The variance analysis examines the reasons for overages of costs and underages of costs; (Harmon, 2003) (6) Sales analysis -- this is used to examine the distribution of a firm's "sales by region, product, brand, sales territory as well as other matters. (Harmon, 2003) (7) Sales Forecasting -- this is utilized for developing estimates of sales according to product, region, sales territory and other such information. (Harmon, 2003, p. 7) (8) Sales force productivity -- This is utilized in conducting an assessment of the sales force of the organization. (9) Advertising analysis -- this is a method utilized for advertising "effectiveness, media choices and brand awareness." (Harmon, 2003, p. 8) (10) Distribution -- This tool is used for conducting an analysis of channel decisions "from economic and strategies perspectives. (11) Simulation. Simulates decision making under various strategic scenarios. (12) Satisfaction of Customers -- This tool analyzes the issues of the expectations of customer as compared to with outcomes of the product. (Harmon, 2003, p. 8)

Data mining techniques are reported to include such as the following: (1) Market Basket Analysis; (2) cluster analysis; (3) decision trees; (4) Query Tools; (5) Neutral Networks. (Harmon, 2003, p. 9) Online Analytic Processing (OLAP) is reported to be a type of analysis tools and tools that can be used to generate reports from large databases. These tools enable the reporting of data that is "partially aggregated…or full reports" and allows these to be stored in a format that is multidimensional and easy to access and analyze. Geographic Information Marketing Applications are reported to include the following stated applications: (1) Customer location -- linking customer behavioral data from the master files, subscription lists, support and warranty claims, transactions history and identity with time and location information. This is powerful information used in mapping and predicting consumer behavior." (Harmon, 2003, p. 10) (2) Geographic market information -- this can be used to link physical maps and marketing data using classification of country, city, ZIP code or Census tract; (3) Marketing activity location -- this links POS transactions, distribution patterns; direct response results; sales forecasts, advertising expense and other information to geographic location; (4) business location -- this labels business facilities on a map that enables a display of retail density, population density, buying power, and media coverage; (5) Marketing resource location -- this links the assets moving to the physical location using GPS from automobiles, trucks, aircraft and wireless devices. (Harmon, 2003, p. 10) Customer management systems are reported to include 'Sales Force Automation' which is a customer management tools used and reported as "one of the fastest growing elements of the Marketing Information System. The Sales Force Automation tools are integrated applications with the CRM system and involves "the application on information technology to the sales function…to the activities leading to a sale." (Harmon, 2003, p. 11) The field sales process is comprised by various steps leading to a sale and the Marketing Information System supports this process through generating leads, processing sales management and account management. (Harmon, 2003, p. 11) CRM applications are reported to include the following:

1. E-commerce support

2. Sales force automation

3. Telesales and call center automation

4. Direct mail and catalog sales

5. Email and e-newsletter response

6. Web sales and personalization

7. Analysis of Web generated data

8. Traditional customer support and service

9. Online support and customer service

10. Mobile support through laptops, handheld devices.

11. Training (Harmon, 2003, p. 12)

Summary and Conclusion

The Marketing Information System is a system that enables the organization to optimize all aspects of marketing and enables reporting on many levels so that the organization can analyze its marketing and sales process and ultimately make the process more effective over time. The various tools that the Marketing Information System makes available increase the efficiency of the organization and the organization's success.


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