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Making marketing decisions in a rapidly changing world is both an art and a science. To provide context, insight and inspiration for your marketing decisions, you should have complete and up-to-date information on the macro trends as well as the specific micro-effects of your business. The marketing environment constantly presents new opportunities and threats, which is why continuous monitoring, forecasting and adaptation is very important.

A possible recession and a high rate of inflation bring about changes in consumer behaviour, as shoppers reallocate their spendings and are much more cautious before making a significant purchase.

Companies adapt the way they do business for a number of reasons; not just economic. Virtually every industry is affected by changes in the technological, demographic, social-cultural and political-legal environments.

Brands with clear and superior information can better choose their markets, develop better offers and execute a much more secure marketing plan.

Every firm should organise and distribute a continuous flow of new information. An information system consists of people and procedures to gather, sort, analyse, evaluate and distribute the necessary information in a timely manner to decision makers.

A marketing information system is a set of procedures and sources that experts use to obtain daily information about the developments in the marketing environment. You can collect information in a variety of different ways, such as: newspapers; trade publications; communication with customers, suppliers and distributors; monitoring websites and social networks online.

The collection of marketing information must be legal and ethical. Here are some possible ways you can significantly improve the quantity and quality of your marketing intelligence:

  • You train the sales force to identify and report new developments in the market.
  • You motivate distributors, retailers and other intermediaries to pass on relevant information to you.
  • You hire external experts to collect information online.
  • You create a customer advisory board. Advisory panel members may include your company’s most representative customers.
  • You take advantage of government-provided resources that can provide a detailed look at population changes, demographics, regional migration and changing family structure.
  • You purchase information from research firms and external marketing providers.

You can organise your information into customer, product and salesperson databases, and then combine the data. The customer database will contain everyone’s name, address, past transactions and sometimes even demographic and psychographic data (activities, interests and opinions). Instead of sending a mass email with a new offer to every customer in your database, you better restructure, target precisely and classify your customers according to factors such as: purchases, frequency and monetary value (RFM). Following these steps you will send the offer only to the customers with the highest score.

This way, you can cross-reference your customer information with product, online positioning and market information to get accurate insights.

Due to the explosion of sales points available in the online environment as well as the rapid evolution of technology (eg: web 3.0, metaverse), the information that can be found and analysed in the digital environment represents an indisputable competitive advantage.