Marketing Research and Marketing Information Systems -
March 17th, 2009
Marketing Research and Marketing Information Systems
Marketing Research is defined as:
the systematic design, collection, interpretation, and reporting of information not currently available, to help marketing managers solve specific marketing problems or take advantage of marketing opportunities.
In other words, marketing research is the process of defining a marketing problem and opportunity, systematically collecting and analysing information, and recommending actions to enhance an organisation’s marketing activities. It is the function that links the consumer (customer) and public to the marketer through information.
To supplement the process of marketing research, marketing managers make use of a Marketing Information System (MIS). The Marketing Information System is a framework for day-to-day management and structuring of information gathered regularly from sources both inside and outside an organisation. MIS provides a continuous flow of information considered relevant to marketing managers.
Two important sources of information are:
1. Internal records - for example invoices, consumer databases, inventory, etc.
2. Market intelligence or information - a regular information on market development in the marketing environment.
The main focus of MIS is on manager’s information requirements i.e what information is required and why; how it can be stored and retrieved; and the framework for achieving these. Special attention is placed on expediting the “flow” of information.
Both marketing research and MIS are measured by their ability to efficiently improve a marketing manager’s ability to make decisions. The cost of carrying out the marketing research must be weighed against the benefits derived. We must evaluate the value of the information. It is also important for marketing managers to approach the research in a logical manner, as the difference between good and bad research depends on the quality of the inputs, amongst others.
To ensure appropriateness of marketing research, marketing managers should give due consideration to the following:
* Research must be conducted in a systematic manner that involves a series of steps and activites.
* Data may be retrieved from different sources and care has to be exercised in selecting the most appropriate/reliable sources.
* Research may apply to any aspect of marketing (any of the marketing mix variables, segmentation, targeting and positioning, consumer behaviour etc.) that needs information for decision-making purposes.
* Findings or output of the research must be communicated and acted upon in the most effective manner.