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Marketing Environment Variables for Early Trend Identification

I work for an automobile dealership that sells a complete line of vehicles, from
full-size pickups and luxury sport-utility vehicles (SUVs) to economy cars and hybrids. After analyzing the recent changes in consumers' buying habits, my boss wants me to create a marketing information system for the dealership. The system should help the firm identify early trends in its marketing environment. These trends directly impact the consumer demand for different vehicles available for sale at the dealership.

Identify the variables in the dealership's marketing environment that need to be monitored to recognize and predict trends. Explain the need to monitor trends and forecasts for each of these variables. Describe how you will monitor these variables.

In addition, describe the role of marketing research in understanding how consumers' perception of the changes in these variables impacts their selection of an automobile.

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Some of the most important variables include:

1) Economic and industry conditions- It is extremely important to monitor the state of economy and industry as automobile industry is heavily affected by recession or boom in the economy. We can monitor this variable by closely following statistics and data published by various federal agencies and industry organizations. This will help us in formulating key strategic decisions pertaining to pricing, promotions, etc. and help in forecasting sales. For example, if we expect poor sales in the future due to weak economic conditions and slowing demand, we can plan our ordering and inventory strategy accordingly, as well as offer more discounts or promotional schemes to the customers.

2) Industry trends- We need to closely observe industry trends by attending conferences, ...