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Collecting Information and Forecasting Demand

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Chapter 3: Collecting Information and Forecasting Demand

  1. Components of a Modern Marketing Information System

Marketing Information System: consists of people, equipment and procedures to gather, sort, analyze, evaluate and distribute needed, timely and accurate information to marketing research

  1. Internal Records
  1. The Order-to-Payment Cycle

Orders: sales representatives, dealers and customers send orders to the firm.  

Invoices: the sales department prepares invoices, transmits copies to various departments and back-orders out-of-stock items.

Shipping and billing documents: shipped items generate shipping and billing documents that go to various departments.

  1. Sales Information Systems: important to capture data on every item for every customer, every store, every day
  2. Databases, Data Warehousing and Data Mining
  1. Customer Database
  2. Purchase Recency, Frequency and Monetary Value (RFM)
  1. Marketing Intelligence
  1. The Marketing Intelligence System

Marketing Intelligence System: a set of procedures and sources that managers use to obtain everyday information about developments in the marketing environment.

Results: internal records system supplies results data

Happenings: marketing intelligence system supplies happenings data by reading books, newspapers and trade publications; talking to customers, suppliers and distributors; monitoring social media on the Internet; and meeting with other company managers.  Must be legal and ethical.

  1. Eight Possible Actions to Improve the Quantity and Quality of its Marketing Intelligence
  1. Train and Motivate the Sales Force to Spot and Report New Developments (Using W.R. Grace materials to soundproof car.)
  2. Motivate Distributors, Retailers and Other Intermediaries to Pass along Important Intelligence (Shoppers who bought microwave popcorn also bought Coke.)
  3. Hire External Experts to Collect Intelligence (Mystery shoppers)
  4. Network Internally and Externally (Purchase competitors’ products)
  5. Set Up a Customer Advisory Panel (Online community for weight loss)
  6. Take Advantage of Government-Related Data Resources (US Census Bureau)
  7. Purchase Information from Outside Research Firms and Vendors (A.C. Nielson Company)
  1. Collecting Marketing Intelligence on the Internet
  1. Independent customer goods service review forums
  2. Distributor and sales agent feedback sites
  3. Combo sites offering customer reviews and expert opinions
  4. Customer complaint sites
  5. Public blogs
  1. Communicating and Acting on Marketing Intelligence: in some companies, the staff scans the Internet and major publications, abstracts relevant news and disseminates a news bulletin to marketing managers.  The competitive intelligence functions works best when it is closely coordinated with the decision-making process.
  1. Analyzing the Macroenvironment
  1. Needs and Trends
  1. Fad: “unpredictable, short-lived and without social, economic and political significance”; company can cash in on a fad (Crocs, Elmo TMX, Pokémon) but it requires luck and timing
  2. Trend: a direction or sequence of events with momentum and durability, a trend more predictable and durable than a fad; reveal the shape of the future and can provide strategic direction
  3. Megatrend: “large social, economic, political and technological change [that] is slow to form, and once in place, influences us for some time—between seven and ten years, or longer”
  4. Socio-cultural forecasts: used to help marketers spot cultural shirts that might bring new opportunities or threats
  1. Identifying the Major Forces
  2. The Demographic  Environment
  1. Worldwide Population Growth: 6.8 billion in 2010; estimated 9 billion in 2040; modern medicine is lowering the death rate and the birthrate is fairly stable
  2. Population Age Mix: Mexico has a very young population and rapid population growth; Italy has one of the world’s oldest populations.
  1. Preschool Children
  2. School-age children
  3. Teens
  4. Young Adults ages 20-40
  5. Middle-aged Adults ages 40-65
  6. Older Adults ages 65 and older

Cohorts: groups of individuals born during the same time period who travel through life together

  1. Ethnic and Other Markets
  1. Emulators
  2. Seekers
  3. Reachers
  4. Attainers
  5. Elites
  6. Conservers
  1. Educational Groups
  1. Illiterates
  2. High School Dropouts
  3. High School Diplomas
  4. College Degrees
  5. Professional Degrees
  1. Household Patterns
  1. Traditional household consists of husband, wife and children (sometimes grandparents); but in 2010, only 1 in 5 households will consist of a married couple with children under the age of 18 (20%)
  2. Single live-alones (27%)
  3. Single-parent families (8%)
  4. Childless married couples and empty nesters (32%)
  5. Living with nonrelatives only (5%)
  6. Other family structures (8%)
  1. The Economic Environment
  1. Consumer Psychology
  2. Income Distribution

Subsistence Economies: like Papua New Guinea, with few opportunities for marketers

Raw-Material-Exporting Economies: like Democratic Republic of Congo (copper) and Saudi Arabia (oil), with good markets for equipment, tools, supplies and luxury goods for the rich

Industrializing Economies: like India, Egypt and the Philippines, where a new rich class and a growing middle class demand new types of goods

Industrial Economies: like Western Europe, with rich markets for all sorts of goods

  1. Income, Savings, Debt and Credit
  1. The Sociocultural Environment
  • Views of ourselves:  during 1960s and 1970s, “pleasure seekers” sought fun, change and escape.  Others sought “self-realization”
  • Views of others: people are concerned with homeless, crime and victims
  • Views of organizations: organizational loyalty has declined after layoffs and corporate scandals
  • Views of society: some people defend society (preservers), run it (makers), take what they can (takers), change it (changers), looking for something deeper (seekers) or want to leave it (escapers)
  • Views of nature
  • Views of the universe
  1. High Persistence of Core Cultural Values

Core beliefs and values: passed from parents to children and reinforced by social institutions—schools, churches, businesses and governments—such as getting married, working, giving to charity and being honest



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