What is Marketing Resource Management? Definition of MRM, Best Practices, and More

Marketing resource management is an overarching term that refers to software and technology solutions, now largely cloud-based, that help manage and centralize your marketing collateral.

man surrounded by computer screens

Definition of Marketing Resource Management

Marketing resource management, or MRM, is the software infrastructure that supports marketing operations– that is, the delicate balance of technology, creative and logistic processes, and your team, to execute marketing activities successfully.

Let’s back up. Gartner originally classified MRM as a single software solution designed for:

  1. strategic planning and budgeting;
  2. project management;
  3. creative development and distribution;
  4. content management, media planning and execution;
  5. event coordination; and
  6. resource measurement.

In other words, the core requirements for large-scale brand management.

Fast-forward to today, and modern marketing resource management (aka MRM 2.0) also extends to tools and technologies groups required for effectively managing your marketing resources, especially cloud services and software-as-a-service apps. In other words, in MRM 2.0, companies are more likely to use several hyper-focused solutions over one single piece of multi-capable technologyDigital asset management solutions (DAM), for instance, are valuable platforms for centralizing and streamlining the management of a company’s digital assets, eliminating the need for keeping tabs on important assets across a multitude of repositories.

What MRM Is Not

It’s important to understand that MRM platforms are much more robust than “web-to-print” systems, which have existed in some form since the mid-1990s; the two should not be confused. MRM platforms represent fully integrated, adaptable business technologies that provide brand-to-customer marketing experiences and solutions.

Why Use Marketing Resource Management? two men pointing at data printouts

If we could sum it up in one thought, MRM exists to save time and marketing resources.

In other words, think of just one single marketing task – for example, preparing a single digital flyer. Related activities – the coordination between your marketers, graphic designers, copywriters, and other staff – is time consuming and therefore, also costly. There’s also the opportunity cost: for every hour spent on this one flyer, you’re not focusing on other marketing collateral or company growth.

Online MRM portals and MRM 2.0 solutions make coordination easy: Each team member can access their marketing needs online. There’s less back-and-forth and no time wasted. Your other team members now have time for their own tasks – and for other high-value work.

Who Uses Marketing Resource Management?

Not just enterprise organizations, that’s who. Don’t make the mistake of thinking MRM is only for large companies and corporations; it’s not. In fact, almost any business, small or large, can benefit from MRM systems.

Here’s the litmus test: Does your company ever conduct or manage marketing projects outside of your marketing department? If you ever use freelancers, or your staff telecommutes, or you involve non-marketing team members, or you operate multiple offices, then the answer is yes. Yes, you could benefit from MRM technology – and you can streamline your marketing efforts.

Beyond that, any organization or business with multiple locations or widespread marketing resources will benefit. These include:

  • Charities and non-profits
  • National and multinational brands
  • Manufacturers with distributors
  • Education and public organizations
  • Franchises
  • Retailers
  • … and many more

What Does Effective MRM Look Like?

In a word, it’s centralized. The goal of MRM is to consolidate your marketing resources into a single, online location, so your entire marketing team has access to marketing operations, collateral, and brand standards.

Benefits of Marketing Resource Management

We live in a digital world where it would be difficult, if not impossible, to manage any real-time business and marketing collateral offline.

Think about it this way: Your marketing team is working on that flyer. A graphic designer is updating your logo to fit the color palette of the flyer. When she finishes, she uploads it back into your online MRM system, where it’s immediately available to, say, the team member responsible for pulling the entire flyer (logo, headlines, copy, etc.) together into one file. It’s not only seamless, but it saves everyone time. You have improved efficiency and boosted the entire team’s productivity.

Of course, there are other reasons to employ marketing resource management: As your company grows, MRM smooths the path to faster growth – to fewer bottlenecks and hold-ups, to centralized content to fuel local marketing, to team members with more time to work toward strategic growth projects.

MRM also helps maintain brand compliance, especially in decentralized companies. And in today’s marketing environment, you know how important it is to control your brand image.

And yet, when your team members are far-flung over cities, states, countries and continents, it’s nearly impossible for the right arm to know what the left hand is doing. Unless, of course, everyone’s working off a centralized MRM system. Now, your fontstypography, color palettes, images, formatting, brand voice, and all your files are consistent, no matter who’s working on new collateral.

And there you have it: the who, what, why, and how of marketing resource management – the digital-age solution to maintaining consistent marketing messages, better managing your team’s time, and focusing company resources onto to the projects and growth strategies that will propel your organization to the next level.

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