I thought it would be helpful to have an overview of Marketing Information Systems (MkIS) in the professions. I saw a neat infographic by Scott Barker on the Marketing Technology Landscape recently and despite the growing impact of technology on marketing was horrified at the incredible range and number of marketing systems listed on it. He uses six main categories and 42 sub-categories as follows:

  1. Marketing Experiences — more specialized technologies that directly affect prospects and customers across their lifecycle, such as advertising, email, social media, SEO, content marketing, A/B testing, marketing apps — the “front-office” of modern marketing.
  2. Marketing Operations — the tools and data for managing the “back-office” of marketing, such as analytics, MRM, DAM, and agile marketing management.
  3. Marketing Middleware such as DMPs, CDPs, tag management, cloud connectors, user management, and API services.
  4. Marketing Backbone Platforms such as CRM, marketing automation, content management, and e-commerce engines.
  5. Infrastructure services such as databases, big data management, cloud computing, and software development tools.
  6. Internet services such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter that underlie today’s marketing environment.

As it happens, I recently prepared a substantial guide for one of my clients on marketing information systems and thought I’d share the perspective of professional services firms where, let’s be honest, most firms aren’t at the bleeding edge of marketing technology. In the (old) text book model of marketing information systems (e.g. Kotler), there are the following main areas:

  1. Marketing environment
  2. Marketing information system (intelligence, research, information, internal analysis, external analysis)
  3. Marketing management (Analysis, Planning, Implementation, Organisation, Control)

I adopted a slightly different approach – bearing in mind that often the marketers and business developers have to share and source much valuable information from other systems within their firms – most notably from the financial/accountancy and human resources systems. So I came up with a more pragmatic model (to accommodate large and small firms as well as those serving commercial and consumer markets) as follows:

1. Client and Financial

  1. Client income and profitability
  2. Client transactions
  3. Client relationship management (CRM)
  4. Client research (perceptions and satisfaction)
  5. Targeting
  6. Opportunity and sales pipeline management
  7. Bid and tender tracker
  8. Referral and referrer management
  9. Key Account/Client Management (KAM)
  10. (Property and applicant database)

2. Research, Planning and Resources (accessed by fee-earners)

  1. Business intelligence
  2. Market research – environment, economy, competitors, markets
  3. Business and marketing plans (and progress reports)
  4. Budgets
  5. Policies and procedures
  6. Brand guidelines
  7. Publications, White Papers, newsletters etc
  8. Standard information about the firm
  9. Guides and training resources
  10. Past reports, tenders and presentations
  11. Fee-earner CVs and biographies, skills and experience matrix, personal plans
  12. Calendar of events
  13. Media information
  14. Client extranet/portal management

3.     Marketing/Business Development Operations

  1. Web site and Content Management System (CMS)
  2. Marketing assets (brand, content, articles, videos, images)
  3. Virtual platforms
  4. SEO, social media and community management
  5. Campaign management (includes email management)
  6. Event and project management
  7. Data management
  8. Digital asset management
  9. Design and copywriting
  10. Advertising
  11. Analytics
  12. Specialist marketing systems
  • Audio and video production/distribution (including videoconferencing/webinar)
  • Sales support
  • Estimating and pricing
  • On-line collaboration
  • Mobile app and e-learning development