Managing Market Information


The information related to competitors, customers, suppliers, intermediaries, salespersons, marketing mix, and other forces is market information. It helps in decision making, planning, implementing and controlling; environmental scanning; and to reduce risk and uncertainty. Marketers should analyze market information with help of SWOT, PESTEL, ETOP, and SAP for quick and rational decisions. Market information can be obtained from different sources such as marketing research system, marketing intelligence system, internal record system, and marketing decisions support system.

Needs of Market Information

The needs and importance of marketing information are as follows:
Help in decision making: Market information helps in decision making. It provides reliable, complete, and up-to-date information for a quick and rational decision. So, for the considerate decision-making data and information have an important role in marketing.
a. Help in planning: Planning is done with the help of the collection of information from the internal and external sources. While formulating planning, analysis of opportunity and threats as well as strength and weakness should be taken into consideration. Hence, marketing information helps in planning also.
b. Help in implementation: Market information helps in knowing the strategy of the competitor. It helps in marketing decision of product, price, distribution, and promotion. Furthermore, it is also aware of the business strategy to the concerned.
c. Help in controlling: Market information is the base for market monitoring and evaluation. Therefore, market information plays a vital role for monitoring, evaluating and controlling.
d. Help in environmental adaption: As environmental factors of marketing directly influence the marketing decisions and are dynamic and complex in nature. With the help of reliable and up-to-date information, a firm can adopt a dynamic environment. So, market information plays a vital role in environmental adaption.
e. Help to reduce risk and uncertainty: Quick and rational decision can be taken with the help of reliable, complete, and up-to-date information. As a result, risk and uncertainty reduced at tolerance level. Effectiveness can be achieved in planning, implementation, and controlling functions of marketing. Thus, information has an important role in marketing.

The concept of Marketing Information System

A marketing information system (MIS) means to collect, analyze, and supply marketing information to the marketers. They use the information to make marketing decisions. The marketing information system is a never-ending or continuous process. It includes all facts, estimates, opinions, guidelines, policies, and other data. Marketing information is collected from different sources such as customers, competitors, company salesperson, government sources, specialized agencies, and so on. A marketing information system is designed to support marketing decision making.
According to Philip Kotler, " A marketing information system consists of people, equipment and procedures together, sort, analyze, evaluate, and distribute needed, timely and accurate information to marketing decision maker."
According to William J. Stanton, "Marketing information system is an ongoing, organized procedure to generate, analyze, disseminate, store and retrieve information for use in marketing decisions."
According to Busch and Houston, " A marketing information system consists of structured, intersecting complex of persons, machines and procedures designed to generate an orderly flow of information sources for use and input to marketing decision making."
According to Cravens, Hills and Woodruff, " A Marketing information system consists of integrated combinations of information, information processing and equipment, software, and information specialists that serve the various analyses, planning, and controlling needs of marketing decision making. "
From the above definition by different authors and scholars, we can conclude that marketing information system is an ongoing organized procedure to generate, analyze, disseminate, store, and retrieve information for use in marketing decisions. It consists of integrated combinations of information, information processing and equipment, software, and information specialists that serve the various analyses, planning, and control needs of marketing decision making. It regularly monitors the marketing environment in order to provide reliable, complete, and up-to-date information.

Features of Marketing Information System

The main features of the marketing information system are:
a. Continuous process: Marketing information system is a continuous process. It collects, processes, analyzes, stores, and disseminates information for decision making on regular basis. The marketing information system is never ending process.
b. Accurate, reliable, and complete: Marketing information system provides accurate, reliable, and complete information for decision making. Such information ensures a rational decision. Generally, past and present information is more accurate and reliable than the future information.
c. Timely: Marketing information system is never ending process. It provides complete and reliable information at the right place at the right time for quick and rationale for the decision. If there is no quickness in a decision, it becomes meaningless. This means, if a decision to be taken today is taken tomorrow, it becomes worthless. Marketing information system provides information required for decision making timely.
d. Consistent and accessible: Marketing information system provides consistent and uniform information for decision making. Due to the tremendous development in information technology, consistency and uniformity in the flow of information have become possible. Marketing information is easily accessible. Modern information technology facilities information accessibility.
e. Interrelated components: Marketing research, marketing intelligence, internal record, and information analysis are the components of the marketing information system. The components have an important role to make reliable, complete, and up-to-date information.

Importance of Marketing Information System

The importance of marketing information system are as follows:

  1. Collection of information: Marketing information system is needed to collect complete, reliable, and up-to-date information from the market. It also helps to analyze information gives certain meanings.
  2. Market expansion: Marketing information system plays an important role in the expansion of the market. It provides complete, reliable, and up-to-date information to promote market from local to national, national to regional, and regional to the global market. In the lack of a marketing information system, expansion of marketing becomes impossible.
  3. Marketing plan: Marketing information system is important to make a marketing plan. Organizational success depends on good marketing. This should be acceptable and achievable. It requires complete and reliable information about needs and wants of customers, the position of competitors, buying capacity and behavior of customers, and buying motives of customers. MIS helps in making good marketing plans by providing such information.
  4. Scanning of marketing environment: Marketing information system is necessary to scan the marketing environment. It helps to analyze SWOT to the marketers. It provides information about different factors of market environment regularly for this purpose. The organization cannot get competitive advantages without environment scanning. Thus, MIS is very essential.
  5. Want creation and delivery: To get success in a competitive environment, a business organization should be able to create wants of the customers and deliver goods to satisfy their wants. Market research should be conducted and analysis should be done to identify customers wants and make them realize such wants. For this purpose MIS is important.
  6. Evaluation and control: Regular evaluation and control of the marketing program is an important task of the marketing management process. What types of programs become successful, what type of programs can help to achieve the organizational goal to what extent and what changes or improvement are needed in the programs, etc. are the matters related to study. Evaluation and control can be done Only with the help of MIS.
  7. Storage of Information: Marketing information system is needed to store valuable information for future reference. Marketers can retrieve information whenever and wherever they are required. Marketing information system maintains a database of employees, customers, competitors, suppliers, civil societies, pressure groups, reference groups, and so on for future reference.

Components of Marketing Information System

1. Internal record System
A major component of the marketing information system is an internal record system. Marketers get different kinds of information from the internal records of the company such as sales, costs, inventories, cash flows, account receivable, and account payable. Many companies maintain computerized internal records. Internal records are reliable. Basically, the internal record system provides customer and sale related records and other records too.
  • Customer-related records: It consists of customers' profile, orders placement cycle, bills, invoices, inventory record, and shipment records. This information is very essential for decision making.
  • Sales related records: It constants of all the records related to sales such as total sales, sales returns, discount, commission, market segment, sales trend, sales return trend, and so on.
  • Other records: Internal records also include the special report, annual report, audit report, financial report, etc. Such reports also provide useful information for decision making.
2. Market intelligence system
Another major component of the marketing information system is the marketing intelligence system. Marketing intelligence system is a set of procedures and sources used by managers to obtain everyday information about pertinent developments in the marketing environment. It collects information from external sources and provides information about the current marketing environment and changing conditions in the market. Intelligence system helps marketers to identify their weak and strong aspects, utilize opportunities, and improves their weaknesses. Such information can be easily gathered from formal and informal sources. Salesperson, intermediaries, information centers, specialists, private agencies, etc. are formal sources and newspapers, trade journals, magazines, employees, etc. are informal sources.

a. Formal sources: Formal sources of marketing intelligence are as follows:
  • Salespersons perform their job living in their respective fields. They can provide information about the market. They remain very close to customers. They know the changing needs and wants of customers. They are also known the buying motive and behavior.
  • Intermediaries include agents, dealers, wholesalers, and retailers. They know everything about the market. Thus, marketers should motivate them to get information from them.
  • Marketing information center can be established under the marketing information system. In this system, a company secretly keeps its employees in competitors' organizations as secret agents to collect information. Such secret agents send all necessary information about their policy, programs, and strategies.
  • Specialist: A firm may also appoint specialists to collect market information. Such specialists are skilled in collecting, analyzing, and disseminating market information.
  • Private agency: A firm may buy market information from private agencies. Such private agencies are efficient in collecting and analyzing market information.
b. Informal Sources
The informal sources of marketing intelligence are as follows:
  • The organization can also get information by magazines, newspapers, business journals, etc.
  • The organization can also get information by talking with departmental managers like; production, human resources, financial, research, sales managers.

3. Marketing research system

Marketing research system is another important component of the marketing information system. It is the systematic design, collection, analysis, and reporting of data and findings relevant to a specific marketing situation facing by the company. It is conducted to solve specific marketing problems of the company. It collects information about the problem. This information is tabulated, analyzed, and conclusions are drawn. Then the recommendations are given to solve the problem. The main purpose of marketing research is to provide reliable, complete, and up-to-date information for decision making. The major aspects of marketing research are as follows:
  • Product research: Product research is concerned with new product development, product improvement, brand loyalty, product positioning, product experiment, product packaging, product designing, product labeling, and product life cycle.
  • Price Research: Price research is concerned with the list price, method of pricing, trend of pricing, price of competitors' products, pricing policy, pricing strategy, and so on.
  • Place Research: Place research is concerned with warehouse, transportation, distribution channel, channel structure, delivery cost, and so on.
  • Promotion Research: Promotion research is concerned with advertising, personal selling, public relation, sales promotion, and publicity. It also embraces the effectiveness of promotion, media of promotion, the effect of promotion, cost of promotion, and so on.

4. Marketing decision support system
A marketing decision support system (also known as decision support system DSS) is a procedure that allows a manager to interact with data and methods of analysis to gather, analyze, and interpret information. It consists of information technology, marketing data, systems tools, and modeling capabilities that enable it to provide predicted outcomes from different conditions and marketing strategies. Marketing decision support system assists decision makers in different conditions and can be a very helpful tool for a business to take over their competitors. The components of a marketing decision support system are as follows:
  • Data bank: A data bank is a store of data. It stores different kinds of data and information received from different sources such as customers, competitors, suppliers, intermediaries, salespersons, marketing mix, and other forces.
  • Method bank: Method bank is a statistical tool bank. It stores statical tools such as average,  percent, classification, tabulation, regression, co-relation, survey, diagram, cluster analysis, factor analysis.
  • Model bank: The model bank has different kinds of models and optimization routines such as Markov model, Queuing model, New product pretest model, Differential calculus, Game theory, Statistical decision theory, Programming, and so on.

Use of internet in collecting information

The internet is a modern technology which plays a key role in today's world. It is used by persons, government organizations, and private organizations for different purposes. Due to multipurpose in nature, it is becoming more and more popular day by day. There is a wide range of information freely available on the internet. In other words, the internet is the storehouse of data and information.

Different firms need different information. Firms need to gather information regarding their existing as well as probable customers. Likewise, some firms need information regarding the change in the technology; some need the information about the feedback of the product and service from the customer and also the customer's need, want and hobby which all are fulfilled by the internet.

The information required for a company for designing or re-designing product, create a new product, packaging, pricing, etc. is gathered from the internet. The firm can also collect the data and information about the product position of its competitors in the market so that they can create a different strategy for better positioning of the product in that market.

Firms or a marketing corresponding of the firm can collect primary data, secondary data or both from the internet. Primary data can be collected by free survey, paid survey, questionnaire,  etc. online directly by using the organization's official website, social media profiles, etc. On the other hand, secondary data is collected by third-party sources like websites, blogs, search engines, etc. Hence, internet plays important role in collecting information.

Concept and Meaning of Marketing Research

Marketing research is the systematic investigation of the facts and specific problems relevant to various aspects of marketing. In other words, it is a step by step process of acquiring, analyzing, and interpreting information relevant to the marketing decision-making body.

Marketing research is conducted by the market research departments of the organizations or by marketing research and firms hired to do so. Marketing research involves investigation and is usually conducted to solve some specific marketing problems faced by the company and therefore it needs careful planning.
According to Philip Kotler, " Marketing is the systematic design, collection, analysis, and reporting of data and findings relevant to a specific marketing situations facing the company. "

The process of Marketing Research

Marketing research process includes the definition of the problems and the statement of research objectives, research design, and selection of information sources, information collection, analysis of information, finding and reporting.

1. Define the problems and state research objectives: This step consists of two activities; defining the problem clearly and correctly, and determining the purpose for which research is being taken i.e. indicating the information needs or in other words identifying research objectives. The effectiveness and usefulness of a marketing research study depend mainly on a careful formulation of the problem and identification of the specific research objectives. In case of a faulty formulation of the problem, the research findings may mislead rather than help the marketing manager in marketing decision and may result in unnecessary wastage of money, time, and efforts.

Only by focusing on the real problem and research objectives, we can understand the scope and nature of the research study and the type of inquiry to be conducted. This step comes under the ambit of planning an inquiry or a research study and is essential for getting correct findings or results.

2. Designing and developing a research plan: The second step is to design or develop a plan of action to be implemented for collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data and information. It implies preparing and providing a blueprint of research work. The designed research plan indicates the sources of information, the methods of sampling and collection, and the tools and instruments of research.

3. Collection of data and information: After determining the problem and the research objectives, and designing a research plan, the next step is to collect needed information and data. The data to be collected are of two types i.e. primary and secondary data, but it must be ensured that collected information is relevant, accurate, reliable and adequate. The data should not have any errors or inconsistencies creep. Defective schedules should be rejected or sent back for necessary corrections.

4. Analysis and interpreting the data and information: The fourth step in conducting a research study is to analyze and interpret the collected data. Analysis of the information or data involves presenting them in summarised form like tables, graphs, statistical data, and the relationship between different variables. Different statistical tools and techniques are used to get findings.

Interpretation of data is the task of drawing correct conclusions from the collected and analyzed data. It must be noted that data is not an end. In conclusion, the interpretation of data is the task of drawing valid conclusions and interferences in a field of study and usually involves the formulation of prediction.

5. Reporting results and findings: The final step is to come out with results or findings in clear terms so as to help the marketing managers make better decisions. The main function of the marketing researcher is to draw proper conclusions and inferences and report them to the management.


  • Principles of marketing. Kotler, P. & Armstrong, G. (1997).
  • Wikipedia, Marketing Information System
  • Fundamental of Marketing. BBS 2nd Year, Asmita publication
  • Fundamental of Marketing. BBS 2nd Year, Dr. Sherjung Khadka (2017), Samjhana Publication


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