A marketing decision support system is a system or method that can be employed to aid in evaluating possible marketing strategies and ultimately arriving at the decision considered in the best interests of the company. Sometimes referred to as a MKDSS, this strategy will pull on a number of resources in order to identify and project the outcome of several different business scenarios. Resources such as the information technology available to the company, marketing data that is gathered over a period of time, and even the modeling techniques used to come up with the projects are all part of this type of system.
The type of data collected for use in a marketing decision support system will vary slightly, based on the type of goods and services sold by the client, and the configuration of the markets in which those products are sold. In terms of the market data that is collected, just about every approach will include gathering data regarding the cost of advertising using different forms of media, the impact of different unit prices on the sale of the products themselves, and even ideas on how to structure the advertising copy that serves as the basis for the campaign. Various types of software are used to allow easy input of the collected data, and then arrange that data into useful packets of information that can be applied to a variety of different scenarios. Using this method, it is possible to predict with a great deal of reliability what would happen if a particular scenario were chosen and pursued.
One of the major benefits of a marketing decision support system is the ability to project the outcome of various scenarios before a great deal of money is investing in the marketing effort. For example, this strategy makes it possible to determine what would likely happen if the products were sold at a specific unit price, marketing to specific consumers, and a certain combination of advertising mediums were used to reach those consumer markets. If the outcome of one scenario is not quite at the level desired, tweaking factor such as something about the advertising copy or changing the mediums used for advertising, or even the pricing may be employed, going through each scenario until the most attractive approach is identified.
There is no doubt that a marketing decision support system can save a great deal of time and money. By allowing a company to qualify the advertising strategy in advance, it is easier to make sound business decisions. In fact, the decision-making process itself is somewhat simplified, since it is not necessary to manually weed through a huge amount of data in order to create possible scenarios and follow a simulation through to the most likely outcome. From this perspective, the marketing decision support system makes it easier to identify the advantageous ways to move forward with a campaign, in terms of time, market focus, and cost.