- Marketing resource management —an expanding category
- What does marketing resource management do?
- What kind of teams will benefit from marketing resource management?
- What to look for in an MRM tool?
Manage collaborative workflows, creative processes, brand compliance, and distributed workforces with efficiency, intelligence, and transparency.
Marketing resource management —an expanding category
Marketing resource management (MRM) is a set of software tools that support strategy and workflow optimization within organizations. These tools help teams manage and centralize marketing projects — whether entire campaigns or one-off assets — while providing an integrated environment for content planning, production, governance, and execution.
As the MRM field has evolved over the past two decades, it's become a somewhat fluid category.
Consider the breadth of Gartner's current definition:
"Marketing resource management applications enable strategic planning and budgeting, program management, creative development and distribution, content management, media planning and execution, event coordination, and resource measurement."
In their MRM 2.0 definition, Gartner even includes reporting.
Anyone reading these definitions alone would be justified in thinking MRM covers all their digital needs. After all, if MRM software takes care of everything from content planning and creation to distribution, then what else (other than managing your actual workforce) do you need? But while justified, they’d also be wrong. Two words are essential: resource management.
MRM won’t actually distribute content for you across your various channels, let alone give you a web presence. For that, you still need a CMS, or better yet, a DXP.
What does marketing resource management do?
As noted above, MRM is an evolving category, but here are some of the reasons teams are putting MRM tools to use today:
- Planning, scheduling, and budgeting for marketing programs and activities
- Managing the workflow of content and collateral production
- Aligning content with campaigns
- Unique features tailored to each team member’s role (such as a specific dashboard for the Corporate Campaign Manager with visualization of critical metrics)
- Insight into content performance and ROI
- Maintaining brand compliance
- Transparency and visibility
MRM software bridges the gap between planning and execution. It accelerates production, review, and approval. And with streamlined workflows, approved levels of access, and collaborative work environments, it enables internal and external teams to collaborate in a shared space.
What kind of teams will benefit from marketing resource management?
Whether you’re a small- to medium-sized organization or a huge global company, any marketing team that requires coordination between several members (or multiple teams, both internal and external) can use an MRM. When teams are distributed, MRM becomes even more important to ensuring a steady stream of content and marketing production.
In our Covid-19 environment, where over 60% of marketers have shifted resources to building better customer-facing digital interfaces and 61% of employees are working from home, it’s no surprise that MRM technology is increasingly essential.
What to look for in an MRM tool?
Given the range of what MRM seeks to manage, this may seem counterintuitive. Allow us to clarify. Take, for example, one tool MRM provides: a marketing calendar. When you have multiple teams across various time zones simultaneously working on numerous campaigns, coordination can quickly become a nightmare. But by using metadata and a uniform taxonomy, the right calendar can automate much of the coordination, decreasing human error while increasing the simplicity of planning for everyone involved.
Whether through project templates, stage-gate workflows, easy-to-use proofing tools, or intuitive dashboards, the right MRM tool should increase simplicity in content strategizing and production across the board.
But don’t go too simple. Your MRM tool should be sophisticated enough to grow with you and your team. Flexible and customizable workflows and interfaces are essential. Say, for example, that some of your marketing teams prefer a waterfall methodology, while others prefer an agile approach to managing their projects. The right MRM should enable both — and even support a transition from one to the other.
Some other aspects to look for? Transparency, visibility, and access control. A key benefit of an MRM tool is transparency across the content planning and production process. When team members can see where each aspect of all campaigns are, who needs to do what, and when it will be complete, it’s much easier to identify gaps (in both content and resources), streamline processes, and hold all members accountable. Flexibility is a factor here as well. You may have some team members (such as external agencies) that need access to certain aspects of a project but not all, an MRM tool that enables different levels of access is critical.
As noted above, while MRM is a fluid and expanding category of software, it won’t solve all of your needs. In addition to a DXP, you’ll likely still require digital asset management (DAM) — software that stores and organizes digital assets. (Some MRMs include lite DAMs, but often without the full functionality teams have come to expect today.)
You’ll probably also want the ability to integrate data from your MRM into your CMS or DXP, social channels, and possibly even your CRM, e-commerce channels, and more. Whether natively integrated or having a robust set of APIs, ensure your MRM can connect not only to the systems you use today but also to those you may need tomorrow.
If your marketing department needs to manage distributed workforces, collaborative workflows, creative processes, and brand compliance with efficiency and transparency, you could likely benefit from MRM.
Sitecore’s MRM can be used as part of Sitecore Content Hub’s full suite of tools, or as one tool for managing the entire content lifecycle with the natively integrated Sitecore Experience Cloud. Explore Sitecore MRM, and don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions.