International Marketing Information System

10/08/2020 0 By indiafreenotes

It is not an easy task to give a comprehensive and complete definition of international marketing information system (IMIS), which would be easily understood at the same time.

Defining difficulties arise from the complexity of the aforementioned system, interwoven elements that make up the IMIS, their entanglement and complementarity with other activities in the enterprise, as well as understanding the role and importance of the IMIS. In order to understand properly the meaning of the IMIS it is recommended to start with the etymological analysis of the IMIS concept. The compound ʺinternational marketing information systemʺ will be briefly analyzed word by word ʺsystemʺ, “informationalʺ “marketingʺ while the adjective “internationalʺ is in brief content analyzed through the entire text.

It is important to understand correctly the meaning of the word ʺsystemʺ because it is the basis for not only a IMIS, but also any other form of organization. According to Efraim Turban, Ephraim McLean, and James Wetherbe (1999, pg. 40, 41) a system is a collection of elements, such as: people, resources, concepts and procedures, intended to perform an identifiable function or serve a goal. A system is separate from its environment by a boundary. The system is inside the boundary, whereas the environment lies outside. In short, the system is determined by elements, its tasks and purpose, as well as the limits that can be very abstract. Especially interesting are the systems that collect and process various kind of information. Information system (IS) of enterprise is defined as a set of human and technical means that, with a certain organization and methodology, perform the collection, storage, processing and disseminating to the use of data and information (Lazo Roljić, 1997, pg. 23). IS can be represented graphically by the diagram as follows:

International Marketing Information System refers to the system designed for regular collection of required data related to international markets and analysis. According to Samuel V. Smith, “marketing information system is an interacting, continuing future-oriented structure of people, equipment and procedures. It is designed to generate and process an information flow to aid decision-making in a company’s marketing programme.” The marketing information system is, thus, much broader than marketing research. Marketing research, in fact forms a part of marketing information system.

The functioning of the international marketing information system

For successful operation of a IMIS is necessary to exist three sub‐systems shown in the second figure. In the following text will be briefly analyzed each of the subsystems and connections between them.

Information components: Source of the required data is the basis of the work of any of information system. All data sources, from the point of origin can be divided into external, internal and other sources.

External data are: macroeconomic indicators, data on infrastructure, as well as data on market size. Data about macro‐economic situation in individual countries, regions or globally, could be only the secondary. The most complete such information can be found in the database of: UN, World Bank, OECD Economic Indicators, Eurostat and the like, as well as on the websites of other institutions that monitor such indicators. Data on market infrastructure can also be geographically structured.

A complete picture about same market could be obtained only by visiting that market, observing it and talking with customers and business partners, looking at shopping habits and the type of retail outlets, monitoring advertisements on electronic and print media, looking at weather conditions, geographical terrain, quality of transport infrastructure and the like.

Issues in the Data Aggregation Process: IMIS could not function ideally just on the basis of data collected. There are also some technical problems, for example: quality of data collected, data entry, constantly update the content of the data collected and the like. The quality of data collected depends on the possibility to make comparisons with data collected in other countries. This problem is usually related to the existence of different data collection procedures, as well as different accounting practices between countries and regions of the world. Data are presented in units of measure that can be quantitative, qualitative and monetary indicators (e.g. goodwill). Quantitative measures generally are not a problem.

However, monetary measures are subject to strong and rapid changes due to: changes in exchange rates, price fluctuation on stock exchanges or other markets, changes in fiscal policy of the observed countries, or due to changes in the ways of their calculation. Entering data procedures define the degree of similarity and type of data to be collected to be useful for the system. There have to be defined by whom and how to enter data within the enterprise, in order to make collection procedures more successful. Also, it have to be defined how to change data presentation to make them comparable. This is particularly important for data coming from external sources. Data issued by the UN or World Bank generally do not have mentioned problems because those data usually cover the entire world, and their parameters are either global or highly standardized for certain regions or countries. The problem is with a regional or national data. These problems are reflected in different ways of: collecting, sampling, systematization, generalization of data and the like, to the language of presentation. It is necessary to ensure that the system continuously collects new data and to processes them. The processed data are synthesized, in other words those processed data are the basis for drawing conclusions. New information should be compared with previous ones and, in the case of difference, investigate the difference and inform management. The system should be constantly maintained and serviced.

Application (tasks) of IMIS:

IMIS is used in performing the following four tasks: scanning the global environment to monitor trends and pinpoint those with specific implications for the geographical areas and product markets in which the company is involved, assessing how to reallocate resources and efforts across different countries, products markets and target segments so as to achieve desired rates of growth and profitability, monitoring performance in different countries and product markets through the world, and transferring ideas and experience from different

countries and areas of the world throughout the organization.

Feedback: Even if it is not shown in the previous figure, the importance of feedback should be particularly emphasized. Through the previous analysis of IMIS it is mentioned the importance of re‐entry of data into the system. The information flow in IMIS is continuous. This is a fundamental feature of the marketing information system that ensures the quality of marketing decisions. Based on the information collected and create through the IMIS, the company affects its environment. The environment reaction creates a new situation. New data from changed environment represents a new entrance into the system. In that way a company gets a feeling about the success of implemented decisions, and the effectiveness of an IMIS, which in turn should be constantly creating new, more favorable business conditions for the company.