After reading this chapter, students should:
❑ Know what are the components of a modern marketing information system
❑ Know what are useful internal records
❑ Know what is involved with a marketing intelligence system
❑ Know what are the key methods for tracking and identifying opportunities in the macroenvironment
❑ Know what are some important macroenvironment developments
To carry out their analysis, planning, implementation, and control responsibilities, marketing managers need a marketing information system (MIS). The role of the MIS is to assess the manager’s information needs, develop the needed information, and distribute that information in a timely manner.
An MIS has three components: (a) an internal records system that includes information on the order-to-payment cycle and sales reporting systems; (b) a marketing intelligence system, a set of procedures and sources used by managers to obtain everyday information about pertinent developments in the marketing environment; and (c) a marketing research system that allows for the systemic design, collection, analysis, and reporting of data and findings relevant to a specific marketing situation.
Many opportunities are found by identifying trends (directions or sequences of events that have some momentum and durability) and megatrends (major social, economic, political, and technological changes that have long-lasting influence).
Within the rapidly changing global picture, marketers must monitor six major environmental forces: demographic, economic, social-cultural, natural, technological, and political-legal.
In the demographic environment, marketers must be aware of worldwide population growth; changing mixes of age, ethnic composition, and educational levels; the rise of nontraditional families; large geographic shifts in population; and the move to micromarketing and away from mass marketing.
In the economic arena, marketers need to focus on income distribution and levels of savings, debt, and credit availability.
In the social-cultural arena, marketers must understand people’s views of themselves, others, organizations, society, nature, and the universe. They must market products that correspond to society’s core and secondary values, and address the needs of different subcultures within a society.
In the natural environment, marketers need to be aware of raw material shortages, increased energy costs and pollution levels, and the changing role of governments in environmental protection.
In the technological arena, marketers should take into account the accelerating pace of technological change, opportunities for innovation, varying R&D budgets, and the increased governmental regulation brought about by technological change.
In the political-legal environment, marketers must work within the many laws regulating business practices and with various special-interest groups.
Students new to the discipline of marketing will probably be surprised at the level of marketing information, intelligence, and arenas that marketing managers must operate within. The instructor is encouraged to stress that the marketing of products/services and the processes of making marketing decisions do not operate without careful consideration to the environments identified in this chapter. Today, marketers must be cognizant of “how” their product or service is perceived as much as “how” it functions.
In many cases, the chief marketing executive of the firm can sometimes see himself/herself as a player in the game of chess. Each move must be carefully chosen for subsequent moves by competition and public scrutiny for acceptance or rejection. Products marketed must meet both the consumers’ needs as well as the publics’ acceptances of the product.
The instructor’s challenge for this chapter is to communicate to the students the complexity of and sometimes...