Careers Business Ownership Using Marketing Information Systems (MIS) What a marketing information system is and how it helps your business Share PINTEREST Email Print Maskot / Getty Images Business Ownership Operations & Success Market Research Sustainable Businesses Supply Chain Management Operations & Technology Marketing Business Law & Taxes Business Insurance Business Finance Accounting Industries Becoming an Owner By Gigi DeVault Gigi DeVault LinkedIn Twitter University of Washington San Jose State University University of California, San Diego Gigi DeVault is a former writer for The Balance Small Business and an experienced market researcher in client satisfaction and business proposals. Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on 01/03/20 If your company puts time and resources toward market research, you want to make the most of your investment by managing and implementing that information. Using a marketing information system (MIS) is one way to deal with the volumes of data created by research firms or even by small business owners. What Is a Marketing Information System? A marketing information system gathers, stores, analyzes, and distributes marketing data to the managers and teams that need it. An MIS is made up of three components: The four types of data that can be analyzed by the MIS.Computer hardware and software that gathers and analyzes data, then uses the results to generate reports.An output system that distributes reports to marketing and advertising decision-makers. The Four Types of Data In a Marketing Information System An MIS is designed to be a multifunctional system and can handle data from multiple sources. These data usually fall into one of four categories: Acquired databases: Enormous amounts of marketing, sales, and consumer information can be stored and accessed via database, many of them available at low or no cost to companies. Government databases, for instance, contain economic and demographic information on individuals, groups, and companies. Databases and reports generated by companies like Deloitte can provide information on consumer behavior and business trends. Businesses of all sizes can input these databases into their MIS and use them to make marketing and expansion decisions. Internal company data: Data from sales and marketing activities within your company can be sent to the MIS and turned into valuable reports. You can also integrate an MIS with a company intranet, or internal communications network, to access information on different business units, departments, and even employees. Marketing intelligence: You can access information about your target market environment through smart intelligence systems that monitor competitors' websites, industry trade publications, and marketplace observations by employees and managers. Other avenues for market intelligence include trade shows, talking with customers and prospective customers, conversing with distributors, product testing and comparison, and mystery shopping. All these data points can be entered into your marketing information system. Marketing research: The marketing research and data integrated into the MIS includes information from syndicated and custom research reports, which you can gather from secondary research or new primary research. The more specific and unique the information your marketing research information provides about your business environment, competitors, and customers, the more value it will have to your company. Why Use a Marketing Information System? An MIS can be used to keep your internal teams informed and on task. It can also allow you to communicate more efficiently and reliably with an external market research company. And, since the data is stored within the system, you can continue to use it in the future as you make strategic growth decisions. The more systems you have within your business, the more efficient your business can become. Using an MIS provides relevant information to your marketing and sales departments on a reliable basis, allowing your teams to make strategic, profitable decisions.