The Marketing Intelligence System
People’s preferences, technology, and environment, and culture inevitably change from year to year. That is why companies need to keep up with the times, track trends and adapt to new realities. It is well-known there are two types of companies – the ones that change and those that disappear. Thus, Kodak’s famous management case demonstrates the cost of neglecting change in the world. Intoxicated by its success, the company staked on the takeover of small businesses without noticing the flourishing of technology.
Marketing intelligence is an instrument designed to keep a company informed about the environment that affects the company’s activity. This is a continuing process based on particular procedures to collect essential information about alterations in the company’s marketing environment. For instance, this tool is necessary to develop marketing plans and solutions and make appropriate adjustments. Marketing intelligence does not exist as a stand-alone activity or as a specific function of an organization. Marketing intelligence is an integral part of the complex management decision-making process in response to challenges from the external environment. It should be considered one of the stages of the decision-making process by the organization’s management. Collecting information about the influence of environmental factors is associated with finding a solution to any specific problem facing the organization. The news promptly delivered to the management allows the problem to be recognized in time. A timely recognized problem enables leaders to move on to the process of searching for options for possible solutions.
Most marketing managers use internal sources of information – these are working materials and firm archives from which information can be extracted to assess the current marketing situation and marketing problems. The external data a firm is interested in can be divided into three categories: 1) information about the macro environment; 2) information about competitors; 3) information about various innovations and trends. This information can be granted by a hired external agency or another enterprise within a companies’ framework.
Many large companies today have dedicated departments to collect and process marketing intelligence. Employees of these departments look through publications, select news about markets, products, consumers that are important for the company, and send reviews to marketing managers. Marketing intelligence is an essential element of change management in any company that ensures its ability to react quickly when the environment or customer’s preferences are changing.