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Marketing has been defined not only as a customer oriented business philosophy but also as a purposeful managerial process. It means that it would not go by itself, without being organized and conducted. In order to organize this complex activity, managers need information about all forces in the marketplace. That is why an important part of marketing consists of collecting, developing, and distributing information that is necessary for successful business activities. In order to have such information and to be able to handle it properly, the company needs a marketing information system (MIS). Information can be obtained from three main sources: internal records (the sources within the company, such as the front-desk reports, records of daily sales, costs, cash flow, reservation records, guest history information, etc.), marketing intelligence (everyday information about developments in the market), and marketing research (designing, gathering and analyzing of information dealing with a specific market situation facing the company).

Information may be gathered by any of the three approaches: observation (observing people, actions, and situations), survey (asking people questions about their buying behavior – structured (using questionnaires) and unstructured (when the respondents answer in their own words), and experiment (selecting matched groups of people, controlling related factors, and checking for differences in their responses). A selected group of people supposed to represent the population as a whole is called a sample.



In the past, most hotels and restaurants were independently owned. Managers got information by being around people, observing them, and asking questions. Nowadays, many factors have increased the need for more and better information. As companies become national or international in scope, they need information on larger, more distant markets. As companies become more selective, they need better information about how buyers respond to different products and appeals. As companies use more complex marketing approaches and face intensified competition, they need information on the effectiveness of their marketing tools. Finally, in today's rapidly changing environments, managers need up-to-date information to make their decisions. To manage a business well is to manage its future; and to manage the future is to manage information.

The supply of information has also increased greatly. John Naisbitt suggests that the United States is undergoing a "mega shift" from an industrial to the information-based economy. He found that more than 65% of the US work force is now employed in producing or processing information, compared to only 17% in 1950. Using improved computer systems and other technologies, companies can provide information in great quantities. In fact, today's managers sometimes receive too much information. For example, one study found that, with many companies offering data available through supermarket scanners, a packaged-goods manager is bombarded with 1 million to 1 billion new numbers every week. As Naisbitt points out, "Running out of information is not a problem, but drowning in it is."

Yet managers frequently complain that they lack information of the right kind and accumulate too much of the wrong kind. They also complain that marketing information is so widely spread throughout the company that it takes great effort to locate even simple facts. Subordinates may withhold information that they believe will reflect badly on their performance. Important information often arrives too late to be useful or is not accurate. Marketing managers need precise and timely information. Many companies are now studying their managers' information needs and designing marketing information systems (MISs) to meet their needs.

Large companies have centralized MISs that provide managers with regular performance reports, intelligence updates, and reports on the results of studies. Managers also need non-routine information for special situations on on-the-spot decisions. That is why, with recent advances in microcomputers, software, and communications, many companies are decentralizing their MISs. In some of them, marketing managers use a desk terminal to tie into the company's information network. Without leaving their desks, they can obtain information from internal records or outside information services, and communicate with others through telecommunications.




1. Find in the text the following topical words and phrases, make sure hat you are able to explain in English what they mean, and add hem to your working vocabulary:

a selective company, marketing tools, information-based economy, to process information, a performance report, intelligence updates.

2. Write out from the text the sentences or their parts which contain he words and phrases given below and translate them into Russian:

implementation, in scope, to respond, a mega shift, to run out of information, to locate facts, to design a system, on-the-spot decisions, software.


3. Answer the following questions using the topical words and phrases:

1. Why is it important for a business to manage information?

2. How did the managers use to obtain necessary information?

3. Why do the companies need information about more distant markets?

4. What do the marketers mean when they refer to a company as "selective"?

5. What is happening in the US economy, according to John Naisbitt?

6. What statistics does he give in order to support his theory?

7. What is the main problem for marketing managers, according to him?

8. What do the managers often complain about, as far as their informational supply is concerned?

9. How can the problem be solved?

10. Why do many companies begin to decentralize their MISs?

11. What technological innovations make it possible for managers to get necessary information without leaving their desks?





Progressive hospitality companies are all customer-oriented and do not spare efforts to gather all relevant information about their current and potential guests. There are several simple techniques to do it properly. Most common of them is placing guest comment cards on dining room tables and in guest rooms. Or they are handed to departing customers. This technique provides useful information and insights into problem areas. For example, several negative comments on food would indicate a potential problem for a restaurant, if no corrective action is taken. A problem with guest comment cards is that they may not reflect the opinions of the majority of guests. Commonly, only those people who are very angry or very pleased take the time to complete a card. Thus comment cards can be useful in spotting problem areas, but they are not a good indication of overall guest satisfaction. In order to identify frequent and repeat guests and give them top priority in a sales blitz, the company needs an automated guest history. It is also important to know the former frequent guests who are no longer using the hotel. Salespeople will want to call on these former clients to see if they can regain their business. This system offers a competitive’ advantage to a chain, particularly a small chain.

One of the most useful sources of information is the company records. This information is vital in improving service, creating effective advertising and sales promotion programs, developing new products, improving existing ones, and developing marketing and sales plans. Unfortunately, many hospitality firms have only a vague idea of who their guests are. In order to know more about their guests' preferences, hospitality companies often hire disguised or mystery shoppers to pose as customers and report back on their experience. Some companies use shoppers to alert managers, so that they would pay more attention to important areas of the operation. But this technique works best if used for recognition and reward for good job performance. This is the concept of positive reinforcement. If employees feel that the only purpose of a disguised shopper program is to report poor service and reprimand them, the program will not fulfill its full potential. This technique can also be used for marketing intelligence.




1. Find in the text the following topical words and phrases, make sure hat you are able to explain in English what they mean, and add hem to your working vocabulary:

a guest comment card, to complete (a card), an automated guest history, a sales blitz, company records, a disguised shopper.


2. Write out from the text the sentences or their parts which contain the ollowing words and phrases and translate them into Russian:

an insight into, to spot smth, to regain one's business, to alert smb, to be "shopped", to report poor service, to fulfill one's full potential.


3. Answer the following questions using the topical words and phrases:

1. Where are the guest comment cards usually placed? What are the guests supposed to do with them?

2. Why is the information drawn from guest comment cards thought to be not objective?

3. What can the managers do with the help of automated guest history? What advantages does this system give to the company?

4. What information can marketing managers take from the company records?

5. What can they do with the help of this information?

6. What are disguised or mystery shoppers supposed to do?

7. When does this technique fulfill its full potential?




Managers cannot always wait for information to arrive in bits and pieces from the marketing intelligence system. In order to identify marketing opportunities and threats, they often require formal studies of specific situation. In this case they often commission formal marketing research. Most common research activities are measurement of market potentials, market-share analysis, market segmentation and sizing, sales analysis, price sensitivity assessment, advertising and promotion assessment, competitive product studies, concept development and existing product testing. In the early 1980s, Hardee's fast-food chain knew it was not respond­ing to customer needs. Extensive consumer perception surveys were conducted. The results showed that customers were confused about what kind of a chain Hardee's was. Research results also showed that the chain needed to improve its service and ambiance. Hardee's responded with a new positioning statement, upgraded equipment, and redesigned the hamburger manufacturing process. Soon the situation improved. When a company starts a project without necessary marketing research, it often ends in a disaster. A sad example of such kind was a project initiated on the US Indian reservations. A total of 52 hotels were built and only two survived due to poorly conceived plans. In several cases, hotels were built in seldom visited, remote areas. Marketing research could have provided valuable information such as visitor trends to the areas, identification and size of possible market segments.

Most large companies (about 73%) have their own research departments. But even companies with their own departments hire outside firms to do fieldwork and special tasks. Small hotels or restaurants can obtain research help from nearby universities or colleges with business or hospitality programs. College marketing classes can be used to do exploratory research, find information about prospective customers, and conduct customer surveys. Instructors often arrange for their classes to gain marketing research experience in this way.




1. Find in the text the following topical words and phrases, make sure hat you are able to explain in English what they mean, and add hem to your working vocabulary:

concept development, price sensitivity assessment, a positioning statement, exploratory research, a prospective customer, a customer survey, fieldwork.


2. Write out from the text the sentences or their parts which contain the allowing words and phrases and translate them into Russian:

in bits and pieces, to commission a formal research, ambiance, to upgrade equipment, visitor trends, instructors.


3. Answer the following questions using the topical words and phrases:

1. What are the most common fields of marketing research?

2. Why did Hardee's decide to conduct consumer perception survey?

3. What were the findings of the research and what was done to solve the problems?

4. What lesson does the case of US Indian reservations teach the marketers?

5. Who usually conduct marketing research?

6. How can local colleges help small hospitality companies who need marketing information but have no MISs of their own?




1. Discuss the following concepts and notions:

observation, a survey, an experiment, a structured and unstructured interview, information-based economy, guest comment cards, a disguised shopper, an economy hotel.


2. Give your definitions of the following topical words and phrases:

front-desk reports, cash flow, a matched group of people, a performance report, update, a mega shift, an on-the-spot decision, an incident report, a sales blitz, to alert smb, career expectations, a consumer perception survey, price sensitivity assessment, to rate high (low), to skew the results, invasion of privacy.


3. Choose a topic for an Essay from those given below:

1. Explain why defining the problem and research objective is often the hardest step in the research process.

2. The advantages and disadvantages of using guest comment cards.

3. Which type of research would be the most appropriate in the following situations and why? (a) McDonald's wants to investigate the effect that children have on the choice of meals, (b) Hilton wants to gather information on how business travelers feel about food service in its restaurant.







Date: 2016-01-03; view: 335

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