Let’s face it, we are capable of gathering way more marketing data than ever before.
And in an age where we have metrics for just about everything we do, that means there’s quite a bit of data to sift through.
Marketing data has taken on a life of its own, it’s more than numbers on a spreadsheet, it’s an entire science, a meticulous and strategic approach that can help your organization make better decisions, minimize risk, and create more impactful marketing strategies.
But that’s only if you can utilize it effectively.
This is where Marketing Information Management comes into play. In an era where marketers are drowning in data, MIM is a way to cut through the chaos and extract the meaningful insights that drive informed decision-making and more effective marketing strategies.
Ready to learn more?
We thought so!
Let’s dive in.
What is Marketing Information Management?
Here’s our best marketing information management definition: Marketing information is the process of collecting, storing, analyzing, and managing marketing-related data and information in order to make well-informed decisions within a business or organization.
The goal of marketing information management is to make sure that the most relevant and accurate data is available to marketing professionals and key decision-makers so that they can make informed choices, develop effective marketing strategies, and optimize their overall performance.
What Kind of Marketing Information Do I Need to Manage?
The 4 components of a marketing information system are:
- Internal data — This is the information and data that your company gathers from its own operations, like sales records, customer interactions, and other internal sources.
- Acquired databases — These are external databases purchased or otherwise obtained by your company to gather additional information about customers, markets, competitors, or other relevant factors.
- Competitive intelligence — Competitive intelligence is collecting and analyzing data about your competitors, their products or services, pricing strategies, marketing tactics, and other relevant data to gain a better understanding of the competitive landscape and where you stand in it.
- Marketing research — This is the process of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting information to aid your decision-making. It involves studying market trends, customer preferences, consumer behavior, and other factors that have an impact on your marketing strategies and decisions.
What’s so Important about Marketing Information Management?
Added together, all of the information above is absolute gold when it comes to making informed marketing decisions for your brand.
As our lives become increasingly digital and marketing continues to evolve, it’s necessary to use these data-driven insights for every move you make, from deciding on what kind of content to use for marketing to growing your business.
But because marketing data covers a huge variety of topics, like customer data, competitor analysis, campaign analysis, and so on, it can be easy to get your wires crossed and confuse your data points.
This can lead to wrong decisions, overspending, and missed opportunities.
This is why having a marketing information management system in place is mission-critical in order to decrease the likelihood of negative impact and wasted opportunities!
How to Create a Marketing Information Management System
For something as important as keeping track of your marketing data, you need something that both works for your team and aligns with your goals.
To help you decide what kind of system works best for your brand, here is a handy 5-step guide to get you started!
Step 1. Define Your Objectives
Your marketing information management system can only be as effective as the goals it aims to hit!
What do you want your MIM to accomplish for your brand? Be sure to clearly define your goals and objectives you aim to achieve.
Here are some factors for you to consider in order to optimize your marketing information management strategies:
- Business Goals — Clearly lay out what your organization wants to achieve. Set specific targets for increasing revenue, expanding into new markets, and boosting brand recognition.
- Marketing Objectives — Define what you want to achieve with your marketing strategy. This could involve goals like bringing in new leads, keeping existing customers, and measuring the success of your marketing campaigns with specific metrics.
- Data-Related Objectives — Set up guidelines for accuracy, speedy processing, and making sure everything is secure and compliant with regulations. This way, you can trust that the insights coming from your MIMS are solid.
- Team Collaboration and Efficiency — Sketch out goals to encourage smooth teamwork between your marketing teams and other departments. Emphasize boosting efficiency in all things related to handling data.
- Long-Term Strategic Planning — Look ahead at the adaptability of your MIM strategies to factors like changing market conditions and evolving business strategies. Be sure to account for scalability to accommodate your future growth and increased data demands.
Step 2. Identify Data Sources
Once you decide on your goals, it’s time to decide what data you’re going to use and where it will be coming from.
Pinpoint the sources of marketing data crucial for your objectives and decide what metrics you’ll be including in your MIM.
Here are some common data sources brands use:
- Internal Databases — We’ve already mentioned the first four entries of this list earlier, but to reiterate, you’ll want to keep tabs on things like customer profiles, sales records — basically, anything in your internal databases that is important to know to achieve your marketing goals.
- Market Research — Check out industry reports, run customer surveys, and keep an eye on trends. This information can help you better understand market trends and your ever-evolving customer preferences.
- Competitive Intelligence — Keep tabs on what your competitors are up to. Competitive intelligence gives you insight into their strategies, market moves, and customer interactions to help you refine your own strategies.
- External Data Providers — Consider teaming up with external data providers for extra help. These sources can offer specialized data sets, industry benchmarks, and demographic information to give your MIMS a wider range of data and deeper insights.
- Online and Social Media Analytics — Monitor online conversations and mentions of your brand and keep track of your social media metrics. Being aware of this will help you to notice any emerging trends that you can capitalize on.
Other Metrics to Keep an Eye On:
- Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) — Measures the cost of acquiring a new customer.
- Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) — The total value a customer brings to your business over their entire engagement.
- Conversion Rates — Track the percentage of leads that convert into paying customers.
- Market Share — Assess your portion of the total market compared to your competitors.
- Brand Engagement Metrics — Monitor social media engagement, brand mentions, and sentiment.
Step 3. Create and Implement a Plan
When you’ve set your goals, decided which metrics best align with them, and decided from where you’ll be pulling all of your data, the fun part begins.
Here is where you’ll create and implement a data management system or software that aligns with your organization’s needs and uses your chosen data most effectively.
Here are some things you’ll want to look for in a MIM system:
- Needs Assessment — Examine what your marketing team needs from their data, covering the types of data, its volume, and its complexity.
- Scalability — Make sure your data management system is scalable and capable of accommodating the expanding data and user needs as your organization grows.
- Data Integration — Choose a system that seamlessly integrates with various data sources and platforms for an easier and more efficient exchange of information.
- User-Friendly Interface — You need a system that is user-friendly and easy to work with. An intuitive design minimizes the learning curve for your marketing team.
- Customization — Look for a data management system that allows for customization to better align with the unique requirements of your brand. This ensures a seamless fit with your specific workflow and processes.
- Data Security — Cybersecurity is critical for marketers. You and your clients need a system with excellent security features that provide safeguards for sensitive marketing data, protecting it from unauthorized access, breaches, or other potential risks.
- Compliance — Make sure the system you choose complies with data protection regulations and industry standards. This is critical for upholding legal and ethical practices in handling marketing data.
- Reporting and Analytics — Look at your system's reporting and analytics features. A good system should have tools for extracting meaningful insights from stored data to empower your marketing team to make more informed decisions.
How to Choose a Data Management System
Then it’s time to choose which system best meets those needs.
To do that, you’ll need to sit down with your team and …
- Research and Compare — Research available data management systems and compare features, user reviews, and case studies to understand how they perform in a real-world setting. Do the same with the vendors selling the systems or software.
- Consider Compatibility — Make sure the system you choose is compatible with your existing technology stack. It should integrate with other tools and platforms used by your marketing team and be able to scale with your projected growth.
- Consider Your Budget — Take a look at the total cost, including initial setup, licensing, and maintenance. Choose a system that fits your budget while still meeting your data requirements.
Types of Marketing Information Management Systems
Once you’ve got a better idea of what you need from a MIM system, here are some popular systems used by other marketers.
Remember to choose the system (or systems) that best align with the KPIs you’re trying to monitor and work best for your brand.
- Content Management Systems (CMS) — CMS platforms are used to create, manage, and publish digital content. Popular Examples: WordPress, Drupal, Joomla.
- Social Media Management Tools — These tools help businesses with social media management by scheduling posts, analyzing engagement, and monitoring social media conversations. Popular Examples: Hootsuite, Buffer, Sprout Social.
- Survey and Feedback Tools — Tools for creating and conducting surveys to gather feedback from customers or target audiences. They are often used in market research and customer satisfaction analysis. Popular Examples: SurveyMonkey, Typeform, Google Forms.
- Web Analytics Platforms — Web analytics tools track and analyze website traffic, user behavior, and other online metrics. They also provide insights into the performance of online marketing efforts. Popular Examples: Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, Matomo.
- Email Marketing Platforms — These platforms are designed for creating, sending, and analyzing email marketing campaigns. They often include features for list management and automation. Popular Examples: Mailchimp, Constant Contact, ActiveCampaign.
Step 4. Train Your Team
Now that your shiny, new system is in play, the next step is to make sure your team can use it effectively. After all, even the best MIM systems won’t work if they’re not being used correctly.
Check in on what your team already knows and then determine where they could use a little extra help. Customize a training plan based on everyone's role, keeping education material interesting by mixing written content with videos, hands-on sessions, and easy-to-follow guides.
Look into what training material your MIM vendor has to offer too —they might have already-made tutorials or support sessions for you to take advantage of. Don't be shy about reaching out to them to ask, either! You’re their valued customer and most vendors want to keep their customers happy.
After the training, set up a friendly support system. Whether it's an in-house expert or a go-to person from the vendor, having someone to ask questions to and provide continuous learning is key to keeping your team trained and your system working as efficiently as possible.
Step 5. Monitor and Improve
Congrats on getting your MIM system off the ground and running!
Now you’ll have to make sure that it stays up-to-date and effective. Here’s a quick checklist of what to look for in your regular assessments:
- Continuous Improvement — Always keep an eye out for areas that could use a bit of fine-tuning. Regular adjustments keep your data collection strategies optimized and working for you in the best possible way.
- User Training Updates — When your MIM system levels up, make sure your team does too. Keep everyone in the loop with fresh training materials and pay attention to your team. As they use the system, new issues may arise, so adapt the training to fit these new requirements as they come up.
- Performance Metrics — Define success with key metrics like user adoption rates, data accuracy, and operational efficiency. Regularly check in on these metrics to make sure your system is always in tune and delivering.
- Team Collaboration — Be sure to create feedback loops within your team, making sure everyone's voice is heard. Open communication about the system's performance and any hurdles faced keep everything running smoothly.
Benefits of a Marketing Information Management System
Successfully implementing a marketing information management system offers several benefits for brands looking to boost their marketing efforts and get the most ROI for their marketing activities.
Here are just a few:
- Data Centralization — MIM systems centralize marketing data, providing a single, organized hub for all relevant information. Easy access to consolidated data improves efficiency, reduces data silos, and ensures consistency in marketing decision-making.
- Improved Decision-Making — MIM systems support data-driven decision-making by providing real-time insights and analysis. Marketing professionals can make informed and strategic decisions, leading to more effective campaigns and better resource allocation.
- Enhanced Customer Understanding — MIM systems enable comprehensive customer profiling and segmentation. Marketers gain a deeper understanding of customer preferences, behaviors, and needs, allowing for more personalized and targeted marketing strategies.
- Efficient Campaign Management — MIM systems streamline the planning, execution, and monitoring of marketing campaigns. Improved efficiency in campaign management leads to cost savings, quicker time-to-market, and better coordination among your marketing and sales teams.
- Optimized Resource Allocation — MIM systems provide insights into the performance of various marketing channels and tactics. Organizations can allocate resources more effectively by focusing on channels and strategies tha will yield the highest ROI.
- Real-Time Analytics — MIM systems often offer real-time analytics and reporting capabilities. Marketers can monitor campaign performance as it happens, allowing for quick adjustments and optimization based on factors like emerging trends or shifts in customer behavior.
- Competitive Advantage — MIM systems support competitive analysis by providing insights into competitors' strategies. Organizations can adapt their marketing strategies based on a thorough understanding of market trends and competitor activities, gaining a competitive edge.
- Cross-Channel Integration — MIM systems facilitate integration with various marketing channels. Marketers can create cohesive and synchronized cross-channel campaigns, ensuring a consistent brand message and customer experience.
- Data Security and Compliance — MIM systems often come with robust security features and help organizations adhere to data privacy regulations. Ensuring data security and compliance builds trust with customers and protects the organization from legal risks.
- Continuous Improvement — MIM systems support ongoing performance measurement and analysis. Marketers can iterate and improve strategies based on data-driven insights, fostering a culture of continuous improvement.
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