Marketing decision-making using knowledge-based systems

Date of publication: June 15, 1992


Knowledge-based systems (KBS), a branch of artificial intelligence, are designed to replicate the functions performed by a human expert. They enable a user to consult a computer system as he/she would consult an expert advisor to figure out how to solve a problem or to make a decision. Marketing decision-making is complex, situational and unstructured. When making decisions in an unstructured problem situation, marketing managers must use judgement and their general problem-solving abilities. Surprisingly little is known about decision- making by practicing managers, and both research results and theoretical models are underutilized. The complexity and uncertainty in marketing require more advanced, efficient and productive tools for decision-making - there is an obvious need for more sophisticated marketing decision-making. In this paper we will examine the main requirements for a successful use of computer- based systems in marketing decision-making. We will focus on strategic market management in a pharmaceutical industry, outline a conceptual framework for strategic market management and discuss the structure of its knowledge base. Our main argument is that support of a KBS for strategic market management promises to improve the decision-making capabilities of the managers.

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