Marketing information system

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A marketing information system (MkIS) is a management information system (MIS) designed to support marketing decision making. Jobber (2007) defines it as a "system in which marketing data is formally gathered, stored, analysed and distributed to managers in accordance with their informational needs on a regular basis." In addition, the online business dictionary defines Marketing Information System (MkIS) as “a system that analyzes and assesses marketing information, gathered continuously from sources inside and outside an organization.”[1] Furthermore, “an overall Marketing Information System can be defined as a set structure of procedures and methods for the regular, planned collection, analysis and presentation of information for use in making marketing decisions.” (Kotler, at al, 2006) Developing a MkIS system is becoming extremely important as the strength of economies rely on services and to better understand the specific needs of customers. Kotler, et al. (2006) defined it more broadly as "people, equipment, and procedures to gather, sort, analyze, evaluate, and distribute needed, timely, and accurate information to marketing decision makers."[2]

As our economy focuses on services, marketing is becoming extremely important to “monitor the marketing environment for changes in buyer behavior competition, technology, economic conditions, and government policies.”[3] In this sense, the role of marketing is becoming pivotal for an organization to “adapt to changes in the market environment.” (Harmon, 2003)

Furthermore, as our economy relies heavily on the acquisition of knowledge, MkIS systems are necessary to be able to define and differentiate the value proposition that one organization provides with respect to another, as well as to define their competitive advantage. (Harmon, 2003)

The main benefit of MkIS systems is to integrate market-monitoring systems with strategy development and the strategic implementation of policies and processes that help capture and act on customer management applications with marketing decision support systems. This area constitute Marketing intelligence that supports the analysis and market based activities that support customer relations and customer service with real time information with real time applications that support market based approaches.

According to Robert Harmon (2003), MkIS systems are composed on four components: (1) user interfaces, (2) applications software, (3) databases, and (4) systems support. The following is a description of each one of these components.

1. User interfaces. The essential element of the MkIS is the managers who will use the system and the interface they need to effectively analyze and use marketing information. The design of the system will depend on what type of decision managers need to make.

2. Application software. These are the programs that marketing decision makers use to collect, analyze, and manage data for the purpose of developing the information necessary for marketing decisions.

3. Database marketing. A marketing database is a system in which marketing data files are organized and stored.

4. System support. This component consists of system managers who manage and maintain the system assets including software and hardware network, monitor its activities and ensure compliance with organizational policies.

Along with these components, MkIS systems include Marketing Decision Support Systems (MDSS), which in turn rely on simple systems such as Microsoft Excel, SPSS, and on-line analytical tools that help collect data. Data compiled for analysis is stored and processed from a data warehouse, which is simply a data repository system that helps store and further process data collected internally and externally. (Harmon, 2003)


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  2. ^ Kotler, Philip; Keller, Kevin Lane (2006). Marketing Management (12 ed.). Pearson Education. 
  3. ^ Robert R. Harmon. (2003). Marketing Information Systems. Encyclopedia of Information Systems, Vol. 3. Elsevier Science (USA), 137-151.