Marketing information system and its evolution
A company has at its disposal a large amount of data that can be collected to help you make better decisions. Hence the importance of the analysis of information in marketing.
In order to gather the information that is useful, the Marketing Information Systems are being used.
More about Marketing Information systems
When talking about marketing information systems, I mean those structures formed by processes, technology and people, which companies use to obtain, store, process and disseminate information.
In general terms, they should have the following characteristics: be permanent, with a large organization, with a holistic vision, and constantly updated.
The information is obtained, according to needs, from different sources, some internal or that are within the same company (such as sales statistics) and others are external, such as customer surveys, or information stored in databases external data
The main objective of these systems is to improve the company’s decision-making, especially with regard to marketing strategies.
As I mentioned at the beginning, the information available is a lot, so you have to know how to choose the one that is relevant to the company; that is why if you want to create effective strategies properly grounded, you cannot make use of improvisation to obtain the information. These information systems must be properly established, planned and organized, in order to obtain the updated data needed.
Marketing information systems are vital
In today’s world, changes happen at every moment, making people’s needs also change; this is why it is essential to be constantly collecting and analyzing information on the state of the sector to which a company is directed, as well as on the target audience.
The idea is that with this information you can make some predictions about the future of the company, while reaching a greater understanding of the target audience, being able to offer better solutions for the latter.
All the data that is collected through the marketing information system can be useful for the company, helping to make decisions and solve problems.
When I say analysis, I am referring to something more than taking out the averages and statistics. A good analysis should also include: the analysis of the relationships between the data, and make future projections on the state of the market.
What kind of decisions provides this information? When designing sales plans, advertising development, selection of the best sales points, or even knowing predictions about sales of a new product.
Better market and target audience segmentation
Another key point in the analysis of information in marketing is this, the segmentation of the market and the target audience that, although already mentioned, it is worth deepening a little more in this, due to its great importance for the future of companies.
Determining the general characteristics of the population group to which a product or service is directed entails great benefits, among which are:
- The identification of your specific needs.
- Create more focused marketing strategies to those who may be interested in what the company offers, allowing advertising to be much more effective.
- Manage to identify the niche to which it is directed.
- Identify new segments of the population that could be addressed, by finding new needs or problems that are not yet being met.
- Determine who competes for the same population segment.
It must be taken into account that each person is totally different from the others, has different tastes, preferences, problems and needs; however, there are groups of people who share some characteristics, it is these groups that must be identified to achieve good market segmentation and determine who part of your target audience is.
In summary, the importance of this is that it allows the company to adapt to what customers need, to make decisions regarding this and to better direct their marketing efforts.
What is a marketing intelligence system?
The Marketing intelligence system involves the study of events around a company. It is an important business tool aimed at obtaining timely information on the most important facts regarding the marketing of our company.
It is part of the information flows managed by entrepreneurs, although in this case we go beyond data focused on economic results. This system develops naturally but its incorrect implementation can prevent the data from arriving in time to act.
This analysis of the environment is often said to include several forms as applied by managers. It is possible that without realizing it, we are already developing an intelligence system but the fact of not having a plan can reduce its effectiveness:
- Informal search: part of an unstructured effort in order to find specific information for a specific purpose. Example: we want to know what image customers have of us trying to hear (without formal structure) what they say in the store.
- Indirect search: we can acquire information by being exposed to it in multiple and indirect ways. Not having a specific purpose we may find concrete data without knowing how to apply them and that when we know it is too late. Example: we knew that the company’s image had worsened but not to what extent it would affect sales.
- Conditional search: we can focus on a specific area and search for data on it but be conditioned by a specific event and not as an act of foresight. Example: we see sales fall and we begin to observe the movements of the competition.
- Formal search: this involves a planned effort through procedures and methods in order to obtain specific information. Example: we want to know what image customers have of us and we create satisfaction surveys. After seeing the results we apply measures to enhance or improve weaknesses.
Although an intelligence system must have the purpose of obtaining data to react with time, it is not uncommon for an entrepreneur to conduct a survey of superficial data obviating, for example, the importance of its commercial force when collecting data on The Marketing of the company.
In this case, sellers can be assembled with simple reports with the information of interest to obtain a direct study on the brand image and other values that will help us in the adaptation of marketing policies.
Let’s not forget the importance of also controlling the competition. Some do this by sending commercials in “espionage” tasks to compare prices, services, etc., making reports with tips to improve our competitiveness.
It can be interesting to buy competing products by studying their sales processes and the products themselves (if we are dedicated to producing something similar), reading reports or opinions expressed in media such as internet or press, talking with suppliers, etc. Going to fairs and congresses can help but it depends on our sector of activity. All this can give us important information and be part of our intelligence system. With the new technologies, services of this type have been developed but based on the online presence, something that for most SMEs is merely anecdotal but not to be forgotten as an alternative. As the influence of our brand grows, the need to control what is said about us on the network is growing. featured image by Elnur