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How-To Guide: Marketing Resource Management
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How-To Guide: Marketing Resource Management

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  • 1. How-To Guide Marketing Resource Management By David Raab, CEO at Raab Associates December 2013 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Marketing Resource Management (MRM) systems control the administrative processes that support customer-facing marketing programs. This distinguishes MRM from marketing execution systems that store customer databases and deliver marketing messages through email, Web ads, and other channels. MRM may be sold independently or as a component of comprehensive marketing management systems which also provides execution. MRM functions fall into two primary clusters. The first involves functions related to company-level marketing management, including program planning, scheduling, budgeting, and cost reporting. The other cluster relates to program management, including task lists, purchasing media and materials, and content creation, approvals, storage, and distribution. Some MRM systems specialize in a few of these functions. Others specialize in additional functions such as customizing content for local offices or dealers or in marketing reporting and analysis. Systems may also be tailored to specific industries or companies of a certain size. Companies buy MRM systems when their marketing programs become too complicated to run in a less systematic fashion. This, along with the systems’ high cost, originally meant that MRM was used almost exclusively by large marketing organizations with hundreds of marketers in multiple offices. More recently, the growth of digital marketing has meant that even small marketing organizations need to manage many different programs and content versions across multiple © 2013 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  • 2. How-To Guide channels, and to introduce new versions more quickly. This expanded complexity has rarely been accompanied by a corresponding expansion of staff, adding to the pressure for more efficient operations. At the same time, costs have decreased as MRM capabilities were added to integrated marketing suites and as stand-alone MRM products became available as vendor-hosted services (Software as a Service, or SaaS). The result has been increased use of MRM systems among companies of all sizes. MRM COMPONENTS Here is a closer look at the main features found in MRM systems.  Program Planning and Scheduling – Users are able to set up a list of marketing programs or campaigns, often building a multilevel hierarchy such as multiple campaigns within a program and multiple events within a campaign. Programs are often assigned to categories based on purpose (acquisition, retention, cross-sell, etc.), brand, product line, region, and other attributes. These categories used for reporting roll-ups and to limit access to the people responsible for a particular type of program. Programs or their components typically have other attributes such as start and end dates, budgets for cost and response, and owners. Most MRM systems let users define these attributes and their labels, making it easier to adapt the system to their particular organization. Nearly all systems can produce a marketing calendar showing programs and their dates, often with options to display the calendar in different formats and to filter which programs are included.  Budgets and Actual Costs – Budgeting options can range from a single value per program to detailed estimates by cost category and time period. Some systems can calculate program cost based on user-entered quantities and cost per unit. This approach may extend to standard assumptions, such as postage cost per piece, that are applied to all programs automatically. Beyond cost budgets, the system may allow users to enter other estimated values such as number of messages sent (direct mail pieces, emails, telephone calls, ad impressions, etc.) and responses received. Actual costs and other values may be entered manually by the user or posted automatically from accounting and customer management systems. Some systems let users enter over-all budgets for program categories, which can then be compared with budgets for specific programs to see how much of the total budget has been spent or allocated. © 2013 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  • 3. How-To Guide  Task Management – Some systems provide project management features to track the development of individual programs. These can be anything from simple checklists to templates that automatically create a project schedule based on the start date and number of work days between tasks. An advanced system could include dependencies of one task on others, standard cost and labor hours, automatic task assignments to roles or individuals, notification of new tasks to the assigned person or department head, posting of actual labor time and task status, workload analysis, notification of completed tasks, approval tracking, and alerts for tasks that are overdue. The system might be linked to corporate human resources and security systems to automatically update roles and responsibilities. To read the rest of this How-to Guide, become a Demand Metric member today! © 2013 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.