Technology has provided important tools for every market manager. Resources like the Internet, customer relationship management (CRM) applications, and databases give marketing managers unprecedented access to collected information. The best part about this information is that it is either freely available or collected from the companies own operations. These tools come together to form the company’s marketing information system (Perreault, Cannon, & McCarthy, 2008).
The Internet benefits marketing managers in many ways. The interlinking of computer networks means that marketing information is available quickly and from virtually any location. Savvy marketing managers can also leverage the Internet to reach customers quickly and cost-effectively. Tools like online surveys and email campaigns can replace much of the work done by in-store surveys and mass mailings. Finally, the Internet and the World Wide Web provide a nearly inexhaustable resource of information for anyone engaging in market research (Perreault et al., 2008).
Generally, CRM applications are deployed to help sales people succeed. This same application can be utilized by marketing managers to harvest a gold mine of information regarding current customers and prospects. The typical CRM will contain information about large customers rather than individual retail buyers. Since large customers are often direct buyers, marketing managers can take the information found within the CRM and mold the marketing mix to best influence this market segment (Perreault et al., 2008).
Finally, databases are the more generic tools that contains many kinds of information relevant to marketing. There are databases available that contain information gathered by third-party sources. The information gathered by a company’s own market research will be stored in a database for later manipulation and analysis. As the company ages and more information is gathered about the market, databases become more expansive and provide better results (Perreault et al., 2008).
Modern marketing managers have a wealth of information at their fingertips. Data that once required months of meticulous market research can now be found with little effort. Once a company decides to engage in market research, it can rest assured knowing that the money spent on the research will bear fruit for years to come.
Perreault, Jr., W. D., Cannon, J. P., & McCarthy, E. J. (2008). Essentials of marketing: A marketing strategy planning approach, 11th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin.