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Defining a Marketing Information System for B2B Marketing

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What if a commercial Management Information System was capable of supporting multi-criteria decision-making? New technology makes it possible. In a growing revolution, commercial online market research platforms are now able to support just that. In the past, an MRIS was used as a standalone system for a single purpose for a single company. Now, advanced technology can provide efficient and thorough analytics to decision-makers that can be used to make effective marketing choices.

A commercial MRIS can support any industry and multiple market research projects at a time. The projects can be run simultaneously, completed efficiently, and accomplish your needs in a cost-effective manner.

Management Information Systems (MIS) are computer-based Decision Support Systems (DSS) that are capable of elegantly analyzing business scenarios and delivering results in ways that were less-than-efficient before. MIS works to accumulate data and output business logic that will help in future marketing decisions.

In B2B, this kind of business support system can help key players better identify potentially lucrative target markets. In tracking competitors, growth industries, and profit potential, simultaneous market analyses is an obvious solution for instant, measurable, and long term business growth results.

The Challenges of B2B Marketing

One challenge presented by B2B Marketing MIS is how these multi-criteria decisions are presented. While the multi-criteria processes help to make the decisions in the first place, a common struggle is how to interpret and organize this information. This is where the design of a great MIS can come into play.

An advanced MIS offers the possibility of flexible decision-making. While marketing decisions do rely heavily on data and numbers, the key to successful marketing is the discretion of the decision-maker. By taking away some of the work of aggregating thousands of sources, decision-makers can make a clearer and faster choice about their future business strategy.

When past patterns reveal themselves, future goals become more visible. A multi-criteria DSS that can support multi-user companies is going to be the fastest way to collect the research your marketing team needs to strategize for the future.

In coordinating with a modern MIS, your team can work to analyze data-driven results with human discretion. With the two coinciding, you can identify a business growth marketing strategy that is sure to be a success.

Data-Driven Trends Can Predict the Future

A Marketing Research Information System (MRIS) acts as a database that businesses can use to study trends in their industry, analyze direct competitors, check prices, find business opportunities, and more. This type of online market research platform is meant to provide all research data and analysis tools a business could need in one convenient place. Data can be displayed through simplified charts and graphs or through detailed research reports that can bring motivation to your business environment.

An MRIS is a marketing intelligence system that is optimal for B2B marketing decision-makers since it can guide them towards growing industries and new target markets as well as help analyze those markets and competitors to form successful new marketing strategies.

A reliable MRIS can yield actionable results in the market place more quickly and effectively than manual analysis. Such decision-making assistance is a major factor in those in the B2B market where data can change rapidly and become overwhelming.

Modern technological advancements have made market research tools easier to use and more affordable, so even small and medium-sized businesses can use them for all their market research needs.

The History of MIS Systems

Since the 1960s, with the start of commercial distributed computing systems, accessibility to this technology has been a challenge. Originally, MIS systems were only available to larger budget companies and enterprises that could afford to employ an It department. In the early days of MIS, the strategy was expensive and overly thorough.

Since then, with technology evolving at the rapid rate it has, MIS Systems became affordable to smaller and medium sized businesses. A reliable MIS can make-or-break a new business--part of the difficulty of beginning a new business is not understanding the factors necessary to remain relevant and competitive within the market.

MIS Systems can help point out these trends to entrepreneurs so they have a better sense of what will work in the future. Some of the data that is helpful to these projections include records of past sales, relevant customer relationship reports, inventories, and receivable-payable information. An MIS can sort through these sources and keep decision-makers informed about past and potential development activities.

Data Collection and Research

Primary research is marketing information that is found first-hand by your own team and can be performed through customer outreach, surveys, direct observations, or any other original research your business conducts.

Product development is a great example of primary research, and B2B product development is often considered particularly challenging. It's also useful to explore topics that have little usable data available. With a reliable MRIS, you'll have a convenient place to store all the primary data you gather and use it for developing new market strategies.

Secondary research is where an MRIS data collection system really shines. Secondary research is all the data you collect from outside sources regarding consumer behavior such as search engines, websites, market reports, etc. Secondary research can also be obtained through commercial sources. It's the more common variety of market research since the primary sources have already done most of the hard work. It's also less expensive and generally less time-consuming.

Secondary market research is great for things like SWOT analysis. This stands for "strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats," and it's recommended for businesses to perform a SWOT analysis before any new activities, such as expanding your target market or creating new products.

Secondary research can also be used to perform a competitive analysis. This is where your team gathers information about your competitors based on external sources and compares it to what your business offers to determine your specific strengths and weaknesses compared to each of them. A full competitive analysis will go far beyond checking products offered by competitors or the layout of their website. A full analysis will provide insight into the data category of competitor sales reports, marketing strategies, and current plans such as expansion or scale backs.

An MRIS makes the potentially daunting task of organizing secondary data on a regular basis much easier, and it can help a decision-maker pinpoint gaps in the current market or discover trends.

Business processes for conducting market research can be divided into three categories, exploratory, descriptive, and causal.

Exploratory Research

The exploratory stage serves as the starting point for a research project. It defines the point of interest that will be pursued, and a draft of the plans that will be taken in that pursuit.

Descriptive Research

This stage begins to more specifically outline research topics, and uses those topics to develop an actionable marketing strategy. Descriptive research narrows down the broadness of the exploratory stage, and creates a more set checklist of research to cover.

Causal Research

As is implied in its name, causal research addresses cause-and-effect variables that may arise in later stages of the research process. This type of research is hyper-specific and usually takes place onsite, meaning in a lab, on the field, or in a testing environment.

How to Use Market Research

Once you’ve collected your research, determining a plan of action can be overwhelming. There are many ways to use your new volume of data for market growth, but time constraints and budget are the primary issues that stop most companies from investing to its fullest potential.

Commercial MRIS eliminates both of these constraints. The collaboration involved in data-collecting becomes less elaborate, so marketing professionals are freed up to act on research results rather than having to perform all the research themselves. This can lead to streamlined marketing decisions that are based on accurate information.

Major players of B2B companies are likely to make the best use of market research in their forecast period by projecting market trends, or at least recognizing them early, to get a jump on their competitors. The process will add heat to product launches as well as the retail day-to-day.

Marketing managers can also use the system's databases to find names of potential markets to make up new lists of leads for distributors. Finally, B2B companies can use an MRIS to get a better idea of their own buying and selling power in relation to the growth of the market and secure better deals.

In short, MIS with multi-criteria capabilities can streamline your research and data collecting processes so you can make more informed decisions about target audiences and potential growth in the future.

Content provided by Scholarship Media.