As businesses and organizations continue to operate in an increasingly competitive and global marketplace, workers in all business areas must have enough knowledge and aware to the growing of information systems and technology to make the significant contributions required for success. We as young the young generation will be expected to discover opportunities to use information and to participate in the design of solutions to business problems and to utilize it even further to create business opportunity employing information systems. To be successful, we should be able to view information systems from the perspective of business and organizational needs. The proposed conceptual framework might help the young managers to utilize data collection and the use of internet to analyze the chance to be in the business matching field as a new business opportunity.
It is an undeniable fact that we are now living in the era where surviving itself is not easy, but we are expected to be successful instead. To survive in a competition we need to have enough knowledge, skill, information, and competitive advantages. But to be successful, we should also be able to see opportunities. Not only those who want to start up a new business, but also those managers or leaders who want to expand their company’s business coverage. Seeing from the perspective of starting a new business, or increasing sales, developing services, and expanding the existing business, marketing information system is one of the management instrument that could be seen as the support for decision making and further can also be utilized to create business opportunity.
Planning, promoting, and selling goods and/ or services to satisfy the needs of the customers and the objectives of the organization are the main purpose and activities of marketing. While marketing information system is defined as a structure consist of people, equipment and procedures designed to gather, sort, analyze, evaluate and distribute needed, timely and accurate information to marketing decision makers. It begins and end with information users- marketing managers, internal external partners, and others who need marketing information. There are several people who gave different definition of marketing information system, some of those are James A.(1998), who defined marketing information system as ‘A structured, interacting complex of persons, machines and procedures designed to generate an orderly flow of pertinent information collected from both intra and extra-firm sources for use as the bases for decision making’. Another person who gave interesting definition were Armstrong and Kotler (2007), they defined marketing information system as an efficient tool providing past, present and projected information relating to internal operations and external intelligence. It supports the planning, control, and operational function in an organization by furnishing uniform information in the proper time frame to assist the decision maker. Different people might have their different definition, but from several definition above, we may come to a conclusion that in this era, marketing information system have the main purpose and activities of balancing the information users would like to have, against what they really need and what is feasible to offer.
Most of the concept and understanding of marketing information system will go to the purpose of supporting decision making. There was an interesting comment about information system that has become the basic idea of this conceptual study. It was Appelgate et al. (1988), who commented that earlier generations of managers tended to ‘adopt technology first and then try to figure out what to do with it’; they add, ‘that approach is now grossly inadequate’. The comment might be applicable today, as the intensity of competition , both present and in the future is likely encouraging senior management to replicate the IT interventions of leading MKIS companies. ‘Matching information technology to the organization in terms of its ability to shape the organization is central to success’. The comment regarding the information system has become the idea why this is the right time to utilize information system as a marketing tool. And the statement about matching information technology has become the key to relate the use of information system as a marketing tool, and also that the matching information technology not only can be utilized as decision making support, but the matching concept istelf can be seen as a business opportunity. Part of that matching process rests with understanding the value of the collection, application and management of marketing information generated by information technology applications such as data base marketing.
1.1. Marketing Information System (MkIS)
Marketing information system will give balance between the necessities of information and information technology (Zagora, 2004). It has been decades since compute-based information systems have been talked about, proposed, designed, and implemented by many companies over the last two decades (Schewe, 1974).
1.2. Problem Statement
It has been noted that internet – based marketing has remained as an interesting topic for a long period of time (Lai & Li, 2004 ; Abeka, 2012). The role of marketing information system has successfully accepted to enable marketing and sales managers to indentify, interpret, and react to competition (Abeka, 2012). The purpose of this conceptual study is to see not from a perspective of being only a user of marketing information system. But to see it from the perspective of creating a possible business opportunity, by developing the structure consist of people, equipment and procedures designed to gather, sort, analyze, evaluate and distribute needed, timely and accurate information. It is basically a business matching field, which will maximize the information needed by data collecting, provide present and future service for both businesses and users (which can be personal users or companies) at exhibitions as the main medium or packaging.
2. Conceptual Framework Development
This part of the conceptual paper will highlight and elaborate each aspects of using components of marketing information system will lead to the visible business opportunity.
2.1. Data Collection / Input
The input system collects data from the internal and external environment. The incoming data from the internal environment such as point-of-sale information, inventory warehouse reports, purchase,shipment and sales orders are stored in the database (Chandra S. Amaravadi, Subhanish Samaddar, and Siddharta Dutta). Because data collection manual and conventional method for large multinational companies is impossible they fill the vacuum with information systems (Farshad Hosami, Kaveh Tahvildari, Mehrdad Moradi, Ahmadreza Taheri, Alireza Hosseini, Nader Khodadadi Lazar Jan, 2013). Data collection / input is the part to collect data from internal and external environment with an information system, in order to simplify the job of companies, especially those multinational companies which are unlikely will be able to do the manual data collection.
2.1.1. Assessing Information Needs
Familiar Director of Information should be verified and check accuracy before using. Familiarity with information, is leading to the use of information in solving problems. Information science is beyond computer science and using generates information by computers (Gilani Nia, 2012).
Companies should consider cost of information and relationship that companies should have with together (Houston, 1986).
Related to creating business opportunity by maximizing the use of marketing information system, this assessing information needs will be the step how to get the verified and accurate information needed, that will be processed by personnel which are familiar with the information and the systems, with a wise consideration of cost efficiency, leading to what opportunities are visible to work on an exhibition.
The data from sources like the customer base, competitors, and the marketing environment in general are stored to organizational Transaction Processing System (TPS). It may also be stored directly to operational Marketing Information System (Tanyeri & Yesilada). Data received from the external environment, such as industry reports, news research reports, news about competition, stock markets, government policies,etc.,through online databases are screened through a filter and electronically sent to the appropriate personnel (Chandra S. Amaravadi, Subhanish Samaddar, and Siddharta Dutta).
Many companies build extensive internal data base, electronic collections of consumers and market information obtained from data source within the company network. Marketing managers can readily access and work with information in the data base to identify marketing opportunities and problems, plan programs, and evaluate performance (Kotler and Armstrong, 2008).
2.2. Developing Information
The information needed in the data collection process of marketing information systems are recurrent information, monitoring information, and requested information. The method is usually by distributing questionnaires to facilitate comparisons (San, Ming, and Chia, 1995). So all the information and data obtained from the data collection step will be processed and developed in the main process of marketing information system, which are generated by these consecutive steps;
2.2.1. Internal Records
The data collected in the form of database about the daily operations of the companies that produce medicines (under study), and includes the necessary data records to obtain information regarding the scale of activity and the current performance in sales, cost, inventory and cash flow…. etc (Dr. Sultan ‘Mohammadsaid’ Sultan Freihat, 2012).
Internal data bases usually can be accessed more quickly and cheaply than other information sources (Pride and Ferrell, 2006 ; Dr. Shaker Turki Ismail,2011).
2.2.2. Marketing Intelligence
The intellegent system consist of a knowledge base and an interference engine. The knowledge base contains facts and knowledge about the firm’s goals and strategies (Chandra S. Amaravadi, Subhanish Samaddar, and Siddharta Dutta).
Marketing intelligent system is the group of procedures or sources ulitized by the managing directors to obtain information on the pertinent developments about the environment (Burns & Bush,1995 ; Kotler,2003 ; Niria M.Goni).
2.2.3. Marketing Research
Marketing research is the process of collecting and analyzing of data for the purposes of identifying and resolving problems related to companies marketing services and marketing opportunities, it’s a planned and managed activity on a scientific basis to ensure efficiency in dealing with those problems and opportunities (Dr. Sultan ‘Mohammadsaid’ Sultan Freihat, 2012).
The marketing research system (MRS) gathers information that is not generated by other marketing information systems ; the system consists of studies purposely designed to meet the needs of the organization ; they have a beginning and an end, and they are translated into a research report (Burns & Bush, 1995 ; Kotler,2003 ; Niria M.Goni).
2.2.4. Decision Support
The marketing decision making support system (MMDSS) deals with the data collection, tools, and coordinated techniques,with supporting hardware and software, through which an organization gathers and interprets relevant information for the business and environment and thus becomes the basis for action taken on marketing decision (Little, 1979 ; Niria M. Goni).
The concepts involved in DSS were first expressed in the early 1970s by Scott Morton under the term management decision systems. He defined the system as ‘interactive computer-based systems, which help decision makers utilize data and models to solve unstructured problems’ (Cassie, 1997 ; Bahloul, 2013).
2.3. Market Analysis and Interpretation
In order to make related data collected to be useful for the business, the data should be then analyzed. The techniques of analysis vary and the effectiveness of the analysis techniques depends on the types of information collected and the type of measurement that are being used. Because they are dependent on the data collection, analysis techniques should be decided before going to the next steps (Smith & Albaum , 2012). Companies and managers should be wise enough to decide the techniques of market analysis and to interpret the analyzed data to become a decision.
2.3.1. Network Analysis
Networking means means the activity of the company to have members, referred to as actors, and their relationships. Actors within a network are distinct individuals (e.g., peers within a social group) or collective units (e.g., organisations within a specific industry). Relational ties will give the link between the members of the network (Webster & Morrison, 2004). The most important thing about network analysis is to focus on understanding how structural properties of a network affect the consumer behaviour (Wellman1983 ; Webster & Morission, 2004). Thus, in concern to create business opportunity with marketing information system as a medium, this network analysis is a crucial part because as for companies who are selling products they need brand awareness, business matching companies need network and the consumer awareness about their service to build the service trust and also to attract more consumer.
2.3.2. Visible Opportunities
To investigate structural issues such as whether decentralised or centralised networks promote trust among network members, or how influential are reference groups within the other networks and many others, information on the inter-relationships among network members is required (Webster & Morrison, 2004). Because the visible opportunity, in this case more like finding the right exhibition theme on the right time also need to be decided after a sufficient marketing research and intelligence.
2.4. Business Matching
There are types of business that are Business to Business, Business to Consumer, and even Consumer to Consumer, but the focus of marketing stays around the relationship among them. It is about creating a good relationship with supplier and customers, coordinating cross-functional links within and organization, knowing how are the position of of competitors among the industry, and also understanding the time and degree of consumer’s usage and desire (Webster & Morrison, 2004). Thus, the background of the business matching field is the believe that business owners and manager should have a global mindset, of position of connector. It is about the quality relationship-building. The purpose is with business matching, business will meet serious buyers, as well as qualified suppliers, and credible partners. The main activity of the business is developing a system and team that deliver service for successful business transactions.
2.4.1. Distributing Information
In this step the business matching player will discover user’s true needs through observations and interactions with users and clients. And will distribute the information to their customers which are businesses. Closely related to the step of data collection and developing information, in this step the questionnaires will be pretested twice in order to know and recheck the format and wording. The final questionnaire will be sent to all executives (San, Ming, and Chia, 1995). Companies will have to develope, executed and are continuously fine-tuning the business matching solutions. The aim of the business matching is looking for the next level of perfection in service and online platform.
2.4.2. Business to Business (B2B)
Business-to-business marketing or business marketing (a.k.a. industrial marketing) is a broader concept which encompasses the marketing of business experiences, ideas, services, products and any combination of such offerings as well as reseller phenomena with domestic and/or global perspectives. Business to business marketing occur with all transactions, exchanges and relationships between any dyad involving organizations, institutions or resellers and, within / among social networks. Individuals are included only when not personally motivated (acting on behalf of organizational buying needs as opposed to those needs of households).
2.4.3. Business to Consumer (B2C)
Busines-to-consumer marketing is basically businesses sell products and services to consumers for household or personal use. This is the part where business matching help the users to find suitable products / services based on their needs.
2.5. Business Opportunity
Based on the analysis , marketing information collection vehicles were grouped under four names, those are Communicative Information Collection Vehicles (Data Collection), Information Outsourcing Vehicles (Developing Information), Research Data Collection Vehicles (Marketing Research & Intellegence), and Exhibitions and Fairs (Yuksekokulu, 2013). Not many organizations have realized the need to engage a business matching service for exhibitions. The matchmaker introduced their products to the potential customers and also recommended the user to meet sales person at the booths. These customers will come to booths with serious interest.
2.5.2. Direct Mail Marketing
The key component of the advertising media mix is direct marketing. Direct marketing is a wide range marketing service to achieve communication goals that will be useful to create brand awareness and generate response from customers (Briggs, Krishnan, & Borin, 2005 ; Naik & Peters, 2009 ; Feld, Frenzen, Krafft, & Peters, 2012). One of the considered key success factors in direct marketing is direct mail marketing. By catching attention in the mailbox, firms will be able to improve the design of their direct mail (Feld, Frenzen, Krafft, & Peters, 2012). A textbook has claimed, that the creative elements and design characteristic of direct mail contributes a lot to the overall success (Roberts & Berger, 1999, p. 7; Stone & Jacobs, 2008, p. 6 ; Feld, Frenzen, Krafft, & Peters, 2012)
2.5.3. Exhibition Feedback
This step is one of the vehicles of marketing information system and still related to the survival of the business. This feedback will find out more about the response of business service, the response about the exhibition, the response about products and consumer satisfaction, and also the consumer desires. Because, in the global marketplace, it is not only about how well companies use technology that will define the company’s success, but it also on how well companies can gather, manage, and utilize pertinent information and integrated them in the most appropriate way (San, Ming,and Chia, 1995). This is why it is said that measuring your exhibition results is not just important, but essential.
3. Conceptual Framework
This study starts with the consecutive steps of data collection which includes data gathering process and the database used, that will go to the use of the internet as the source and media to obtain prospective market and customers, and the step of analyzing the market condition to see the current market demand, criteria and the visible opportunities. Those three steps will help managers to have enough knowledge to be in the business matching field. This business matching field will be the dependent variable needed that lead to a visible business opportunity. And the framework also shows how the aspects elaborated under the business opportunity will be needed for the whole process of the sequence in the future.
1. Business size, business type, and service awareness are the major determinants of the awareness of utilizing marketing information system (MkIS).
2. Business size, business type, and service awareness are the major determinants of the awareness of hiring and trusting business matching.
3. Education level play a significant role of the marketing information system (MkIS) utiliziation.
4. Practical Implication
The severe competition both in domestic and international markets has resulted to the need for change in the organization’s structures and operations (Tanyeri & Yesilada). Under the pressure of competition, heath care organizations are searching for concepts and tools to handle their service and both internal and external systems (Tanyeri & Yesilada). An expert on innovations has reached the conclusion that the tough competition, globalization of production and markets, and also the implementation of new technologies mean that effectiveness and intensity of innovation activities are determinats of the success of the business (Zizlavsky, 2012).
5. Conclusion and Further Recommendation
Innovation is the key success of the entering point and the survival of businesses. Utilizing marketing information system not only for decision support, but also as a business opportunity is one of the innovation of business related to information technology.
This conceptual study has some limitation, especially because there are hardly some previous research about the existence and the prospect of business matching in concern to marketing information systems (MkIS). Further study and research about marketing information system related to the business matching field are needed.
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