IMPLEMENTATION OF AN IT BASED MARKETING INFORMATION SYSTEM IN A HIGH TECH COMPANY
In any competitive environment the striving for survival and competitive advantage is the driving force behind development. This is as valid in nature as in any economic market. If the environment changes its actors have to change in order to adapt to the environmental change. If any actor changes, all other actors have to take measure in order not to loose their relative advantage. This is the fundamental rule that all players have to follow in order to stay in the game. In an ever faster changing world the ability to adapt and anticipate change is crucial in order to secure survival.
Companies active on any market face this challenge. They have to continuously anticipate change and gain competitive advantage relative to its competitors. A company can decide its coordinates, perceptually position itself, through external and internal assessment of the market environment, competition and company value chain respectively. The efficient collection, analysis and redistribution of information are hence extremely important for companies active in a fast changing environment (Yang 2005).
A management challenge is to condense and simplify this information to a surveyable decision base without oversimplifying, letting out important parameters of influence. This is the trade off that strategic management have to handle: Pragmatic enough to form an understandable decision base and act on the big picture without oversimplifying leaving out crucial information.
The faster change happens the more efficiently the actors have to update information about their changing environment and consequently the marketing information collection and dissemination process becomes more important the more turbulent and faster changing the market. This also implies that the time that management has to spend revising strategies augment drastically with the market turbulence. The effort also scales with the company size where information paths become more complex.
Most companies revise and form new strategies in a recursive process. That is, regularly a perceptual snapshot is taken in order to position the company, adjust strategies and peruse the mission and vision. However, where change happens quickly this process either give a
discontinuous picture about market change or/and boost the amount of work that have to be invested in strategy revision in to the skies. In its extension this implies an inferior accuracy in the formation of strategies and increases the risk of misleading or false decisions (Ashill 2001).
A holistic perspective of the company as a dynamic entity is becoming more and more important in an ever faster changing environment. The pragmatic definition of departmental interfaces where information have to flow according to well defined processes helping the planning, are still important but looses its efficiency when the company grows and goes global. The utopic ideal would supply a real time update of the environmental development, tools needed to efficiently evaluate the data and provide an intuitive picture of future development (Olszak 2006).
Any growing company active on a turbulent market should ask themselves: How can we raise the quality of the strategic decision, augment the perceptual positioning accuracy and update frequency in order to assure a continuous and correct mapping of the market while minimizing the implicated workload? (Frates 2005)
The aim of this thesis has been to try to answer the question of how an IT based marketing information system support the formation of business and product related strategies and when and how such a system should be integrated in a company
Analytical meta-study of published literature condensed through a SWOT analysis and combined with a qualitative evaluation of questionnaires directed to companies with experience of developing and implementing marketing information systems