Marketing Information System generally has the following three major characteristics:
- The Marketing Database
- Central processing unit
- Subsystem of Market Research
A marketing Information System (MIS) is a group organized running of procedures and methods created to generate, analyze, disseminate, store and retrieve information for decision-making in marketing. The ideal MIS has the ability to:
- Produce periodic reports and ad hoc studies as needed.
- Integrate old and new data to provide information updates and identify trends.
- Analyze data using mathematical models that represent the real world.
- Allow managers to obtain answers to questions such as “what will happen if”.
The Marketing Information Systems are based on a Database Marketing.
1. The Marketing Database
2. The Database Software
3. The Data
4. Data Collection Systems.
The Marketing Database
The Marketing Database (DBM) is the backbone of any Information System and even more in One-to-One marketing programs. The DBM is made up of two fundamental components: database software and data.
The database software
There are several types of database software designed for different purposes. The marketing database software should not be an adaptation of another type of software. The basic characteristics of a marketing database software are the following:
- It must be a relational software
- It must allow the storage of historical data
- Must allow the storage of follow-up activities
- It must have interfaces that are “friendly” to users
- It must contain rigorous security elements
- Must allow interconnection with other databases
- Must allow to generate communications ( letters , faxes and email )
- You must allow dialing of telephone numbers directly from the screens
- It must have interfaces with the telephone exchange for the realization of predictive dialing
- It must allow interconnectivity with the telephone exchange to execute the functions of CTI (Computer Telephone Integration)
- Must be able to contain Telemarketing script modules with online help.
- It must contain tables with different information to help telemarketers and their respective search engines
- It must allow the generation of multiple types of reports and statistics
- It must allow the storage of large amounts of records without detracting from their performance
- You must have great flexibility to introduce modifications
The most recommended platforms for this type of software are SQL Server and Accsses97, both from Microsoft. Most of the marketing databases are developed in MS Access 97 (when handling up to 100,000 records) and SQL Server 7 (when handling 100,000 to several million records).
There are other platforms to manage databases that are used when Simultaneous management of different databases of millions of records is required (Oracle, Sybase and Informix, among others), both the platform and the application developments in these platforms are considerably more expensive than those mentioned in the previous paragraph.
What is most used in any country, due to its compatibility is to develop software Database Marketing MS Access 97 or MS SQL Server 7 interfaces with graphics developed in Visual Basic. These alternatives allow great interconnectivity with all Microsoft programs that will support for the generation of communications. The most important step in the development of DBM software is in the design of it. All the marketing elements that experience indicates as necessary for this type of tools must be incorporated. Only then can you count on a robust instrument that will require few changes in the near future.
The computers used in the Marketing Information Systems range from personal computers to costly high- power mainframes . The size of the computer, the physical components known as hardware are a central processing unit and input / output units. The following terms are important to understand the management of a Marketing Information Management Software:
- Central Processing Unit.
- Peripheral Devices.
- Network of computers.
Central processing unit
(Better known as CPU Central Processing Unit). It is the memory and the computer processing component, which stores data and programs, processes instructions and performs calculations. Peripheral devices. They are used to enter data (input) and transmit processed data (output).
The peripheral devices include a modem so that the computer can communicate over telephone lines and a unit of CD-ROM (memory only reading compact disk) for storing large amounts of memory optics that can present images of text and sound.
The keyboard, monitor, mouse and printer are considered as peripherals. Computer network. It is a system that allows the intercommunication of different computers. The users of the network have access to information coming from the rest of the network, through a modem or another device
The data is made up of all the relevant information that can be included in the MIS. Data of our Customers, competitors, distributors, transactions, sales, etc. In necessary a data bank to collect and store (manage) the internal information of the company for further consultation. They allow to recover a variety of useful information in the decision making on marketing; including newspaper articles, publications on news of companies, report of government, economic data and bibliographies.
The quality of the data is the fundamental element for any activity or decision supported on the MIS, for which it must have three fundamental characteristics: that it be reliable, (which depends on the source), that it be homogeneous (which depends on the maintenance newspaper) and make it current.
By data quality it is understood that they are properly updated, that the genres correspond to that of the recipients of the information, that the spelling is correct, that the registration actually belongs to the Target that is to be achieved, that all the necessary data to contact people, etc.
This implies that precise criteria must be met, which must be established, to incorporate data into the DBM. More than the quantity of data, what is really important is its quality. We will detail those criteria below:
- 1. The Sources of the Data
- 2. 1 The maintenance of the Data of the DBM
- 3. The Sources of the Data
- 4. The DBM can count on diverse sources of data:
Information of clients captured through different sales activities
The data of these lists must be diagnosed, purified and homogenized according to the same format before being incorporated into the DBM. This implies establishing the criteria that the data of each registry must meet before being transcribed or imported into the DBM. Information of clients and prospects captured through programs specially designed for this purpose
Information from prospects from external sources
These data must be submitted to a prior diagnosis, and then proceed to its normalization according to the agreed standards. One must be very careful when purchasing these lists since the quality of them varies considerably in the Venezuelan market.
The maintenance of the Data of the DBM
The data compose a dynamic set that obsolesce very quickly. All records must contain a field with the date on which the record was incorporated into the DBM and a field where the last date on which the record was updated is recorded.
Similarly, procedures should be established in the software that alert when a record has more time that is set as the appropriate for updating. The criteria for activating these procedures vary according to the type of registration (more time for information corresponding to a company than for a natural person). The indicated procedures can be automatic in the form of “flags” or manuals in the form of periodic reports.
Criteria should also be established to eliminate records from the DBM. Not all records that are included will be valuable over time and an appreciable number of useless records affect the performance of the DBM.
Data Collection Systems
A communication device that constitutes a link in both directions between the user and the system.
Example: In July 1998, a new wireless telecommunications system was launched worldwide: the Iridium satellite phones. The second global launch (after Windows “95) of the story , that is, on July 13, the same campaign was launched in all the countries of the world , the strategy consisted in capturing Leads (leaflets) through the announcements of press , magazine and television commercials that they would be interested in looking for more information. They should call a toll-free 800 number where they would request a flyer that would be sent to them by mail, but first they should answer a series of questions that would allow them to determine if they were qualified prospects for an Iridium phone.
For this launch a Database Software was designed, which should store the data of all the prospects as well as all the information that will be collected on it throughout the call.
The Software, specially designed to handle the information of this campaign, also allows generating a series of reports, compatible with reports from all countries around the world. These reports allow marketing managers to make decisions: determine qualified prospects, modify the advertising guidelines, modify marketing strategies, etc. (Please see Annex 1, Iridium Database Software Manual).
Data Collection Systems
The data collection systems can be divided into four subgroups which will be described below:
- Internal data subsystem.
- Marketing Intelligence subsystem.
- Subsystem Research of Markets.
- Support Subsystem for marketing decisions.
- Internal data subsystem. The mission of this subsystem is to collect and manage information that is generated within the organization. It is basically data on types of customers by consumption, by geographic area, seniority, distributors, sales agents, by volume of sales, etc.
It is the daily information about the development of the marketing environment that helps managers prepare and adapt their plans; this information can be obtained from different sources, much can be provided by the staff of the company. They must sell the idea that their employees are important in the collection of information, train them to detect new developments and encourage them to transmit the information.
Marketing information is worthless until managers do not use it to make better decisions most companies have centralized Marketing Information Systems to provide those reports with periodic performance, updates and reports of the results of the studies. Managers they need these routine reports for the planning, execution and control of everyday decisions. For example, a sales manager who has problems with a major customer may need a summary of the status of sales and benefits account during the year. Recent developments in information management have revolutionized the distribution of information.
Many companies are decentralizing their Marketing Information Systems using the latest advances in microcomputers, software and communications and thereby providing managers with direct access to the information stored in the system. In certain companies, marketing managers can use a microcomputer to link up with the company’s information network. From any location can get data from internal registers or services external information packets and analyzed with statistical models prepare reports a word processor and communicate with other network users through telecommunications. This must also be obtained from suppliers, resellers and customers, you can get information about competitors what they say about themselves in their annual reports, speeches and press releases and announcements, what they say about them in publications and trade shows or observe what they buy and analyze their products , controlling their sales and their new patents.
Marketing Intelligence subsystem. One of the missions of this subsystem is the use of external secondary information already prepared: from books, magazines, newspapers, censuses, reports to gather information, information related to the organization and the like. In this second part you also get information, on relevant issues of the competition, and the company itself, such as promotions they perform, prices to those who launch their products to the market, new products, price changes, and how customers react to the offers of the competition.
Subsystem of Market Research
This refers to studies on specific situations, which have to materialize in the demands of individual projects. It is about carrying out an Ad – Hoc study to carry out a formal Market research that provides relevant information for decision making.
It is the function that links consumers, customers and the public to the marketer through information, which is used to identify and define market opportunities and problems; to generate, define and evaluate marketing measures and to improve the understanding of the marketing process. The market research specifies the information needed to solve market problems, designs the method for collecting information, manages and implements the data collection process, analyzes the results and communicates the findings and their implications.
Market researchers undertake a wide range of activities ranging from sales analysis and market participation to analysis of values and social policies. The ten most common activities are:
- Measure the market potential.
- Analyze the market share.
- Determine the characteristics of it.
- Analyze sales.
- Studying trends in business.
- Make short-term forecasts.
- Analyze the products of the competition.
- Make long-term forecasts.
- Analyze studies of Marketing Information Systems and research about prices.
Support Subsystem for marketing decisions
They are a set of statistical models and techniques, which with the help of the computerized equipment of the company, allow to improve the marketing decisions.
On the one hand they have a statistical bank, in which different types of statistics are found, with appropriate software packages to carry out studies and analyzes. On the other, they have a bank of deterministic models, optimization, Simulation, programming, which help in making business decisions.
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