Type of Article: Survey
Evaluates which information included in Marketing Information Systems (MkIS) has been important in providing support for the marketing management process. Also analyses what improvements in marketing and sales have been realized by implementing MkIS to support the marketing management process. Furthermore, investigates, in more detail, what operational MkIS sub-systems have contributed to improved effectiveness for implementing and controlling marketing efforts. The results of a survey of 50 Finnish wholesale companies showed that MkIS have supported marketing management in all complementary steps of the marketing management process. Information that is perceived to be useful for the different steps of this process, however, varies. The perceived improvements of studied MkIS usage were higher in marketing than sales tasks. These findings indicated that instead of one MkIS, organizations would be better advised to develop MkIS sub-systems to support the different steps in the marketing management process and also sub-systems to support sales activities directly, although still allowing technical and functional integration when needed. According to marketing managers surveyed, those who invested in more sophisticated MkIS sub-systems such as direct mailing and telemarketing systems, have achieved good results in implementing and controlling their marketing efforts. Later discusses the opportunities for these types of operational MkIS sub-systems.
Content Indicators: Readability**, Practice Implications**, Originality*, Research Implications* Acknowledgements
The authors are deeply grateful to Professor Markku Sääksjärvi of the Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration for his invaluable support and critique in this endeavour. Introduction
More and more, companies are faced with the need to control an ever larger and rapidly changing marketing environment. The information processing requirements of companies are expanding as their competitive environment becomes more dynamic and volatile (Child, 1987). To handle the increasing external and internal information flow and to improve its quality, companies have to take advantage of the opportunities offered by modern information technology (IT) and information systems (IS). Managing marketing information by means of IT has become one of the most vital elements of effective marketing. By collecting and sharing marketing information and by using it to promote corporate and brand image, IS offer new ways of improving the internal efficiency of the firm. IS allow dynamic marketing communication between personnel in corporate planning, accounting, advertising and sales promotion, product management, channels of distribution and direct sales. These systems also relate to marketing strategy, marketing planning and the entire marketing management process. IS span the boundary between the organization and its environment by connecting the customers and partners to the firm¢s warehouse, factory and management. Today interorganizational relationships and interorganizational information systems (IOS) have become a common form for processing transactions and there are many examples of IOS that create electronic linkages between firms (see Bakos, 1991; Cash and Konsynski, 1985). IT has a key role in new flexible organization forms such as strategic partnerships and cross-functional networks. New organizations will be designed around business processes rather than functional hierarchies (Rockart and Short, 1989) and we will face the need for new kinds of IS in marketing. In fact, IS will be the cornerstone of new approaches to marketing. Management and systems designers should therefore be better aware of the avenues available to integrate marketing and management processes in new innovative ways. The objectives of this empirical...