Check Out the New Markendium Series

A Short Review of Markendium Books 1 and 2

If you’ve ever owned the SMPS Marketing Handbook, or wanted a guide to the basics of all things AEC marketing, then you should check out the new SMPS Markendium books. After hearing all of the buzz about the new books, I checked out the first two books in the six-book series, which cover the first two SMPS Marketing Domains of Practices: Marketing Research (Volume 1) and Marketing Planning (Volume 2). I was amazed at how quick and easy they were to read.

Volume 1: Marketing Research

I checked this book out specifically to see what might be new in the research world, as I started my new job as a Marketing Analyst. I was really looking for great examples of how firms were analyzing and interpreting their data. What I found is that the book not only covered those time-tested basics such as primary vs. secondary research (which you will need to review if you are studying to become a Certified Professional Services Marketer (CPSM), it was also full of real-world example shown in short but poignant side “idea” boxes. For those studying for their CPSM exam, there are key terms at the end of each chapter to focus on as well as a glossary at the end. For those wanting to expand their applicable knowledge, there are plenty of charts, tables, and graphic examples to use as starting points.

One area I was excited to see covered was a discussion on ethics in marketing research. I was continually impressed with how broadly the topics were covered. There was just enough information to help you build research ideas, yet there were so many ideas that you could build on in your projects for years to come.

Volume 2: Marketing Planning

This book is a nice follow-up to the Research book; once you’ve completed your research, the planning typically begins. Here again there are plenty of key terms and standard material included, such as the Strengths Weaknesses, Opportunities Threats (SWOT) model. However, the book also covers new and updated models such as the Porter’s five forces model for how to analyze market forces (broken down into buyer bargaining power, supplier bargaining power, competitive threats, substitute product/services threats, and rivalry among competitors), as well as a market model using the acronym EPISTLE (economic, political, international, socio-cultural, technological, legal, and environmental).

Marketing planning also captures starting points for creating a firm vision and mission, as well as specific and measureable goals and objectives for your plan. The section on how to facilitate planning meetings is great for marketers wanting to help their firms in leading planning discussions, and the book even covers the basics of setting up a marketing budget. Again, it was great to see the book show you how to go from beginning and basic planning to grander scale plans in about 100 pages.


If there is anything to count as a miss in the new books, it would be that they are lacking in detailed hand-out style examples (as you may be used to seeing in the older Marketing Handbook). If you keep in mind that there are many examples of what firms are using on the libraries, and that these books are really just a jumping off point to more detailed discussion amongst your firm/other SMPS members, then they have more than enough to get you started. I would have appreciated a few more resources for deeper dives on topics, but again, that information is harder to keep current.

Whether you are studying for your CPSM, are the only marketer at your firm, or have a team of marketers in your office, having a set of Markendium books to reference for best practices and new ideas is worth the cost. If you can’t afford a set for yourself, check out the books for a short time through the SMPS Oregon Library.

Written by Stacey Ho, CPSM ~ Marketing Analyst with WSP.

If you would like to write a review of any of the other Markendium 3-6 books, simply submit your short blog review to SMPS Oregon Communications.

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