The Use of MIS as a Tool of Gathering Information and Making Decisions for FMCG Sector

Table of Content

In this paper, all aspects of Marketing Information System as a tool of gathering information and making decisions is explained. The effort on understanding how marketing managers gain insights into consumers and marketplace is included.

The topic is divided under six main parts in order to be analyzed. 1. 2. Marketing Information and Customer Insights In today’s world, companies must keep up with the speed of changing market environment and conditions, adapt their decision making processes quickly. The most important factor to help is information that is provided by information technology systems (Kubiak & Kowalik, 2010, pp. 2-3) Understanding the customer and collecting fresh information about the market is the key to creating value for customers. As a result, competitive advantage is gained, customer loyalty is increased and stronger relationships are established.

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Even though customer insights are acknowledged to be crucially important to customer value and strong relationships, they are not easy to attain. Customer buying decisions and needs can often be tricky. Costumers themselves may not be able to express their needs or desires. Smart and effective management of marketing information which is received from a wide range of sources is necessary. According to Sisodia, developing a formal marketing information system is what makes service marketers benefit from information technology the most effective way.

Significant results will show by using such a system in all aspects of service firm’s business. These results can be both seen when obtaining new customers or keeping the existing ones and creating customer loyalty. In order to have a successful future, companies, especially global ones, should integrate such expert and formal systems into their marketing strategies (1992, pp. 51-63). Especially with the help of recent information technology growth, obtaining marketing information from various sources is becoming easier and easier.

Moreover, customers are offering tremendous amount of marketing insight from different channels (e. g. social networking, blogs, forums etc. ). This situtation may cause data overload for some companies and become overwhelming. However, good information is more desirable rather than more information. It is the quality and usefulness of information that is valuable to marketers. The main key to marketing research and information is the understanding and usage of them in order to transform into a baseline for superior customer value and strong relationships.

This key is defined as customer insights. Obtaining current and true customer insights can be done through an effective marketing information system design which gives the information to managers at the right time and in the right mode. A marketing information system includes individuals and processes that evaluate the information needs, bring out the needed information, and help the ones who make decisions in purpose of using this information to form and confirm actionable customer and market insights. [pic] Firstly, MIS collaborates with the information users to evaluate the needs.

Then, the marketing environment is contacted through internal company databases, marketing intelligence actions, and marketing research in order to bring out the needed information. Finally, users are guided and provided help by MIS to analyze and use this information, which later develops customer insights, manage customer relationships, and decision making. Sisodia also states, benefits of a system are related to how well it is designed to serve purposes and capabilities of its users. The implementation of such system is a complex and gradual formation.

Managers and marketers must be well prepared for the difficulties of needed investment in quantitative terms and financial managers’ resistance for such expense. Companies which depend on information systems are open to security problems. Even though this issue has not been paid attention to before, it is now being noticed and researches about solving this problem are being worked on (1992, pp. 51-63). The big picture should not be overlooked during anticipation of system benefits. The system’s primary goal is superior value delivery and overall customer welfare.

Any factor other than delivering superior value is essentially detail. Knowledge equals value, so as a result companies who have deep knowledge about their customers, competitors and operations will succeed in this era. The advantages of such system will go beyond its cost of receiving full dimensioned knowledge and handling capabilities in terms of marketing operation, management and strategy. Strategic advantage still comes from a superior product but the company existence is dependent on the service productivity and effectiveness which can be achieved by a well-integrated marketing information system.

E. Alan and Ewa M. Buttery argue, even though the marketing information system is regarded highly by the studies, such systems have not been adopted as much by the marketers mostly because of their design. Solutions to marketing problems can only work if completely understood how and why they work. Analysis of current systems and updates can be proceeded only after such understanding. Furthermore, benefit will come from measuring the strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities of parallel systems (1991, pp. 26 – 39). 1. 3. Assessing Marketing Information Needs

The marketing information system is used first from firm’s marketing managers and the other managers. On the other hand it can be used by the external partners like suppliers, resellers or marketing service agencies. A good MIS should equalize the information that managers would like to have and what they really need and what is possible to propose. It shouldn’t forget that too much information can be destructive too. Sometimes managers can skip some information that actually they should know or they can’t know to they should have them.

The MIS should track the marketing environment and provide information to managers so managers can understand customers better and make important decisions easier. However MIS have limitations too. Sometimes MIS cannot provide managers the necessary information. Information can be not accessible. Lastly, MIS has a cost. The company have to decide about it is worth or not and because of that have a MIS. 1. 4. Developing Marketing Information Marketers can get necessary information from several sources. These are internal data, marketing intelligence and marketing research. 1. 4. 1. Internal Data

Most of the companies have internal databases about their consumer’s and market’s information. Marketing managers able to work with these information and recognize potential opportunities and problems. Internal data can give us a great competitive advantage Information in the database can come from several sources. Piecing together all this information give us great customer insights and competitive advantage. A company can reach internal data easier and cheaply than other information sources. However it shouldn’t forget that actually these data are collecting for other objectives so information can be incomplete. 1. 4. . Competitive Marketing Intelligence A company should collect systematically publicly available information and analyse them. We are calling this competitive marketing intelligence. This information can be about consumers, competitors or marketplace. Competitive marketing intelligence develop our strategic decision making skill. Nowadays more and more companies are using competitive marketing intelligence. For using competitive marketing intelligence companies can use a lot of techniques like monitoring internet or quizzing their own employees etc. Marketing intelligence provide us to gain insights about the customers.

Today a lot of companies are monitor consumer’s online profiles and social media definitely makes this easier for us. Besides consumers, companies should monitor competitor’s actions so firms want to gain early signals about their competitors’ moves, strategies, new products and their strengths and weaknesses. Today’s internet has become a perfect source for competitive intelligence. With internet search engines marketers can search their competitors and competitors’ events or trends. We shouldn’t forget that competitive intelligence can go both way. As a result, a lot of companies are selecting to protect their information.

Growing use of competitive intelligence brings some ethical issues too. 1. 5. Marketing Research Marketing research is the systematic design, collection, analys? s, and reporting of data relevant to a specific marketing situation. Marketing research provides marketers to be aware of customer motivations, purchase behavior, and satisfaction. It also provides measuring the effectiveness of pricing, product, distribution, and promotion activities. The marketing research includes four steps: Defining the problem and research objectives, implementing the research plan, developing the research plan, and interpreting and reporting the findings. . 5. 1. Defining the Problem and Research Objectives Marketing managers and researches must work closely and agree on research objectives. Managers make decision for which information should be research and researches knows how to obtain specific information. After the problem has been defined carefully, the manager and the researcher must set the research objectives. A marketing research might have one of three types of objectives. Exploratory research is to gather preliminary information that will help define problems and suggest hypotheses.

Descriptive research is to describe things like marketing potential or attitudes of consumers. Casual research is testing cause-and-effect relationships. 1. 5. 2. Developing the Research Plan Researchers must determine the exact information needed and make a plan for gathering it efficiently. The proposed research might call for the following specific information: • The demogrraphic, economic, and lifestyle characteristics of current customers. • What do customers need and expect, Where do they buy, when and how do they use them? • Retailer reactions to the proposed new product line: Would they stock and support it?

Where would they display it? The research plan should be presented in a written proposal. It should cover the management problems addressed, the research, the information to be obtaine, and how the results will help management decision making. The proposal also should include estimated research costs. To meet the manager’s information needs, the researchplan can call for gathering secondary, primary data. Or both. Secondary data consist of information that already exists somewhere, having been collectedfor another purpose. Primary data consists on information collected for the specific purpose at hand. . 5. 3. Gathering Secondary Data Majority of researches start by gathering secondary data. The company’s internal database provides a good starting point. Other bussiness data, government data and commercial services are the basic external sources for secondary data. 1. 5. 4. Primary Data Collection Secondary data provide a good starting but generally it is not enough for gathering specific information. On the other hand the secondary data may not be current or completely relevant. So researches use primary data collection ofter gathering secondary data. 1. 5. 4. . Research Approaches Research approaches for gathering primary data includes observation, survey, and experiments. Observational research involves gathering primary data by observing relevant people, actions and situations. Researches prefer this approach to understand exact insight of customer which they can not provide by asking only questions. Marketers observing how consumers are behaving, thinking, purchasing and what they are talking about product or service. Also observational research can obtain information that people are unwilling or unable to provide.

Ethnographic research is a form of observational research that involves sending trained observes to watch and interest with consumers in their “natural enmironments”. Another approach that is the most commonly used method for primary data collection is survey research. It is used by the companies that want to know about people’s knowledge, attitudes, preferences, or buying behavior. Major problems of survey research are people’s lack of knowledge about the questions, not remembering their experiments and think of that the subject is so private to give an answer. Experiment research is best suited approach for gathering causal information.

It involves gathering primary data by selecting matched groups of subjects, giving them different treatments, controlling related factors, and checking for differences in group responses. 1. 5. 4. 2. Contact Methods Information can be collected by mail, telephone, and personal interviewing. Mail questionnaires provide to collect large amount of information at a low cost. But it is not flexible and takes time for collection data. Telephone interviewing is one of the best methods for gathering information quickly, and it provides greater flexibility than mail questionnaires.

Interviewers can explain the questions quickly which customers doesn’t understand and can be effective by using communication skills. On the other hand, telephone interviewing is more costly than mail or online questionnaire. Personal interviewing takes teo forms: individual interviewing and group interviewing. 1. 5. 4. 3. Sampling Plan A sample is a segment of the population selected for marketing researchto representthe population as a whole. Ideally, selected sample should be representative so that the researches can make accurate estimates of the thoughts and behaviors of the larger population.

Three basic questions while selecting sample are who is to be studied, how many people should be included, and how should the people in the sample be chosen? 1. 5. 4. 4. Research Instruments There are two main instruments in collecting primary data; the questionnaire and mechanical devices. Questionnaires can be made by mail, telephone, online or face to face. There are many ways to ask questions. Closed -end questions include all the possible answers, and subjects make choices among them. Open-end questions allow respondents to answer in their own words.

Although questionnaires are the most common research instrument, researches also use mechanical instruments to monitor consumer behavior. Nielsen Media Research attachespeople meters to television sets, cable boxes, and satellitesystems in selected homes to record who watches which program. There are different mechanical instruments to measure customer prefers and behaviors. 1. 5. 5. Implementing the Research Plan The researchers next put the marketing researc plan into action. This involves collecting, processing, and analyzing the information. Data collection can be carried out by the company’s marketing research staff or outside firms.

Researchers should watch closely to make sure that the plan is implemented correctly. They must guard against problems with interacting with respondents, with the quality of participants’ response, and with interviewers who make mistakes or take shortcuts. 1. 6. Analyzing and Using Marketing Information Marketing decision makers needs have deep information about internal situation, competitors’ current and next situation and market; however, having those data does not mean that they have enough knowledge in order to make right decisions. All of the collected data need to be analyzed by experts (decision makers).

Customer insights and market data should be collected in a useful format otherwise they do not mean something logical. After data collected in right format, they need to be consolidated for an aim. If there is a data set that is ordered for a specific aim, decision maker can easily process and analyze those data for reaching a logical consequence which is generally creates base for a related decisions. Collecting data in an appropriate way and analyzing data for reaching sensible results is possible with involving analytical models and statistical analysis.

Marketing information system involves all these important issues and process data for finding optimal decisions. 1. 6. 1. Customer Relationship Management Companies, usually stays in the middle of market information pool; likewise a boat floating in the middle of the ocean. Smart ones captures data from every possible touch points between customer and company such as: customer purchases, sales force contacts, customer call centers, web site visits, surveys, market researches… Information that captured from every possible touch point is generally dispersed across the organization because of different departments’ separate databases.

This is a big problem for marketing management. So, in order to avoid such problems companies started to use CRM (customer relationship management) in 2000s. CRM helps to manage customer touch points and needed information to maximize customer loyalty. CRM means: subtle software and analytical tools combined together for the purpose of analyzing customer information in depth and process them for reaching stronger customer relations. CRM analysts develop data warehouses to collect data, pull it together into an accessible and central location.

This presents data for employees who need that knowledge for decision making. CRM is really one of the most useful business tools. Companies can analyze past years information and keep them for using for the future strategies. As exampled in the fourteenth addition of “Principles of Marketing”, retailers can take position by the help of experiment years. As an example: Walmart had known what to put in shelves when a hurricane occurs in Florida. Because there had been similar hurricanes before that one and they had been mining sales data of past hurricane dates.

Pop arts was the most consumed food on hurricane times because they do not require refrigeration or cooking. Beyond the numerous benefits of CRM it has not small costs and has many risks. Because technology, itself can’t build profitable relations. Marketers and sales forces always need to focus on relations with customer and first important factor is human in a relationship it is not technology by itself. 1. 6. 2. Distributing and Using Marketing Information Gathered data stays in a warehouse but it should be delivered to relevant manager or supplier or customer when required.

For instance a customer may want to know the inventory when a product is about to be out of stock on customer’s store. So that currently information is needed to be made accessible for who depend it and should be delivered on the right time. For the interactions between customer-company, supplier-company or among departments intranets and extranets are commonly used by big companies in order to share required knowledge. Intranet refers to a system among company or corporation that internal data or news is shared with internal partners.

It is usually accessible in the company campus for the purpose of protecting confidential data. [pic] Extranets are also similar with intranets but they do not include confidential data generally and shared with external partners such as customers and suppliers. For example Migros has a b2b extranet system which provides daily sales of products. A supplier of Migros can pay for it and gets a user access code and then can pull sales data of its product daily or periodically. Consequently, we can observe that internal and external databases are used commonly by companies.

We know that they provide lots of beneficial values to their owners but companies should never forget about the risks and take precautions in order not to be a victim of technological age. 1. 7. Other Marketing Information Considerations Marketing research in small business and nonprofit organizations, international marketing research, public policy and ethic issues are discussed under this topic. 1. 7. 1. Marketing Research in Small Businesses and Nonprofit Organizations Firstly marketing research is not something that only large companies with large budgets can handle.

Many of the marketing research techniques can be used by small organizations or nonprofit organizations. Thus, they can obtain customer and marketing insights. Internet is a really powerful source for small businesses and nonprofit organizations. They can dig competitor and customer websites and use internet searvh engines to research some specific topics. Small organizations or nonprofit organizations with small budgets can use secondary data, observations, surveys as marketing research tools for little or no expense. However managers still must think carefully about the objectives of the research. 1. 7. 2.

International Marketing Research The steps for the international research is the same with domestic research. But domestic research fairly easier than the international research. Because there are many other factors included. Domestic researchers focus on almost same markets in a single country but for international researchers there ara many markets in many countries. Also these markets really differs from each other. It is hard to find good secondary data in all countries. Actually in some countries there is no research services at all. Therefore international researchers often must collect their own primary data.

Furthermore, reaching respondents is not very easy all around the world. For example in Mexico, researchers cannot rely on telephone, internet or mail data collection. Most data collection is door to door and concentrated in three or four major cities. Also making personal interviews are difficult and costly because of poor roads and transportation systems in some developing countries. Language is one of the major problems. Questionnaires must be prepared in a language then translated into the language of the country in which research is being done. After that once again translated into main language for analysis and interpretation.

This is also a cost and a source for error. Because translation is not something difficult but sometimes idioms, phrases or statements mean different things in different countries. Although there are several problems about international research resulting as cost, global companies have no choice of not doing it. The cost of not doing it might be even higher. Because that means missing opportunities. 1. 7. 3. Public Policy and Ethics in Marketing Research Through marketing research companies gain customer insights and produce more satisfying products and services.

However the misuse of marketing research may harm or annoy tha customers. There are two major issues; intrusions on consumer privacy and the misuse of research findings. Intrusions on Consumer Privacy There are many consumers feeling positive about marketing research and believe that it is useful but some others strongly resent and believe that they are interrupted by the researchers. Some companies track and analyze consumers’ web clicks and target ads to individuals based on their browsing and social networking behavior. However some disconcerted consumers might see it as an intrusion on their privacy.

There is an increasing resentment in marketing research. Companies lack the response for the surveys in recent years. Although many consumers willingly exchange personal information for free services, easy credits, discounts, upgrades, and all sort of rewards, they also worry about the growth in anline identity theft. As a conclusion, if researchers provide value in exchange for information, customers will gladly provide it. But the best approach for researchers to ask only for the information they need, use it responsibly and avoid sharing information without customers’ permission. Misuse of Research Findings

Companies use the research results as a persuasion tools in their advertisements and promotions. But in most cases, research results are designed just to produce intended effect. For example Kellogg Company recently proclaimed in ads and on packaging for Frosted Mini-Wheats that the cereal was clinically shown to improve kids attentiveness by nearly %20. But this is just a comparation with a kid ate this cereal as breakfastand a kid that does not eat breakfast at all. Because of that research results can be abused, several associations have developed codes of research ethics and standarts of conduct.

However, unethical or inappropriate actions cannot simply be regulated away. Each company must accept responsibility for protection of customers and also their own.

FIELD RESEARCH: Fast Moving Consumer Goods Sector (FMCG)

2. 1. Fast Moving Consumer Goods Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) or Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) are products that are sold quickly and at relatively low cost. Examples include non-durable goods such as soft drinks, toiletries, and grocery items. Though the absolute profit made on FMCG products is relatively small, they generally sell in large quantities, so the cumulative profit on such products can be substantial. . 2. Efes Pilsen Efes Beer Group was founded in Turkey in 1969, and today consists of sixteen breweries in Turkey, Russia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Georgia and Serbia, headquartered in Istanbul. Named after the ancient city of Efes located near the Izmir brewery, the company is a subsidiary of Anadolu Group. The group is market leader in Turkey, in Moldova and in Georgia, has second rank in Kazakhstan, third rank in Serbia and fourth rank in Russia. The group has serious market share in Belarus and began production in Germany under license recently.

As the 8th most popular European brand by sales volume and the 5th largest European brewer on combined production basis, the company owns a cumulative capacity of 34 million hectoliters, and six malting with a combined capacity of 236,500 tones. The group is ranked 12th in the world beer market. Anadolu Efes has dominated the Turkish beer market in the last two decades as a result of careful planning and successful strategies in distribution, pricing and marketing. Consequently, Efes has become synonymous with beer in Turkey and has reached an impressive 82% market share in 2012.

The company has also extended its business line by buying the right to bottle Coca-Cola in Turkey in 1998, and has been transforming into a multinational identity by building up international brewing operations mostly in Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia. The two main challenges faced by the company in the new millennium are to succeed in its business diversification efforts and to maintain its market position in its core Turkish brewing business. This section is about the findings we have on Efes Pilsen’s use of Marketing Information System, depending on our interview with the company’s Marketing specialists.

In these findings, we saw that the company uses its MIS effectively in order to keep track of their target market’s insights. They currently use SAP system also for marketing as well as for other departments. Starting from January 2013, the company will experience a change in the system. They will go through a transformation in order to integrate SRM system to their existing one. SRM is known as Standard Reference Method, which is a special modern system used in brewery to specify the color. This system will be integrated into Marketing Information System in purpose of understanding and satisfying color preferences of customers.

The transformation process includes a detailed study on activities, budgeting, acceptance and approval stages of the system. The existing MIS system is also integrated with the management system of the company. It is used during the purchasing of fixed assets. Marketing department will also use this system in the future during goods’ and services’ purchasing and approval stages. As a result of the SRM Project, the use of integrated MIS will be applied for the entire company and all of Efes breweries. Efes Pilsen works with a consultancy firm for their MIS.

They were reluctant to give information about the details of the contract they make with the firm for their system. They do not incorporate retailer stores’ MIS systems into their system. Such application does not exist. The marketing department does not use an extranet system for any type of activites. The Marketing Information System which used at Efes Pilsen does not provide information about the competitors. It is only used for approvals that are required during internal processes. Competitive marketing intelligence is not used as a marketing strategy for Efes Pilsen.

Since it has been highly dominating the market for a long period, the executives see no need for such strategy. Their marketing approach focuses on internal data and marketing research. They use various number of market research companies in order to do market research from different perspectives often. These researches are made in 3 to 6 months periods. The data is acquired by reports which are presented during periodic meetings with these companies. Nielsen system is used in firm’s computers. There is one database for all the existing data which is included inside the Nielsen system. Marketing research is said to be extensively made.

Survey research and observational research are used as research approaches. As contact methods, mail, telephone, personal interviewing and focus group interviewing are preferred. Online marketing research and online focus groups are highly focused on by the company since their target market is young adults who are very involved in online activities. The target market is more accessible since they think it is easier to do such interviews online. Research instruments are questionnaires, usually online. Customer Relationship Management is used through the research companies they work with. 2. 3. L’Oreal

L’Oreal is one of the biggest cosmetics companies in global market. It have been working for beauty for more than 100 years. It has four main divisions in Turkey: – Consumer products (Brands that included in this division: Garnier, L’Oreal Paris, Maybelline New York) – Luxury products (Brands that included in this division: Biotherm, Yves Saint Lourent, Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, Cacharel, Victor & Rolf, Diesel) – Active marketing products (Medical based products) (Brands that included in this division: Vichy, La Roche Posay, Inneov, Skinceuticals) – Professional products (Coiffeur channel) Brands that included in this division: Kerastase, Matrix ) As we can see above L’Oreal has wide range of product lines in Turkey cosmetics market. Its vision is: to deliver perfect beauty to all women and men, all around the world. Beauty is a strong passion for L’Oreal from production employees to top management. They know that beauty is something scientific and need to be preserved with health standards and quality of ingredients. However it has also very powerful competitors all around the world. In this highly competitive market L’Oreal has to know market very well.

Marketing department of them has to be updated all the time about competitors and general situation of the market. We had a questionnaire meeting with their product managers from their Consumer goods marketing department and gathered some information about their marketing information system. Firstly, they gather market information with some softwares and customer extranets. Most important one is Nielsen’s software. Nielsen has been providing them data from all over the country and not only giving L’Oreal’s sales data but also presenting all the FMCG sector companies’ sales data.

Thus L’Oreal is able to gathering competitive data too. In addition to Nielsen software they get data from Migros, CarrefourSa, Watsons, Gratis and perfumeries from all around the country; but, they provide data only for company’s own products, competitive data is not shared by them. L’Oreal has some contracts for these systems. Annually they do new contracts with data suppliers and as they say: it the most costly issue of marketing. Data suppliers are aware about the importance of gathering data for companies and they use this opportunity as a second business.

It is known that they earn huge amount of money just sharing daily or monthly sales amounts of units. Gathered data is used by marketing, sales and customer service departments. They do not use an integrated MIS however there are periodical meetings in order to combine gathered knowledge and all combined knowledge is reported. Then all of the reports are kept in a common portal. All of the data is pulled as ordered database format and they just put them in excel format and keep. Error rates are given with the data suppliers so L’Oreal does not need to account them by internally.

L’Oreal gets data for all market so they studies on seeing entire photograph of the market. They process data for different aims and reach results for different decisions. So we can understand that they have just one database but they analyze information in purposes of having knowledge on various type of market intelligence. L’Oreal has an intranet system but does not have an extranet by its own. L’Oreal also works with some research companies such as; Nielsen, Ipsos, GFK. Sometimes qualitative data is also needed and in order to reach right results, marketing experts get help from research experts such as given above.

Research companies are experts on gathering data and they provide a third eye sightseeing. 2. 4. Unilever Since Unilever was established in the 1890s, brands with a social mission have been at the core of their business, and now corporate responsibility creates their strategy. In 2010 they launched the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan – a set of targets designed to help them deliver their objective of growing their business while minimizing their impact on the environment. To embed sustainability into every stage of the life cycle of their products, they work with their suppliers to support responsible approaches to agriculture.

They are also learning from NGOs and other organisations, recognizing that building a truly sustainable business is not something they can do without expert advice. They know that they have a responsibility to their consumers and to the communities in which they have a presence. Around the world they invest in local economies and develop people’s skills inside and outside of Unilever. And they run a range of programmes to promote hygiene, nutrition, empowerment and environmental awareness With more than 400 brands focused on health and wellbeing, they touch so many people’s lives in so many different ways.

Their portfolio ranges from nutritionally balanced foods to indulgent ice creams, affordable soaps, luxurious shampoos and everyday household care products. Some of their brands are Lipton, Knorr, Dove, Axe, Hellmann’s and Omo. I gave the brief introduction of Unilever till now and from now on I will give their answers to our questionnaire. It was about the Marketing Information System of theirs. First of all they do not have any internal system but they work with the most powerful research companies which are Nielson, IpsosKMG, Millward Brown. These three companies provide them the data they need from all around the world.

These three companies are responsible for gathering data also related with competitors and their products. As it is written they use three different companies just for marketing information. It is obvious that in order to be the leading company there is a must to know about markets and customers. Also these system is not only used by marketing department but also customer marketing information departmant. They get reports from these companies every six months except Nielson. They get reports from Nielson every month. In these reports they have data related with both market and also the products of competitors.

They also use the system of Migros as well. Their first priority is the customer and then market and then the competitors. Of course they are observing the competitors behaviors and their products but first of all they say “you have to know what customers want”. They use these companies as market researchers but IpsosKMG and Millward Brown are also used as consultant companies. As understood from the text MIS is a real big cost for the companies but it is a must to succeed. 2. 5. Eti ETI Food industry incorparated company was founded in 1961. From the foundation ETI has increased its capasity in biscuit production year by year.

By the last quarter of 90s, ETI revoluate its products and has been servicing various kinds of biscuits, cakes and chocolates. Product Groups of ETI: • Biscuits: Cream biscuists and marshmallow biscuits • Crackers • Welfare light products • Cakes and tarts • Chocolate and chocolate products • Wafers • Toasted breads • Cereals ETI Marketing and Industry was founded as a incorparated company in 1981 when the years were customer-oriented marketing was began to be well- liked in Turkey. ETI Marketing organizes and controls about 300 products under ETI label in domestic and foreign area. ETI Marketing has about 200 sale points.

The aim is to reach all of the country by using domestic region headquarters. ETI Marketing created a broaden network with distributors whom are defined as a work partners and with the sales representatives who are bounded to those distributors. ETI Marketing perform the sales in 5 continent and 50 countries with the distributors appointed. ETI uses Nielsen information system for gathering marketing information. By using this system ETI can analysis changes at usage of their brands by consumers. Percentage of increasing at usage of ETI products and related to changes for ETI how other firms effected.

They can easily follow the sector with Nielsen. They commonly use the results of this system for decision making. Another System which is using after 2004 is Netron Corporation system. Netron Corporotion system provides a largely database and it is a specific characteristic as to be able to reach the data daily for 5 years when needed. NCS is the basic system to analyze market clearly. The marketing systems are used and analyzed their results together. ETI doesn’t use a combined marketing system. They only compare results of the systems for conclusion. Gathering market information is made under the control of market managers and researchers.

After this step, the significant point is how to use the gathered information. As we know all companies has functional departments and those are aimed to realise general company mission that is to maximize profit margin. On the other hand market information is used commonly in marketing and sales, and finance department. The information systems are not provide information about only ETI products. They provide to be aware of competitors in the food industry. The basic data collection approach for ETI is observation research. They consists on to emphasise gathering right information from consumers.

So that , They observe consumers and define their purchasing decisions and behaviors. Researchers prepare close- ended and open-ended questionnaires and interviewe with consumers face to face or they realise periodical online surveys. Near consumer supported data collection, general market outputs like competitors circumstance are shouldn’t be unconsidered and they must analyzed in ETI’s perspective. Because of that, we can say when a competitor -in example Ulker for ETI- product a new taste of cracker, ETI should be able to create a taste to eliminate other’s taste.

In order to achieve this, it must evaluate the market changes related to other companies. Nielsen and NCS periodically give reports to ETI Marketing and Sales Department. These reports are prepared and made ready to study on. Marketing managers generally only look the results that are accustomed by research companies. The managers of related departments are come together and anlayze the results shortly and they decide which department has responsibilty for which situation according to gathered information. So they can define all the information from their own functional perspective. 2. 6. Henkel

Henkel operates worldwide with leading brands and technologies in three business areas: Laundry & Home Care, Beauty Care and Adhesive Technologies. Henkel was established in 1876. Henkel is now globally leader in market positions both in the consumer and industrial businesses with well-known brands such as Persil, Schwarzkopf and Loctite. Henkel’s center is in Dusseldorf /Germany. Henkel has 47,000 employees worldwide and counts among the most internationally aligned German-based companies in the global marketplace. In Turkey you can found a lot of Henkel brands too. Schwarzkopf, Persil, Pril, Fa, Pattex and Tursil are some of them.

Henkel has three big factory in Turkey. These are in Elmadag, Gebze, Tuzla. Turkey’s headquarters building is operating now in Icerenkoy/ Istanbul. Their slogan is ‘’a brand like a friend’’ For gathering information from marketing environment Henkel is using SAP information system. With SAP Henkel can plan about their products, production, buying and marketing processes. With SAP Henkel’s employees can make their decision making easier. In Henkel, SAP is not used only by marketing departmant. Purchasing departmant andproduction departmant is also using SAP system for their own decision making process.

Henkel is not using any other marketing information system besides SAP. SAP is providing very wide range of information to Henkel and because of that Henkel does not need any other information system except SAP. Henkel take assistance from Nielsen Group for extra marketing research. The information that taken from Nielsen have an important place in Henkel’ s marketing strategy and of course they are paying Nielsen for this information. Henkel is not using any other retailers’ marketing information system. The existing system (SAP) and the information from taken by Nielsen is completely enough for Henkel.

They are knowing that too much information can be harmful like few information. Henkel has some big competitors like Unilever and P&G. So they are trying to find as much information as they can find about their competitors. SAP provides also information about the other market sharing firms. They are doing observation research for their database application. They are doing that generally with direct questionnaires and sometimes with online surveys. They keep the reports that include information generally with excel. They are not using any extranet system. They are not giving any information that they found to other firms.

They are using these information only for theirself.


In the last decade, technology has grown rapidly. Especially with the tremendous expansion of Information Technologies, the applications of this area to business has been inevitable. Since the first mention of such a system that gives marketing managers information that will help them make better decisions about pricing, advertising, promotion, product strategy, sales force structure, and so forth, it has been a topic of discussion for numerous studies. Its application has become highly popular, especially for big scale firms while some managers were sceptical about it.

However, the sceptical ones were the minority. As we see in our examinations for the fast-moving consumer goods sector, it is widely used as a tool for gathering information and making decisions. There is a serious competition in this sector. Mostly the big scale firms can last longer because the sector’s nature does not give a lot of chance for the smaller ones. Firms can only have profits in high quantity sellings which is a big challenge for a start-up firm. The key to success in such case is having useful customer insights which is true, current and necessary.

Such insights can only be gathered by an effective MIS use. The case is the same for an existing brand in the market. FMCG is a rapidly changing sector. In order to keep market share, an existing brand must know the market, the customers who make up the market, what they like, want or need etc. in order to satisfy them. The situation is the same for both Turkey and the rest of the world. There are a few market leader brands in Turkey who are also global, such as P&G, Unilever and Henkel. There are also domestic big scale firms such as Eti, Ulker, Efes Pilsen etc. These firms dominate the FMCG sector.

The firms we interviewed agree that MIS is a useful and important tool for gathering information and making decisions. They hire other firms to do different types of market researches for them and pay quite a lot of money for such services. They think that MIS gives ideas about what consumers think about current products and also for future project ideas. The questions asked to customers vary from the new product’s name to what color to use for packaging. Executives may even go to their customers’ homes or where they hang out, in order to observe their habits and get to know them a little better.

This is also the case for Efes Pilsen, as we learned from the interview. Marketing department staff visit pubs around the country to directly talk to customers and learn their needs, desires. They launched “F? c? Bira” based on a research conducted as mentioned. Customer insights are what makes company last longer and bring profits, so companies are willing to do whatever they think is the best way to get the insights about their target markets.


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Sisodia “Principles of Marketing”, Fourteenth Edition, Philip Kotler, Gary Armstrong http://www. efespilsen. com. tr/ http://www. loreal. com. tr/ http://www. unilever. com. tr/ http://www. etietieti. com/ http://www. henkel. com. tr/ 5. APPENDIX 5. 1. Questionnaire 1. What is the MIS you are using and how is it working? 2. Are these systems are only used by marketing departmant or is it used by some other departmants? Which departmants are also using the system? 3. Do you use integrated MIS? 4. Do you pay for your MIS? Do you work with other companies as consultant? 5.

Do you use the systems of your retailers? If yes, then what is the agreement between you and the retailer? 6. Does your system only collect data about the market or does it provide information about competitors and their products? 7. Do you work with other firms rather than your system? If so why do you need such firms and how often do you work with them? 8. What type of database application is used? How are data input and storage processes? What programs are used for these processes? 9. Is there an existing extranet system used? If so, is it used to communicate with the customers, suppliers or both? 10.

Are there any organizations you supply marketing information through the MIS system? 11. What are the potentials for errors in the systems you use? How is the cost of error calculated? 12. How is data mining proceeded? 13. During data mining and processing, which part is mainly focused on? (Customers, market, competitiors) 14. How are user interferences problems solved? What type of educations are provided to system users? 15. Are there any existing subsystems that are integrated to your MIS? 16. How is system security achieved? 17. How do you receive feedback about the system? 18. How is MIS effectiveness measured?

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The Use of MIS as a Tool of Gathering Information and Making Decisions for FMCG Sector. (2016, Sep 16). Retrieved from

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