Before we discuss about use of Management Information System in marketing we must first be familiar with the term ‘Management Information System’. It is defined as a system or process that provides the information necessary to manage an organization effectively. MIS and the information it generates are generally considered essential components of prudent and reasonable business decisions.
Management Information Systems are distinct from Regular information systems in that they are used to analyze other information systems applied in operational activities in the organization. Academically, the term is commonly used to refer to the group of information management methods tied to the automation or support of human decision making, e.g. Decision Support Systems, Expert systems, and Executive information systems.
MIS should have a clearly defined framework of guidelines, policies or practices, standards, and procedures for the organization. These should be followed throughout the institution in the development, maintenance, and use of all MIS. It is viewed and used at many levels by management. It should be supportive of the institution’s longer term strategic goals and objectives.
MARKETING INFORMATION SYSTEMS
Marketing is one of the major factors for the sustenance of any business as revenues are a direct outcome of it. Information systems in marketing process include technologies that allow managers to access important and updated information about the customer wants and preferences and current market demands so that they can offer prompt and apt services. Information Systems also aid in determining and implementing effective marketing strategy.
The Marketing Information System focuses on only the marketing aspects of the management information system. It is an organized way of continually collecting, accessing and analyzing information that marketing managers need in order to make better decisions.
To understand the proper role of information systems one must examine what managers do and what information they need for decision making. We must also understand how decisions are made and what kinds of decision problems can be supported by formal information systems. One can then determine whether information systems will be valuable tools and how they should be designed.
COMPONENTS OF A MARKETING INFORMATION SYSTEM
A marketing information system (MIS) is intended to bring together disparate items of data into a coherent body of information. An MIS is more than raw data or information suitable for the purposes of decision making. An MIS also provides methods for interpreting the information.
The MIS model consists of four main parts: the internal reporting system, the marketing research system, the marketing intelligence system and the marketing models.
IMPORTANCE OF MIS IN MARKETING
The marketing function identifies consumer needs and develops products based on such market needs. It matches the product offering with the consumer needs and ensures ready buyers for the products of company. Marketing is a crucial activity for business firms and this function is a major user of information system facilities.
Some of the areas of applications of MIS in marketing are as given below:
- Order Processing System: Computerized order processing system captures sales orders from customers and processes the orders for further action. It checks the inventory availability, pending orders, production details etc., before accepting the customer order. Computerized sales order processing generates control report daily on orders processed, details of back orders, etc.
- Sales Management System: Computerized sales management system uses the data from sales order processing system to generate various sales related reports. This system supports accounts management, direct marketing, sales forecasting and sales Presentations.
- Logistics Management: The physical distribution is a major activity of marketing function. It uses computer based OR models to find optimum location of warehouses, shipment routes, quantity to be transported and stocked etc.
- Consumer Research: Computerized transaction processing systems capture huge quantity of data about customers and their buying patterns etc. It is used to generate vital information about consumer behaviour.
- Sales Forecasting: Computer based mathematical and operations research models are used to forecast sales and marketing expenses.
Sources of marketing information
- Transaction data: The transaction data includes data about marketing activities such as sales data and sales expense data.
- Marketing research data: This includes data about consumers, product promotion, prices, and packaging distribution agents.
- Corporate strategy and corporate plans: Corporate strategy and corporate plans based on detailed analysis of the company’s capabilities are useful sources of marketing information.
- Marketing research agencies: Marketing research agencies regularly collect data about markets and make such database available to companies at a fee.