Components of Marketing Information System MIS
Marketing Information System (MIS) collects, analyses, and supplies a lot of relevant information to the marketing managers. It is a valuable tool for planning, implementing and controlling the marketing activities.
The role of MIS is to identify (find out) what sort of information is required by the marketing managers. It then collects and analyzes the information. It supplies this information to the marketing manager at the right time. MIS collects the information through its subsystems. These subsystems are called components.
The four main components of Marketing Information System (MIS) are:
- Internal Records,
- Marketing Intelligence,
- Marketing Research (MR), and
- Marketing Decision Support System.
The basic components of MIS are depicted and explained below.
Image credits © Prof. Mudit Katyani.
- Internal records : The first component of MIS is ‘Internal Record’. Marketing managers get lots of information from the internal-records of the company. These records provide current information about sales, costs, inventories, cash flows and account receivable and payable. Many companies maintain their computerized internal records. Inside records help marketing managers to gain faster access to reliable information.
- Marketing intelligence :
- The second component of MIS is ‘Marketing Intelligence’. It collects information from external sources. It provides information about current marketing-environment and changing conditions in the market. This information can be easily gathered from external sources like; magazines, trade journals, commercial press, so on. This information cannot be collected from the Annual Reports of the Trade Association and Chambers of Commerce, Annual Report of Companies, etc. The salesmens report also contains information about market trends.
- The information which is collected from the external sources cannot be used directly. It must be first evaluated and arranged in a proper order. It can be then used by the marketing manager for taking decisions and making policies about marketing.
- So, marketing intelligence is an important component of MIS.
- Marketing research : The third important component of MIS is ‘Marketing Research’. MR is conducted to solve specific marketing problems of the company. It collects data about the problem. This data is tabulated, analyzed and conclusions are drawn. Then the recommendations are given for solving the problem. Marketing research also provides information to the marketing managers. However, this information is specific information. It can be used only for a particular purpose. MIS and MR are not substitutes of each other. The scope of MIS is very wide. It includes ‘MR’. However, the scope of MR is very narrow.
- Marketing decision support system : The fourth component of MIS is ‘Marketing Decision Support System’. These are the tools which help the marketing managers to analyze data and to take better marketing decisions. They include hardware, i.e. computer and software programs. Computer helps the marketing manager to analyze the marketing information. It also helps them to take better decisions. In fact, today marketing managers cannot work without computers. There are many software programs, which help the marketing manager to do market segmentation, price fixing, advertising budgets, etc.