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A Case Analysis on marketing analysis

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					         A Case Analysis : Marketing Intelligence by Verne Harnish



        Information collected, solicited, organized and analyzed creates an avenue for
businesses to learn, grow and serve better. A simple analogy that I have pondered while
reading of the article by Harnish. He notes very basic interactions between the different
members of business processes. Linksys, Dell, Intuit, Wal-Mart, General Electric have
integrated information into their businesses process and propelled growth by taking in
the ordeal of analytically gathering contributions of information that are basically free
and drawing specific line a actions to allow a business to greatly proper and serve its
internal and external customers better.

        I draw a case concerning Marketing Channel management. Harnish has noted to
have written that ‘the challenge is systematically collecting this virtually free input and
using it to power the business on a daily and weekly basis.’1 Considering internal and
external customers as a part of the social system that builds up the market intelligence
data, since all parties take part in the swapping of information. I consider the information
flow channel as a probable root of conflict between the other channel structures in
evaluating an effective marketing intelligence plan. When a marketing channel is
developed, a series of channel flows emerge. These flows provide the links that tie
channels members and other agencies together in the distribution of goods and services. 2
I would focus on the conflict that can arise in considering the collection, input and
analysis of data taken from Interorganizational content; these refer to channel
management that extends beyond a firm’s own organization into other independent
business.3I will consider collecting market intelligence as part of the information flow
that is illustrated on Figure 01 on page 2 of this case study.



1
  Market Intelligence by Verne Harnish, page 1, paragraph 2
2
  Marketing channels and distribution, Bert Rosenbloom;Drexel University, Best Marketing Practices,
Chapter 10, Page 342, Paragraph 3
3
  Marketing channels and distribution, Bert Rosenbloom;Drexel University, Best Marketing Practices,
Chapter 10,page 346,paragraph 1
Figure 01: Information flow

                                   Manufacturer1




                                   Transportation Company




                                   Wholesaler2




                                    Retailer3




                                   Consumer



      For companies such as Wal-Mart and General Electric that follow the basic
information flow as illustrated above show that transportation firms appear to connect
directly to the manufacturers, however all parties take part in the exchange of
information. I also want to note that the arrows connecting the manufacturers to the
consumers are two directional meaning that the stream of marketing information that can
be share goes either upward or downward the parties of the channel.

      There are several flows of marketing channels where in marketing information can
be extracted. Briefly I would want to mention: 1)Product flow, 2) Negotiation Flow, 3)
Ownership Flow and 4) Promotion Flow.4 The information flow was selected as it is
directly related to the gathering of marketing information.

      Bert Rosenbloom describes this as such that ‘The Information channel presents a
channel that comprises a social system. Marketing channels are now seen as social

4
 Flows of marketing channels , Bert Rosenbloom;Drexel University, Best Marketing Practices, Chapter
10,page 342
systems as well, because they involve people interacting with each other in different
organizations and institutions. Consequently , the rules that govern channel relationships
are not only a matter of economics. In the broader social systems perspective, marketing
channels are subject to the same behavior processes associated with all social systems.
The behavior processes of most significance in marketing channels are power and
conflict.’5

     This gathering of information from different channels makes up independent
business organizations such as manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers. There is also
need to mention that agents, brokers that are associated with each other through the set up
of the information flow diagram, they are still independent businesses. In thought of this
fact it would be wise to explore their own objectives, strategies, policies and operating
procedures. The information collected from these parties may be of no cost but their
intentions of giving information may not be harmonious with the other members of the
parties included in the information flow. ‘Moreover, in marketing channels, usually there
are no clear superior/subordinate relationships, or lines of authority, so typical of
management in single –firm intraorganizational settings’6

     Whilst it would be worthwhile noting that the companies included in the report such
as Linksys, Dell computers, Intuit (Quickbooks), Wal-mart, General Electric have been
noted to have very practical and well developed information gathering systems and
including management practices that integrate the top management to experience the
internal community of the company and draw in from themselves constructive and
productive ideas to improve the business. However, it would be my recommendation that
a formulating decision areas for channel management. This is very much applicable to all




5
 Marketing channels as social systems, Marketing channels and distribution, Bert Rosenbloom, Drexel
University, Best Marketing Practices, Chapter 10, page 344-345
6
 Marketing channel management, marketing channels and distribution, Bert Rosenbloom, Drexel
University, Best Marketing Practices, Chapter 10, page 346, paragraph 1
the five (5) flows of marketing channels. I will however illustrate on Figure 02 the Major
Decision Areas of Decision Management7

                                   Decision Area1 - Formulating
                                   Channel Strategy




                                   Decision area 2- Designing the
                                   channel structure



                                  Decision Area 3 - Selecting the
                                  channel members




                                  Decision Area 4-Motivating
                                  channel members

                                   Members

                                  Decision area 5-Coordinating
                                  channel strategy with the
                                  marketing mix



                                  Decision Area 6 – Evaluating
                                  channel member performance




        The common viewpoint of an effective channel management strategy is when the
producer or manufacturer has a perspective of looking down the channel. As in the
collection and consolidation of information in marketing intelligence. The management
controls the collection of data, analyze them and cascade the information downward to
the channels. Wal-mart was noted of implementing the actions by the end of the week.

        In formulating a channel strategy in collection and analysis of information that
would deliver a better products and services by the business. It is important to condition
the channel members regardless if they are internal or external customers. Considering
the social system that was mentioned on page 2-3, a business owner bears in mind that a
7
 Major Decision Areas of Channel Management figure 10.5, Bert Rosenbloom, Drexel University, Best
Marketing practices, Chapter 10, page 347
healthy relationship with the channels will deliver better input. Because of the factors that
could conflict with the external customers as independent businesses, it is important to
recognize their inputs not a mere collect and selection procedure but to take into account
that every input of data is value to both interacting channels, ex. Customer and Salesman,
complementing each other in the process. Sales can input better feedback to R&D and
management that can result to better products for the customer.

           Creating a sustainable channel strategy in the form of a decision of a in the
information flow ensures that all channels where information can be extracted can be
selected, motivated, monitored and aligned with the basic elements of the Marketing Mix
(the 4P’s Product, pricing, promotion, place). Data to improve products and services
should still relate to the understanding of the 4P’s or else companies would have
additional cost of sorting out unrelated information to the company’s database.

           I would like to conclude this case in reference to Harnish’s statement on this
challenge of ‘using these free inputs and using it to power the business on a daily and
weekly basis’8. The relative word for me to relate is to make the process a routine part of
any company operations. Data is alive and available. It can change the direction of any
business if put into good use.




8
    Marketing Intelligence, Verne Harnish, page 1

				
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