INFORMATION MANAGEMENT AND MARKETING RESEARCH
CONSUMER INSIGHTS – fresh understandings of customers and the marketplace
from marketing information to serve customer needs and build relationships
MARKETING INFORMATION SYSTEM – people, equipment and procedures used to
gather, sort, analyse, evaluate and distribute accurate and timely information to the
users of marketing information.
1) Assessing marketing information needs – this is the first step in the MIS. A
distinction must be made between the information that the managers need and
the information that they want. Sometimes managers might not know the
information they want due to lack of awareness of the marketing environment.
Sometimes marketers might not be able to provide the information that the
managers need because the information might not be available or due to MIS
limitations. A key idea to remember while assessing marketing information needs
is to ensure that the benefits of having the data outweigh the costs of obtaining
2) Developing marketing information
a) Internal data – electronic collections of customer and marketing information
for data sources within the company. Different departments of an
organisation store certain information that they receive to be used by the
marketers of the organisation. However the information received by the
marketers are sometimes incomplete or in a form unusable by the marketers.
It requires a major effort to keep the information received up-to-date. Also
the bulk of information received requires techniques and sophisticated
equipment to be managed effectively.
b) Marketing intelligence – systematic collection and analysis of publicly
available information about competitors and developments in the marketing
environment. This information can be collected from the databases of the
company, their own personnel, companies that specialise in supplying
information through websites, competitors’ websites, business publications
and trade shows.
c) Marketing research – it is the systematic collection, recording and analysing of
data relevant to a particular market.
the process of marketing research contains the following steps
1) Defining the problem and research objectives – this is the most important and
is the hardest step in the marketing research process. If the problem is
defined incorrectly or not accurately enough, the whole process will be futile with no benefits and a waste of money, time and other resources. There are
three research objectives in this stage namely
a) Exploratory research – marketing research to define the problem and test
b) Descriptive research – marketing research that describes a marketing
problem, situations or markets
c) Causal research – Marketing research that tests hypotheses about cause-
2) Developing a research plan for collecting information – this is the second step
in the process and information can be gathered using two methods
a) Secondary data collection – it is the data that already exists somewhere
and has been collected for other purposes. This data is collected first
because it already exists and it a cheaper and a more time-effective way of
data collection. It can sometimes provide information that companies
themselves cannot collect due to the high cost or inaccessibility. It can be
collected from search engines like Google which can at times be frustrating
and ineffective. It can also be collected from commercial online databases
and government sources which are cheap and sometimes free. However
there are limitations to this form of data collection. The required
information might be unavailable, unusable or inaccurate. Data collected
needs to fulfil the following criteria
1) Relevant – it should fit the project needs.
2) Accurate – it should be reliably collected and reported.
3) Current – it should be up-to-date for current decisions.
4) Impartial – it should be objectively collected and reported.
b) Primary data collection – a marketing research process rarely uses data
only from secondary sources. It requires the collection of fresh data that is
specifically collected for the purpose of the research. A plan for primary
research collection requires decisions on the following purposes
1) Research methods – the research can be collected in a quantitative
method which uses numbers and scores or in a qualitative method that
depends on the analysis of what people say or do. The most common
however is a mixed method which uses both quantitative and qualitative
methods. There are three main research approaches for gathering primary
data and they are
a) Observational research – it refers to gathering of information by
observing relevant people, action and situations. It is a qualitative
research and can provide information that people might be unwilling or unable to provide however it cannot easily interpret the feelings and
motives of people. Also long-term and infrequent behaviour cannot be
identified. A type of observational research is ethnographic research
which places a well-trained person to watch and mingle with people in
their natural environments. Webnography research observes people in
their natural context of the internet.
b) Survey research – the gathering of primary data by asking people about
their knowledge, attitudes, preferences and buying behaviour. It is a
form of mixed-method research. It is best suited for gathering
descriptive information and the questions asked can be direct and
indirect. The problems that occur are sometimes people answer the
survey just to get a reward or sound smart. Also people might not
remember how they felt or don’t really think about why they do
c) Experimental research – the gathering of primary data by selecting
matched groups of subjects, giving them different treatments, control
unrelated factors and watch for differences. An example would be that
before organisations knew that only 3% of a population replies to the
surveys. Otto Versand, with an accuracy rate of 80% found out who in
the population would be likely to respond to the survey. It is based on a
‘test and learn’ strategy by performing different experiments.
2) Contact methods – it refers to the way in which the public will be
contacted to gather the required information.
a) Mail – it refers to sending questionnaires to the postal addresses of the
1) It is cost-effective method of collection.
2) There is control on the inte