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Marketing Resource Management

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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 that also provide 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, 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 means that even small marketing organizations
need to manage many different programs and content versions across multiple channels, and
to quickly introduce new versions. 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.

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Marketing Resource Management

  1. 1. MARKETING RESOURCE MANAGEMENT HOW-TO GUIDE
  2. 2. 2 Marketing Resource Management How-to Guide 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 that also provide 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, 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 means that even small marketing organiza- tions need to manage many different programs and content versions across multiple channels, and to quickly introduce new versions. 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. HOW-TO GUIDE Marketing Resource Management
  3. 3. 3 Marketing Resource Management How-to Guide HOW-TO GUIDE Program Planning and Scheduling — Users are able to set up a list of marketing programs or campaigns, often building a multi- level 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 are 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 stan- dard assumptions, such as postage cost per piece, that are applied to all programs auto- matically. 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 overall 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. 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. Here is a closer look at the main features found in MRM systems. MRM Components Marketing Resource Management
  4. 4. 4 Marketing Resource Management How-to Guide HOW-TO GUIDE Reporting and Analytics — Because MRM systems capture plans and cost information, they sometimes provide a platform for reporting on marketing results. This reporting may extend to marketing performance, but only if the system can import response information from the customer database or accounting systems. Typical MRM reports would cover planned vs. actual expenses, show costs over time, and possibly calculate return on investment. The systems also provide operational reporting on functions they manage, such as project tasks, purchasing activities, content creation, and utilization. MRM analytics would rarely extend to detailed analysis of program results, customer profiling, segmentation, or predictive modeling. Marketing Resource Management The goal of MRM is to control the internal business processes of a marketing department. This means that any MRM deployment must focus on process change first and technology second. It also means that MRM is only adopted by organizations whose leaders recognize the need for process change and, in most cases, are willing to make the investments needed to ensure success. Because MRM is about process management, your action plan can draw on the extensive body of techniques developed to improve manufacturing and other production processes. Your organiza- tion may already have its own process improvement experts such as "six sigma black belts," who can help manage improvements to marketing processes. If not, there are many external resources including services staff at the MRM vendors. In general, the stages in process improvement are understanding the process, identifying sources of problems, and making changes to eliminate the problems. Problem areas are identified by setting standards for the cost and outputs of each step in the process and comparing the stan- dards with actual costs and outputs. Managers then research the causes of major variances and make changes to reduce them. The long-term goal is to continuously improve performance by removing problems and finding improved approaches that allow you to raise the standards. Where MRM projects diverge from generic process improvement is that most MRM projects are triggered by a specific problem the organization needs to solve, such as better control over budgets or easier access to content. This makes MRM more focused than an approach that looks at the entire process and addresses the most costly problems first. The action plan combines standard process improvement methods with the unique requirements of MRM. Follow the steps below to implement your MRM plan.
  5. 5. 5 Marketing Resource Management How-to Guide HOW-TO GUIDE Marketing Resource Management Bottom Line The complexity of today's multi-­channel, highly segmented marketing programs means that nearly every company needs a systematic approach to managing its marketing processes. Marketing resource management supports this approach, whether it is delivered in a stand-­alone MRM system or embedded in a larger marketing management suite. But marketers must realize that MRM technology is only as good as the processes it manages, and ensure they devote enough effort to defining the processes they want and training the staff to implement those processes correctly.
  6. 6. 6 Marketing Resource Management How-to Guide 1 2 3 4 Define Goals Document Existing Processes Set Priorities Define Future Processes Most MRM projects start with an identified problem. But because so many marketing processes are interrelated, addressing this one problem can easily lead to a project that touches nearly every marketing oper- ation. The challenge at this stage is to define a specific set of goals that can be achieved without disrupting the entire marketing department. Your definition should include metrics that can be translated into business value, such as reduced expense, higher staff productivity, or faster project delivery. These will show whether you have achieved your goals. Action Plan STEP 1 - Define Goals 5 6 Find Software Execute, Modify, and improve Specific Goals Offer Visible Metrics for Marketing Flow
  7. 7. 7 Marketing Resource Management How-to Guide 1 2 3 4 Define Goals Document Existing Processes Once you have identified your project goals, the next step is to analyze the existing processes related to those goals. This assumes these processes exist; if things are really out of control, the relevant tasks may be performed without a consistent process at all. Even in this case, you'll want to iden- tify the ideal process under the current conditions. Once you identify (or for the first time define) the processes, and the people who perform them, you'll have a model that helps you understand the implications of any future changes. Action Plan STEP 2 - Document Existing Processes 5 6 Set Priorities Define Future Processes Find Software Execute, Modify, and improve Develop A Model for Each Process and Its Expectation
  8. 8. 8 Marketing Resource Management How-to Guide 1 2 3 4 5 6 Set Priorities Even a constrained set of goals may include more change than the department can handle at once. You'll need to prioritize the project components based on a combination of factors, including the value of each improve- ment, the number of people and processes affected, and dependencies among changes. But this may not be possible in practice; even small changes often impact large numbers of people across multiple groups. This would mean that even your first change has a major impact. Choose Your Priorities Wisely for Positive Impact Action Plan STEP 3 - Set Priorities Define Goals Document Existing Processes Define Future Processes Find Software Execute, Modify, and improve
  9. 9. 9 Marketing Resource Management How-to Guide 1 2 3 4 5 6 Define Future Processes Now you are ready to look closely at the first processes you want to change and to define how the improved processes will work. This will require specifying the steps in the process, and then the inputs, tasks, and outputs of each step, along with who will do the work. You'll also need to define the criteria that determine when each step has been completed successfully, such as check- lists to evaluate when a piece of content has been properly approved. Test the new processes by running through them manually to be sure they make sense and are truly complete. Assign measures to each correctly and whether costs are in line with expectations. Action Plan STEP 4 - Define Future Processes Define Goals Document Existing Processes Set Priorities Find Software Execute, Modify, and improve Setting Proper Processes and Steps Along the Way
  10. 10. 10 Marketing Resource Management How-to Guide 1 2 3 4 5 6 Find Software Once you've defined the new processes, you can look for software that fits your desired process flows and captures the required data. If you can't find a perfect match, at least consider revising your process designs to fit what the software supports. After all, the software was probably based on successful processes with earlier users. Beyond support for your desired processes, consider ease of learning, ease of use, compatibility with organizational and plan- ning structures, control over which users perform which tasks, numbers of users and languages supported, and integration with other systems. Be sure to look beyond your initial changes to ensure the system is compatible with your long-term needs for additional functions. Of course, standard software purchasing considerations including price, support, tech- nology, and vendor stability will also play into your decision. Action Plan STEP 5 - Find Software Define Goals Document Existing Processes Set Priorities Define Future Processes Execute, Modify, and improve Discover the Right Software to Get It Done
  11. 11. 11 Marketing Resource Management How-to Guide 1 2 3 4 5 6 Execute, Modify, and Improve Action Plan STEP 6 - Execute, Modify, and Improve Plan your actual deployment carefully, making sure to allow enough time and budget for system configuration, testing and user training. It's always a good idea to start with pilot projects that ensure the system works correctly before you switch everything over from your previous processes. Provide ample support to ensure that new users understand the changes and are using the system correctly. Measure performance at each stage of the process, and make adjust- ments as you uncover unexpected problems and opportunities. Use the metrics you defined up front to measure cost, time, and quality across the entire process to document the value of your improvements. Once the initial changes are in place and running smoothly, move on to addi- tional changes in the planned sequence. Define Goals Document Existing Processes Set Priorities Define Future Processes Find Software Moving Wisely from Pilot Tests to Full Implementation
  12. 12. Demand Metric is a marketing research and advisory firm serving a membership community of over 100,000 marketing professionals and consultants in 75 countries. Offering consulting playbooks, advisory services, and 500+ premium marketing tools and templates, Demand Metric resources and expertise help the marketing community plan more efficiently and effectively, answer the difficult questions about their work with authority and conviction, and complete marketing projects more quickly and with greater confidence — thus boosting the respect of the marketing team and making it easier to justify resources the team needs to succeed. To learn more about Demand Metric, please visit www.demandmetric.com About Demand Metric Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Join Linkedin Group © Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

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