Marketing is defined as “a social and managerial process whereby individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating and exchanging products and value with others” (Valenzuela, 2013, p. 2). This definition highlights the concepts of the markets; transactions and relationships; exchanges; customer value and satisfaction; products; wants and demands; and customer needs (Valenzuela, 2013).
Needs denote the state of deprivation felt by the customer in terms of things such as shelter, clothing, and food. According to Valenzuela (2013), a person’s personality represents their wants while their culture represents their needs. In this regard, the wants that can be met through one’s purchasing power become demands. Likewise, the products that are available in the market are used to satisfy people’s wants and demands where these products can come in the form of experiences, services, or goods. The fulfillment of these needs lead to customer value and satisfaction while the customer’s purchasing decisions are based on their value perceptions of the product and how well the product’s perceived performance meets the buyer’s expectations. In this regard, the marketing process involves the exchange of relationships between the product providers and the consumers, as well as with other stakeholders. . Together, all of the potential and actual buyers of a product make up the market (Valenzuela, 2013).
Although marketing involves social and managerial processes that mostly involve human interactions, advancements in technology have led to the development of software applications, namely marketing information systems, that automate these social and managerial processes such that they are carried our more efficiently and effectively. In this regard, this paper discusses how marketing information systems enable marketing managers to fulfill the core aspects of marketing.
Marketing Information Systems
A marketing information system refers to an interactive and integrated structure of procedures, equipment, and people (Cedrola, 2015). It is designed for the classification, analysis, evaluation, and distribution of accurate, relevant, and timely information that support the processes of decision making (Cedrola, 2015). Its main components are the marketing decision support system, the marketing research system, the marketing intelligence system, and the internal company record system (Cedrola, 2015).
Marketing information systems are intended to enable making the right decisions regarding the various marketing activities, which include “planning, promoting, and selling goods and services to satisfy the needs of customers and the objectives of the organizations” (Ismail, 2011, p. 175). Marketing information systems are designed for gathering, sorting, analyzing, evaluating, and distributing the required information in an accurate and timely manner to marketing decision makers (Ismail, 2011). It starts and ends with information users, such as the external partners, the internal partners, and others. Here, it can be seen that the main components of the marketing information system are the social and managerial processes that are involved in various marketing activities. In particular, social processes refer to the means by which social organization and culture are preserved or change (Social Process, 2016). Since culture influences people’s needs, marketing information systems help facilitate these social processes by allowing people to efficiently get what they want and need and by allowing marketing managers to predict these needs. On the other hand, managerial processes refer to the methods that dictate the communication, analysis, investigation, and structuring of business issues, as well as the decision making involved in addressing such issues (Ismail, 2011). In this regard, marketing information systems ensure the efficiency of managerial processes so that the customers’ needs are adequately met (Definition of management processes, n.d.).
A marketing information system is an efficient tool that provides past, present, and projected information that relate to external intelligence and internal operations (Ismail, 2011). It helps managers foresee market changes and customer preferences. The marketing information system is used for gathering important data, organizing it in a meaningful manner, making recommendations based on the information, and storing it for future use.
In a study conducted by Ezekiel, Eze and Anyadighibe (2013) where they studied the benefits of using a marketing information system in enhancing the performance of public road transport companies in Nigeria, it was found that the marketing information system’s Marketing Research, Marketing Intelligence, and internal Record features did enhance the companies’ performance. In particular, the results of the study showed that a correlation existed between the setting of the organization’s strategic goals and marketing intelligence (Ezekiel et al., 2013). They also showed that effective marketing research has a positive effect on the employees’ marketing performance and that the Internal Record feature enhances the employees’ decision making skills and marketing performance (Ezekiel et al., 2013). The findings implied that marketing information systems should be used for competitor analysis for the STP (Segmentation –Targeting – Positioning) analysis (Ezekiel et al., 2013).
A study by Freihat (2012) investigated the relationship between the decision-making processes in shareholding medicines production companies in Jordan and the main components of marketing information systems. Just like the findings of Ezekiel et al. (2013), the findings of Freihat (2012) showed that decision-making was associated to the following components of marketing information systems: marketing intelligence, marketing research, and internal records. In this regard, Freihat (2012) recommended that Jordanian shareholding medicine producing companies increase their number of works who are qualified to work with marketing information systems. This would include workers who have more years of work experience; suitable scientific specializations; and university degree qualifications (Freihat, 2012).
In another study where the researchers examined the benefits of the marketing information system in clothing retail companies, it was found that information and its systemization played an important role in making the company more competitive in that it contributed to new business promotion and to operations development (Queiroz & Oliveira, 2014). In particular, the use of a marketing information system enabled the development of the foundation of retail strategies (Queiroz & Oliveira, 2014). The information provided by the marketing information system is used as basis for strategic planning and for deciding on matters such as store expansion and location; price setting; and the product lines. It also led to reduced operational costs, increased accuracy in the reports, improved productivity, controlled market costs, improved internal services, improved decision making, plan development, promotion of communication and price strategies, optimization of the services offered to customers, identification of new segments and target markets, and the management of inventories (Queiroz & Oliveira, 2014). In addition, it enables managers to monitor customer needs, satisfaction, and processes. The two managers interviewed for the study indicated, though, that the benefits of using a marketing information system can be realized only if it can be integrated with other information systems, which may not always be feasible (Queiroz & Oliveira 2014).
In the same regard, Khodakarami and Chan (2013) asserted that the effectiveness of and user satisfaction with marketing information systems are based on the ease of learning, the system’s flexibility, and system integration, along with the use of appropriate report formats and the availability of customer information. More specifically, as an integrated system, a marketing information system is capable of facilitating the information flow throughout the organization and allowing managers and users to access the appropriate information in a timely manner. The findings also indicated that an effective marketing information system must be aligned with the organization’s systems and strategies and must meet its processing requirements (Khodakarami & Chan, 2013).
A marketing information system involves organizational procedures, equipment, and people and is intended to enhance a company’s marketing initiatives and operations. As such, marketing information systems facilitate the social and managerial processes that enable marketing managers to meet the needs of others through the creation and exchange of value and products. These systems facilitate the social processes in that they enable marketing managers to determine the wants and needs of customers through the aggregation and analysis of the gathered data. With this information, marketing managers are able to gauge what the customer demands are and are able to meet these demands even before the competitors do. Alternatively, these systems enable companies to meet such needs more efficiently and more effectively than the competitors. Based also on the information provided by marketing information systems, marketing managers are able to develop managerial processes that will enable the company to deliver and address the customer’s needs. In this regard, a marketing information system enables these managerial processes to be carried out smoothly.
Cedrola, E., 2015. Marketing information systems. Wiley Encyclopedia of Management, 9, pp. 1-2.
Definition of management processes, n.d. [online] Available at:
< http://lexicon.ft.com/Term?term=management-processes> [Accessed 2 February 2011]
Ezekiel, M. S., Eze, J. F. & Anyadighibe, J. A., 2013. A study of marketing information system (MIS) as a contributory factor in the performance of selected transport companies in Calabar Metropolis. American Journal of Tourism Research, 2(2), pp. 154-159.
Freihat, S. M. S., 2012, May. The role of marketing information system in marketing decision-making in Jordanian shareholding medicines production companies. International Journal of Recent Research and Applied Studies, 11(2), pp. 326-336.
Ismail, S. T., 2011. The role of marketing information system on decision making: "an applied study on Royal Jordanian Air Lines (RJA). International Journal of Business and Social Science, 2(3), pp. 175-185.
Khodakarami, F. & Chan, Y. E., 2013. An investigation of factors affecting marketing information systems’ use. Journal of Marketing Development and Competitiveness. 7(2), pp. 115-121.
Social process, 2016. [online] Available at: <http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/social-
process> [Accessed 2 February 2011].
Queiroz, J. P. & Oliveira, B., 2014. Benefits of the marketing information system in the clothing retail business. Journal of Information Systems and Technology Management, 11(1). http://dx.doi.org/10.4301/S1807-17752014000100009
Valenzuela, Fredy, 2013. Marketing: A snapshot. Pearson Higher Education AU.