Objective 1

Explain the importance of information in gaining insights about the marketplace and customers.

The marketing process starts with a complete understanding of the marketplace and consumer needs and wants. Thus, the company needs sound information in order to produce superior value and satisfaction for customers. The company also requires information on competitors, resellers, and other actors and forces in the marketplace. Increasingly, marketers are viewing information not only as an input for making better decisions but also as an important strategic asset and marketing tool.

Define the marketing information system and discuss its parts, (pp 126-129)

The marketing information system (MIS) consists of people and procedures for assessing information needs, developing the needed information, and helping decision makers to use the information to generate and validate actionable customer and market insights. A well-designed information system begins and ends with users.

The MIS first assesses information needs. The marketing information system primarily serves the company's marketing and other managers, but it may also provide information to external partners. Then, the MIS develops information from internal databases, marketing intelligence activities, and marketing research. Internal databases provide information on the company's own operations and departments. Such data can be obtained quickly and cheaply but often needs to be adapted for marketing decisions. Marketing intelligence activities supply everyday information about developments in the external marketing environment. Market research consists of collecting information relevant to a specific marketing problem faced by the company. Lastly, the MIS helps users to analyze and use the information to develop customer insights, make marketing decisions, and manage customer relationships.

Outline the steps in the marketing research process.

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