Change can affect any business at any time. Therefore, it is crucial for you to maintain an effective Marketing Information system that will allow you to keep control during periods of instability.
The piece of kit that you need in your Marketing toolbox is a Marketing Information System (MKIS). And, during any period of instability, your business must be equipped to be ready to change.
How to respond during instability
Dr. Paul Fyfield cites the Marketing theorist Henry Mintzberg as making a distinction between ’managing strategy’, which he considers is managing stability rather than change, and ‘crafting strategy’ by blending deliberate and emergent strategies together. This delivers the right balance between control and flexibility in the organisation. (Fyfield, Marketing Strategy p.253).
I have introduced Mintzberg’s approach to you before at Easter 2018. You can Dive into that topic here, or find it anytime on my website blog It remains fundamental to the success of your business that you have a strategy to guide you towards your goal. However, you must also have a system in place that can alert you to the need to adapt.
Introduction to a Marketing Information System
A Marketing Information System prepares you to be ready for change. It is a database of customer information that enables you to make better marketing decisions in a dynamic market. You will be ready for change when it happens if you collect the right information systematically. You can design your system to suit your preferences including, for example, lists or spreadsheets for your data collection I suggest Emma Langridge’s approach to checklists to remind you to do these tasks regularly.
I was reminded of this topic by the first mowing of a lawn in Spring. Lawn-care is an unexciting part of garden maintenance. Nevertheless, it makes a huge difference in the summer if the lawn is weed-free and well-conditioned. Maintenance tasks must be completed all year round to deliver the goal of a beautiful garden in summer.
8 indicators to track closely in your Marketing Information System to keep you ready for change
I recommend that you should routinely record customer insight data such as:
Which clients settle bills early or late.
Which clients always need a discount?
3. Brand Advocates:
Which clients recommend you to new clients.
Who shows loyalty to your brand?
Who are one-off buyers and who are repeat buyers?
6. Complex demographic data:
You can collect additional data that describes your customers. such as generational/lifestyle information.
price paid and how this compares to the market average.
8. Weight-of purchase:
Categorise your buyers according to the quantity of your product that they buy. Are they heavy, medium or light buyers?
Access to this information will help you to assess your business’ strengths and weaknesses and how your customer- base might react to prevailing market changes, For example, the threat of an economic downturn will most likely affect the needs of discount-seeking clients most.
Check your customer insight measures against your expectations and regularly take note of any variations that might require you to take action. If you keep on top of your business’ maintenance tasks with an efficient Marketing Information System your business will look at its best and flourish all year.