Smart marketing managers and business owners know that operating without a marketing information management strategy can be costly. Keeping up with data quality issues costs the US economy an estimated $3.1 trillion annually. And with individual businesses shelling out multiple thousands of dollars to outsource the responsibilities, most are looking for a new solution. Enter marketing information management. 

Marketing information management is a powerful way businesses can take back control of their marketing research collection and organization. In the next two years alone, researchers predict we’ll see a 48% decrease in outsourced marketing information management as brands transition to creating their own systems. 

In this guide, you’ll learn what marketing information management is and how to overcome common implementation mistakes. Keep reading to discover the simple step by step process you’ll need to develop your own efficient marketing information management system with Wrike. 

What is marketing information management?

Marketing information management is the process of gathering, organizing, and analyzing important market research data. This data often consists of:

  • Sales reports
  • Results from past campaigns 
  • Expert insight from in-house teams 
  • Additional analytics from marketing software tools

Marketing teams use the compiled information to make decisions about all aspects of future projects. They can also use marketing information management to create informed business plans and decide in which direction to take their products or services. 

Why is marketing information management important?

Over time, this information adds up. Without a proper organization system, information can get lost which skews results, throws off forecasts, and leads to costly marketing spend. That’s why it’s essential to keep these invaluable data sets all in one searchable place. Having a system all employees can follow prevents vital details from slipping between the cracks. 

Here’s a fictional example of what can happen to brands who don’t use marketing information management: 

Let’s say you are a makeup brand launching a new eye shadow palette to a global audience using television commercials and targeted search ads in three different languages. Despite your preparation, the product receives 30% fewer sales than what you originally forecasted based on related campaigns for lipsticks. That’s where marketing information management comes in. 

In this scenario, marketing teams assumed that an eye shadow product would do as well as a lipstick product with the same audience, strategy, and reach. Had they done more research, they would have known that:

  1. Lip products were trending in their highest selling beauty markets anyway, and 
  2. Those same markets were already oversaturated with palettes because of the recent release of a celebrity eye makeup brand. 

Had they taken the time to find, save, and organize all their relevant market research into one central marketing information management system, they might have caught these stumbling blocks and pivoted to a better strategy. 

How do you know if you need marketing information management?

All marketing teams need marketing information management. Not only does it help prove ROI it also makes it easier to: 

  • Accurately forecast growth and sales potential.
  • Justify budget allocations.
  • Discover audience preferences.
  • Find new focus areas. 
  • Predict seasonal or industry buying cycles.
  • Compare branding and products with competitors. 
  • Keep a finger on the pulse of global, national, and local industry trends.
  • Pivot your existing strategy to a new, more efficient one.

Marketing information management provides concrete facts in a line of work that is important but often taken for granted. 

What are the challenges of marketing information management?

The biggest challenges of marketing information management include: 

  • Data storage and security
  • Lack of systems for labeling, capturing, and sorting data
  • Balancing information accessibility with privacy considerations
  • Data analytics in marketing
  • Finding an efficient yet compliant workflow
  • Holding employees accountable to following the agreed-upon management practices
  • Resolving redundancies and outdated information consistently,  aka keeping data “clean”

Three key data points you should track with marketing information management 

Your specific data needs will vary from project to project. However, you can always count on tracking the following categories: 

  1. Customer data
    This category includes anyone who has spent money on your product or service. Information can come from the marketing team, but sales and customer support may also offer insights. Look for trends across individual offers, demographics, and long term clientele. 
  2. Lead data
    Leads in this category refer to potential customers in any stage of the marketing sales funnel. Lead data can be captured from social media, websites, and any other major marketing channel from both paid and organic content. 
  3. Target audience data
    A combination of market research and an analysis of the previous two categories will help you better understand how your brand can best appeal to more of your target audience. Everything from new studies on demographics to industry trends to relevant global affairs can be used in this category. 

Common mistakes in marketing information management

Here are some common missteps and how to avoid them: 

  • Privacy issues
    Consumer data privacy will continue to be a hot topic as data hygiene gains popularity post-COVID. As entire government systems fall prey to foreign cyber attacks, the general population reconsiders what information they are willing to share. Work to protect the data you obtain and remain compliant with the latest regulations on issues like website cookie permission requests. 
  • Messy databases
    Random mistakes, failed updates, and duplicate files make searching for information difficult. Annoyances such as adding Ms. versus Mrs. to separate, almost duplicate files on the same customer can create confusion and bury the most current information. You’ll need to keep a set workflow and standard form entry protocol in place, especially if you have a large team. 
  • Inconsistent tracking
    Marketing information management can be overseen by marketing management or a business owner. However, to catch all the available data from numerous sources, you’ll have to rely on every employee to follow your system. Cover how you plan to conduct marketing information management in your onboarding or training program and follow up consistently. 

What is a marketing information system?

A marketing information system is a tool used by managers and marketing teams to collect, store, and analyze data properly. In other words, if marketing information management is the “what," then a marketing information system is the “how,” and an efficient system can show you "why" marketing metrics are important.

To set one up, begin with acquiring data. Every marketing information system uses these four building blocks: 

  1. Third-party databases
  2. Owned data
  3. Marketing intelligence tools
  4. Additional marketing research

The extent to which you use all of these components for data sourcing depends on your business’s needs. 

Now, you must determine how you’ll organize your data and measure your data analytics in marketing. A shared system of folders, files, and in-app messaging can streamline company-wide communication, all while keeping your system running. That’s precisely why marketing project management software is a great choice for creating a marketing information system your entire team can rely on. 

How to use Wrike as your marketing information system

Follow these step by step instructions to create a marketing information system the whole team can adopt quickly and easily: 

  1. Establish priorities
    Determine which marketing research methods you will use and what information you’ll need to collect and upload to Wrike. Start with any data sources that are frequently used or have a high ROI for your current project. 
  2. Designate folders
    Open four new folders and name them after the building blocks of marketing information management: third party databases, internal data, marketing intelligence reports, and additional marketing research. Add a sentence or two explaining the purpose of the folder. Then, put a list that includes all major information sources you plan to use for that category/folder. 
  3. Add tasks
    Set up one-time tasks such as connecting your sales CRM to Wrike. Then set up recurring tasks like adding all social media profile analytics reports to your designated folder every month. 
  4. Assign duties
    When you have your tasks sorted, assign them to relevant team members. Add approvers who can either hold them accountable or use the information for their next step of the project. 
  5. Automate reminders
    Add task dependencies so that the minute one task ends, an automated email notification is sent to the assignee of the next task. You can also automate and streamline marketing campaigns in Wrike all at the same time. 
  6. Create subfolders
    Label them by date, source, or project. Formalize your system but remember to keep it flexible. You may find your first labels aren’t the most efficient later on. 
  7. Include tags
    Use key project phrases, stages of your sales funnel, or even client account names to make your system easier to search through. You can always loop team members into specific conversations or files using @ mentions too. 
  8. Draft compliant workflows
    Visualize your market research workflow and marketing information management system with a Gantt chart. Update it as compliance regulations change so that the entire organization can stay on top of these important rules. 
  9. Integrate research tools
    Wrike integrates with hundreds of data resources you already use for reporting and communicating with customers. Sync your favorite tools with this marketing information management system to save time flipping between windows. 
  10. Give proper access
    In addition to marketing operations management, you’ll need to grant access to any department or team that can contribute information to your system. Edit their access level to keep data safe or make it easier for certain users to view what they need right when they need it. 

Who uses marketing information systems?

Marketers and their teams often use marketing information systems. — it depends on the size of your organization. For smaller companies without formal marketing departments, a business owner may take charge of all marketing information systems as they build their team. For larger businesses, departments like sales, accounting, and finance can also benefit from having a reference system for all customer-related information. 

Tips for creating your own marketing information management strategy

  • Don’t reinvent the wheel — assess your current system and work from there. 
  • Create a master spreadsheet of current information sources and sources you wish to add by next quarter. 
  • Prioritize KPIs that tie into major goals and prioritize collecting related information. 
  • Build a daily or weekly workflow all employees can follow, so they get in the habit of tracking relevant data. 
  • Choose a software that will allow other departments to collaborate on a project without creating additional chaos. 

Take ownership of your market research

Gain full visibility and control over critical market research with an information management system that streamlines the entire process. Engaging an all-in-one work management platform like Wrike lets you maintain compliance, keep data up to date, and consistently update the data you need to succeed. Use Wrike’s two-week free trial to overhaul your data ecosystem or create one from scratch.