Mainly 3 types of marketing information related systems are available that marketing decision-makers use to have valuable insights for wise marketing decisions i.e. Internal Data-Based MIS, Marketing Research, and Competitive Intelligence.
Internal data-based marketing information system
Internal data includes information related to current customers and prospective customers of an organization that is part of its internal operating system.
For example, the marketing department of an organization keeps track of the interest of prospective customers as well as the leads generated from them. The information can be acquired for target market segmentation like gender, age, buying habits, geographic area, etc. Other information i.e. visitors of website, web traffic or customer involvement activities, etc. are also considered as useful internal data. Moreover, salespeople collect and record the information related to customers who are purchasing products or services, their location, buying behavior, the success stories of customers, the progression of prospective customers towards new customers, etc.
Similarly, the accounts department maintains information or data related to the financial activities of an organization i.e. payment and expense details, etc. Earlier, every department used to maintain these data using their separate systems instead of a common system for access to all departments. This was a challenging task for marketing people to gather required internal data from different departments. Now organizations are using the marketing information system to collect and maintain internal data at a single place.
This results in accurate and timely access to internal data for marketers to gain useful insights from the data. Marketers depend on the internal data system for customer interaction or communication and also to identify consumer behavior patterns.
Another type of marketing information system is competitive intelligence that is used to closely monitor competitors, their marketing strategies, and competitive market statistics. Competitive intelligence is considered as a systematic process related to collecting, observing, and analyzing required information of the business environment that is external to an organization. It further includes the distribution of result data within the organization to make effective decisions. The main objective of competitive intelligence is to analyze the external environment to take appropriate decisions in a competitive market. Different types of competitive intelligence include:
- Information related to the product: This includes the information regarding the various products of competitors that compete with an organizations’ products in terms of packaging, quality, quantity delivery of products, features, etc.
- Market share related information: This includes information related to the competitors that are selling most products in an organization’s target market, changes in market share, organizations that are market leaders, etc.
- Pricing policy and strategy information: This includes pricing policy, pricing structure, and strategies of competitors for similar products, discounted price strategy of competitors, comparison that affect an organization’s pricing as per competitor’s strategy, etc.
For example, different airlines like Jet Airways, Spice Jet, Indigo, etc. use competitive intelligence to remain in a competitive market. These companies keep on changing prices of flight tickets as per the external information of prices of other airline competitors. Once any competitor increases airfare for a specific route or destination then other flight companies may get benefit by flowing suit to gain higher margins.
A systematic process of identifying different marketing opportunities is known as marketing research. Also, it includes solving marketing problems by customer data that are captured through the analysis of marketing information.
Marketing information is useful for both purposes i.e. identifying reasons for any problem and to collect the necessary information required for research-related queries. It consists of different techniques for collecting and analyzing information. Both primary and secondary research methods can be utilized for marketing research. For more accurate results and solutions, market research may use internal data and competitive intelligence.
Different topics for which market research is being conducted include:
- Environment-related factors like economic, technical, legal, cultural, etc.
- Customer-related data like attitude, buying behavior and pattern, etc.
- Research related to product i.e. product size, market, product features, pricing strategies, branding, product positioning, etc.
- Research related to advertising and promoting products.