RetailLink system gives key suppliers access to information on everything from customers’ buying patterns and store inventory levels to how many items they’ve sold in which stores in the past 24 hours. 5 (Kotler 146) Kotler, Philip R., Gary Armstrong, Valerie Trifts, Peggy Cunningham. Principles of DEVELOPING MARKETING INFORMATION Marketers can obtain the needed information from internal data , marketing intelligence , and marketing research . Internal Data Many companies build extensive internal databases , electronic collections of consumer and market information obtained from data sources within the company’s network. Marketing managers can readily access and work with information in the database to identify marketing opportunities and problems, plan programs, and
evaluate performance. Internal data can provide strong competitive advantage. (Kotler 147) Kotler, Philip R., Gary Armstrong, Valerie Trifts, Peggy Cunningham. Principles of Internal databases Electronic collections of consumer and market information obtained from data sources within the company’s network. Information in the database can come from many sources. The marketing department furnishes information on customer demographics, psychographics, sales transactions, and website visits. The customer service department keeps records of customer satisfaction or service problems. The accounting department prepares financial statements and keeps detailed records of sales, costs, and cash flows. Operations reports on production schedules, shipments, and inventories. The sales force reports on reseller reactions and competitor activities, and marketing channel partners provide data on point-of-sale transactions. Harnessing such information can provide powerful customer insights and competitive advantage. (Kotler 147) Internal databases usually can be accessed more quickly and cheaply than other information sources, but they also present some problems. Because internal information is often collected for other purposes, it may be incomplete or in the wrong form for making marketing decisions. Data also ages quickly; keeping the database current requires a major effort. Finally, managing the mountains of information that a large company produces requires highly sophisticated equipment and techniques. Competitive Marketing Intelligence Competitive marketing intelligence is the systematic collection and analysis of publicly available information about consumers, competitors, and developments in the marketing environment. The goal of competitive marketing intelligence is to improve strategic decision making by understanding the consumer environment, assessing and tracking competitors’ actions, and providing early warnings of opportunities and threats. Competitive marketing intelligence The systematic collection and analysis of publicly available information about consumers, competitors, and developments in the marketing environment.
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