems:
Trend in the marketing environment are picked up and analyzed through four subsystems making up the marketing information systems the internal accounting systems, marketing intelligence system, marketing research systems, and analytical systems. The information flows to marketing managers to help them in their marketing analysis planning, implementation, and control. Their marketing decision and communication then flow back to the market.
Internal Accounting System:
The most basic information systems used by marketing executives is the internal accounting system. it is the system that report orders, sales, inventory levels, receivables, payables, and so on. By analyzing this information, marketing managers can spot important opportunities and problems.
The trends in sales during different seasons can be analysed. They can also formulate a strategy to overcome that dip in sales during that season. Inventory level reports are very useful for the managers as they know what level of inventory to maintain at different times of the year, instead of stocking the raw materials of related products in the warehouse which is only going to occupy unwanted space and not fetch them any dividends. This inturn affects the receivables and payables to a large extent. Managers can properly formulate and plan accordingly to the MIS report on these factors.
The order Shipping Billing Cycle:
The heart of the accounting system is the order shipping billing cycle. Sales representatives, dealers and consumers dispatch orders to the firm. The order department prepares, multi copy invoices and sends them to various departments. Out - of stock items are ordered back. Shipped items are accompanied by shipping and billing documents that are also multi copied and sent to various departments.
The company wants to carry out these steps quickly and accurately. Sales representative are supposed to send in their orders every evening. in some cases immediately. The order department is designed to process them quickly. The ware house is set up to send the goods out as soon as possible. And bills should go out as soon as possible.
The computer is harnessed to expedite the order shipping cycle. Ringer and Howell reported a company study that resulted in reducing the time between the receipt and execution of an order from sixty two hours to thirty hours with out any change is costs.
Improving the timeliness of sales Reports:
Marketing executives reports their sales immediately after the sales have taken place. In consumer food companies, ware house withdrawal reports are issued with fair regularity, but actual retail purchase reports take about two months, based on special store or consumer panel audits. In the auto industry, executives wait about ten days for their sales report : if sales down , they will have to work harder and face ten sleepless night until the next report. Many marketing executives complain that sales arent reported fast enough in their company.
Designing a User Oriented Reports System:
In Designing an advanced sales information system, the company should avoid certain pitfalls. Firstly they should engage themselves in creating a system that does not deliver too much information. The managers arrive at their office each morning to face voluminous sales statistics, which delivers information that is too complicated. Current managers may end up over reacting to minor sales declines.
Marketing Intelligence Systems:
While the internal accounting systems supplies executive with happenings data. We define the marketing intelligence systems as the set of procedures and sources used by executives to obtain their everyday information about pertinent developments in the marketing environment.
Executive scan the environment in four ways :
Viewing: General exposure to information where the manager has no specific
purpose in mind.
· Conditioned viewing: Directed exposure, not involving active search, to more or less clearly identified area or type of information.
· Informal search: A relatively limited and unstructured efforts to obtain specific information or information for a specific purpose.
· Formal search: A deliberate efforts usually following a pre-established plan, procedure, or methodology to secure specific information or information relating to a specific issue .
Marketing executive carry on marketing intelligence mostly on their own by reading books, newspaper, and trade publications: taking to customers, suppliers, distributors, and other outsiders: yet this system is quite casual and valuable information may be lost or come In too late. Executive may learn of a competitive move, a new customer need, or a dealer problem too late to make the best response. This might in turn affect the sales turnover as the dealers requirements are not met on time.
Additional Steps to improve the quality and quantity:
· They train and motivate the sales force to spot and report new developments, Sales representatives are the companys eye and ears . They are in an excellent position to pick up information missed by other means. Yet they are busy and often fail to pass on significant information. The company must sell its sales force.
· To sell its sales force effectively, they have to be well trained to face the competitive environment. To make them realize their own potential, the companies must motivate their employees which inturn would result in achieving more business to the company.
· The company motivates distributors, retails, and other allies to pass along important intelligence.
· The company purchase information from outside intelligence suppliers. Clipping services are hired t report on competitors advertising expenditures and media mixes.
· It has established information centers to collect and circulate marketing intelligence. The staff scans major publications, abstracts relevant news, and disseminates a news bulletin to marketing managers. It develops a file of relevant information. The staff assists managers in evaluating new information. These services greatly of information available to marketing managers.
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