A marketing information system is a system used by a firm to collect information that will be used to help the firm make its marketing decisions. These decisions would include what products to make or improve, how to price them, how to advertise them and others.
A marketing information should gather information from both inside and outside of the firm. It needs to collect and interpret these data so as to be able to take the data and apply them to the practical problems associated with deciding what products to make, how to market them, etc.
Marketing Information System is a sub-system within a larger system often called Management Information System (MIS), which is an interrelated collection of all facilities and processes in an organization that provides to to its managers information required by them. However it should be noted that a marketing Information needs inputs from non-marketing activities of the company. In turn, it also needs to provide inputs for information systems in those areas.
Marketing information is very much like an the full MIS except that it concentrates primarily on meeting the information need for marketing functions. Such systems gather, process, and provide a range of different types of report to marketing personnel to support their work. These people use such information for various purposes like anticipating changes in demand, understanding nature of customers and competition determining selling productivity, and controlling costs.
Input data for preparing reports and other information outputs provides by a marketing information system is taken from both internal and external sources. Some of main areas and activities on which MIS provides information inputs include sales force management, logistics and distribution, market intelligence, competition analysis, budgeting, promotion and customer service.
One specialized area of marketing information system making intensive use of modern information and communication technology is Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, A CRM system consists of methodologies, technology and capabilities that help companies manage their customer relationships better.