Information in the global management intelligence system generally contains information about important environmental events, new laws, social trends, technological breakthroughs, demographic shifts, competitor maneuvers-that helps managers prepare and adjust marketing plans.
The information sources that feed into the global management intelligence system might include radio or television broadcasts, newspapers, trade or financial publications, or informal conversations with sales personnel, customers, service technicians, and channel intermediaries. According to an experienced San Francisco Chinese translation service workers, “In general, executives obtain this type of information from their translation companies and by keeping their eyes and ears open, and encouraging those with whom they come into contact to do the same.” The locales in which such data are collected may include foreign trade groups, foreign media, the internet and any of hundreds of other sources.
Cabbies Tell Ford How They Fare
In Lions, France, it’s common for clients of one large Ford auto dealership to drop off their cars for service and repairs during the day. The clients are then provided with free taxi service to an auto rental company, courtesy of the dealership. Once a month, the chauffeurs are invited to a free dinner, courtesy of Ford, who has hired Chicago French Translation workers who are trained to pump the drivers for comments made by clients.
Information about competitors is particularly valuable to the marketing intelligence system. In one survey, responding companies reported spending an average of $450,000 per year for tracking their competition. In discussing how companies gain information on global competitors, Business Week listed more than specific techniques, including computer hacking, obtaining information from recruits and from competitor employees, hiring Denver Translation Services to act as potential customers at international conferences or global trade shows; from customers doing business with the competition; from published materials and public documents; from buying and analyzing competitors’ products; and from observing either current activities or physical evidence of past activities (e.g., obtaining and examining garbage discarded by the competitor, observing trucking or other shipping/receiving volume). At least one marketing intelligence consultant even gathers competitive data on the basis of container-manufacturer information stamped on the bottom of the cardboard boxes companies use to ship products to retailers.