Between email and Instagram, LinkedIn and print campaigns, marketers have more avenues for outreach than ever before. But this variety of channels and tactics brings numerous challenges, chief among them: how to stay organized? Marketing involves countless moving parts. Things get complicated quickly. Marketing resource management is an effective way marketing departments can plan, organize, and track complicated marketing operations, with the goal of saving time and money and increasing efficiency.
What Is Marketing Resource Management?
Often abbreviated as MRM, marketing resource management is a way of unifying a company’s marketing plans, tasks, budgets, collateral, and ideation under one simple software solution. MRM software lets marketers track the development of creative materials, plan their marketing strategy, plan budgets, manage company resources and brands, coordinate events, distribute marketing assets internally and externally, and also use data to measure marketing initiatives’ effectiveness in order to improve creative’s ROI.
These capabilities break down into clear categories.
The Different Capabilities of Marketing Resource Management
A range of capabilities fall under the umbrella of marketing resource management. While some overlap, these are distinct tasks.
- Brand management: Marketers often have numerous brands to market. Different brands in different categories require different tactics, have different personae, and can find customers in different points along the path to purchase. MRM software lets you tailor your approach and keep track of them all.
- Creative development and collateral management: Now that you have designed and created your marketing collateral, it’s time to distribute it. Many organizations use software known as digital asset management, or DAM. Although on the surface, digital assets seem like the sort of marketing resources that MRMs manage, DAM software is designed specifically to store, organize, and retrieve digital assets, centralizing what frequently gets stored in multiple locations. This means you will need an MRM solution that can integrate a DAM into it effectively.
- Media planning and execution: Campaigns, campaigns, campaigns, there are always more campaigns. Between meetings, product launches, webinar launches, campaign launches, and lead ups, it’s so easy to drop the proverbial ball and forget important action items. MRM solutions help control complex workflows so you can focus on success. By tracking the strategic and financial planning of marketing initiatives, an MRM provides a clear roadmap of all the activities involved in a campaign, from timetables to goals to budgeting.
- Event coordination: When the big push comes, you want to focus on execution. MRMs let marketers plant, schedule, and execute virtual and on-site events with more effective exchanges, more precise scheduling, and fewer bottlenecks.
- Strategic planning and budgeting: Anyone can plan a marketing campaign and design materials. Successful marketers plan strategically. Marketing resource management technology enables smart, logistical planning and equally strategic channel marketing budgeting to maximize impact.
- Measuring effectiveness: Managing your initiatives’ budgets and expenditures is important, but a good MRM also uses data to measure performance, which lets marketers gauge the return on investment, or ROI. Are your initiatives impactful? Are you getting the greatest value for your investment? Do costs run too high for the ROI? While you manage campaigns’ costs, MRMs also let you manage their value, too, and you can refine your approach accordingly.
The Benefits of Marketing Resource Management Software
Why use an MRM? To save time and money and increase efficiency. When employees work on a single task, such as creating a case study or a digital flyer, an MRM lets that team of designers, marketers, and copywriters coordinate more effectively, and when one marketing tasks requires less time to complete, that frees time to accomplish another marketing task. And fewer errors, bottlenecks, and back-and-forth means faster delivery.
Overall, marketing resource management software offers simplicity in a complicated profession. It provides efficiency when there are too many opportunities to squander time and money. And it provides increased confidence in your marketing efforts’ impact, confidence that the difficult stuff you do matters.
More specifically, marketing resource management solutions’ main benefits include:
- Centralizing: MRMs enable teams to work on the same set of approved assets, which can be integrated into your website, email, and other applications.
- Creative Approvals: MRM solutions direct creative to your organization’s legal and other teams for digital sign off, providing a clear trail of approvals for auditing.
- Automation: MRMs keeps creative assets up-to-date by automating their expiration along with outdated claims and legal copy.
- Tracking: MRMs track expenditures against targets to keep your team on budget.
- Task Management: MRM task management capabilities won’t let deadlines pass.
The Connection Between an MRM and a TCMA
MRM solutions share certain features in common with TCMAs, or Through-Channel Marketing Automation.
Through-Channel Marketing Automation is a technology platform that empowers brands to scale their advertising programs across multiple channels and drive local sales by managing brand assets and marketing resources with channel partners. Also referred to as distributed marketing management, or DMM, Forrester analyst Jay McBain coined the term TCMA in 2017 and has steadily published significant research on the topic, including use cases, benefits, and an overview of the TCMA vendor landscape.
For marketers in a distributed organization, a TCMA lets larger national companies reach local customers. For channel partners, a TCMA platform empowers them to localize corporate messaging, create brand compliant marketing materials, and effectively manage their co-op dollars. The platform provides marketing templates and resources that match the current corporate campaign and can be customized for increased relevancy within their local market.
Unlike an MRM, a TCMA does not manage event coordination, strategic planning, or media execution. It focuses on marketing campaigns, collateral, and funding, and it can integrate into a well-designed MRM.
Key Features of the Best Through-Channel Marketing Automation Platforms
Like a well-designed MRM solution, the best TCMA solutions provide a one-stop-shop where channel partners can easily complete essential channel marketing tasks, such as accessing logos, customizing templates, ordering promotional items, and managing co-op funds. Key features of the best through-channel marketing automation platforms include:
- Streamlined workflow
- Customizable governance
- Robust analytics
- Easy for business partners to use
- Shared brand marketing assets
- Controlled local customization
- Efficient portal for distribution of content
That sounds a lot like an MRM solution’s managerial capabilities, but a TCMA is a related, supporting technology that can be integrated.
So when your friends outside of marketing ask, “So, what did you do today?” you can tell them “Way too much.” You don’t have to tell them you got help from an MRM.
Ready to Simplify Your Business by Consolidating Your Marketing Tasks?
Contact BrandMuscle and learn more about our through-channel marketing automation solution.