Author: Jim Riley Last updated: Sunday 23 September, 2012
To undertake marketing effectively, businesses need information.
Information about customer wants, market demand, competitors, distribution
Marketers often complain that they lack enough marketing
information or the right kind, or have too much of the wrong kind. The solution
is an effective marketing information system.
The information needed by marketing managers comes from
three main sources:
(1) Internal company
E.g. sales, orders, customer profiles, stocks, customer
service reports etc
(2) Marketing intelligence
This can be information gathered from many sources, including
suppliers, customers, distributors. Marketing intelligence is a catch-all
term to include all the everyday information about developments in the market
that helps a business prepare and adjust its marketing plans. It is possible
to buy intelligence information from outside suppliers (e.g. Mintel, Dun &
Bradstreet, Mori) who set up data gathering systems to support commercial
intelligence products that can be profitably sold to all players in a market.
(3) Market research
Management cannot always wait for information to arrive
in bits and pieces from internal sources. Also, sources of market intelligence
cannot always be relied upon to provide relevant or up-to-date information
(particularly for smaller or niche market segments). In such circumstances,
businesses often need to undertake specific studies to support their marketing
strategy - this is market research.