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Chapter 4

Marketing Research and Information Systems

The Importance of Information

Companies need information about their:

Marketing environment Competition Customer needs

Managers dont need more information, they need better information.


What is a Marketing Information System (MIS)?

A MIS consists of people, equipment, and procedures to gather, sort, analyze, evaluate and distribute needed, timely, and accurate information to marketing decision makers. The MIS helps managers to:


Assess Information Needs, Develop Needed Information, Distribute Information.


The Marketing Information System (Fig. 4.1)

Functions of a MIS: Assessing Information Needs

Information Managers Would Like to Have

What They Really Need & What is Feasible to Offer

Functions of a MIS: Developing Information

Information Needed by Managers Can be Obtained From:
Internal Data Marketing Intelligence Marketing Research
Computerized Collection of Information from Data Sources (i.e. Accounting) Within the Company. Collection and Analysis of Publicly Available Information about Competitors and the Marketing Environment (i.e. Technological). Design, Collection, Analysis, and Reporting of Data about a Specific Marketing Situation Facing the Organization.

Functions of a MIS: Distributing Information

Distributes Routine Information for Decision Making

Information Must be Distributed to the Right Managers at the Right Time. Distributes Nonroutine Information for Special Situations

Discussion Connections
What is the overall goal of a Marketing Information System (MIS)? How are individual components linked and what does each contribute? (See Figure 4.1, Slide #5) Apply the MIS framework to Coca-Cola. What does this company appear to be doing well?

The Marketing Research Process (Fig. 4.2)

Defining the problem and research objectives

Developing the research plan for collecting information

Implementing the research plan -- collecting and analyzing the data

Interpreting and reporting the findings

Marketing Research Process

Step 1. Defining the Problem & Research Objectives

Exploratory Research Descriptive Research Causal Research
Gathers preliminary information that will help define the problem and suggest hypotheses. Describes things as market potential for a product or the demographics and consumers attitudes.

Test hypotheses about causeand-effect relationships.


Marketing Research Process

Step 2. Develop the Research Plan

Research plan development follows these steps:

Determining Specific Information Needs Gathering Secondary information Planning Primary Data Collection


Develop the Research Plan

Both Must Be: Information That Already Exists Somewhere. + Obtained More Quickly, Lower Cost. Relevant Accurate Current Impartial
Online Databases
Of f e r a we al t h of i nf o r mat i on t o mar k e t i ng d e c i s i on m a ke r s .

Gathering Secondary Information

Information Collected for the Specific Purpose at Hand.

- Might Not be Usable Data.

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Lexis Nexis Compuserve Dialog


Develop the Research Plan

Planning Primary Data Collection
Observational Research
Gathering data by observing people, actions and situations (Exploratory)

Research Approaches
Survey Research
Asking individuals about attitudes, preferences or buying behaviors (Descriptive)

Experimental Research
Using groups of people to determine cause-and-effect relationships (Causal)

Develop the Research Plan

Planning Primary Data Collection
Contact Methods (Table 4.3)
Mail Flexibility Quantity of Data Collected Control of Interviewer Control of Sample Speed of Data Collection Response Rate Cost Poor Good Telephone Good Fair Personal Excellent Excellent Poor Fair Good Good Poor Online Good Good Fair Poor Excellent Good Excellent

Excellent Fair Fair Poor Fair Good Excellent Excellent Good Fair


Develop the Research Plan

Planning Primary Data Collection
Probability or Non-probability sampling?

Sampling Plans
Sample representative segment of the population

Who is to be surveyed? (What Sampling Unit?)

How should the sample be chosen?

How many should be surveyed?


Develop the Research Plan

Planning Primary Data Collection
Research Instruments

What questions to ask? Form of each question? Closed-end Open-end Wording? Ordering?

Mechanical Devices
People Meters Supermarket Scanners Galvanometer Tachistoscope Eye Cameras


Develop the Research Plan

Presenting the Research Plan
Summarize the plan in a written proposal and cover:

Management problems addressed, Research objectives, Information to be obtained, Sources of secondary information, Methods for collecting primary data, Way the results will help management decision making.

Marketing Research Process

Step 3. Implementing the Research Plan

Collecting the Data

Processing the Data

Research Plan

Analyzing the Data


Marketing Research Process

Step 4. Interpreting and Reporting Findings

Researcher Should Present Important Findings that are Useful in the Major Decisions Faced by Management.
Step 1. Interpret the Findings

Step 2. Draw Conclusions

Step 3. Report to Management


Other Marketing Research Considerations

Marketing Research in Small Businesses and Nonprofit Organizations

International Marketing Research

Public Policy and Ethics in Marketing Research

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Review of Concept Connections

Explain the importance of information to the company. Define the marketing information system and discuss its parts. Outline the steps in the marketing research process. Compare the advantages and disadvantages of various methods of collecting information. Discuss the special issues some marketing researchers face, including public policy and ethics issues. 21