Marketing Information System (MIS) is a system of data collection from internal and external sources. The contents of MIS are as follows:
1. Internal Records
Internal record consist of current data on sales, cost, inventories, cash flows and accounts receivable and payable. Mostly used method of internal records is the order dispatch — billing cycle. The work of this cycle starts from sales representative, dealers and customers. They send orders to the firm once the orders are received, the order department arranges the dispatch of goods and the copies of invoices are sent to the accounting department for necessary formalities to collect payments from the dealer. Thus this cycle provides a lot of data for internal records in terms of sales, inventories, amount received, etc.
2. Marketing Intelligence System
The marketing intelligence system supplies marketing manager with everyday information. Marketing intelligence can be collected by the following ways.
- Intelligence gathered by Managers – Managers collects marketing intelligence by reading books, newspapers and trade publication; talking to customers, suppliers, distributors and other managers.
- Intelligence collection by sales force – The sales force provide latest information on consumers, competition channel members and others.
- Intelligence collection by specialists – Many companies appoints specialists to gather marketing intelligence. These specialist visits stores, trade shows, exhibition, etc. They also read competitors published reports.
3. Marketing Research
Marketing managers may often conduct marketing research to solve specific problems relating to product, sales promotion, advertising, pricing competition, etc.
4. Marketing Decision Support System
Marketing decision support system is a set of statistical tools and decision models with supporting computers available to marketing managers.
The nature of marketing problems becomes complex so marketing managers requires a tool or system for analyzing market and marketing decision. A number of computer software programs help marketing managers analyse, plan, and control their operation.