Marketers understand change and always have. Their success has always depended on understanding customers’ needs and intent and then ensuring their organisations were best placed to meet these needs.

However the velocity of change has accelerated dramatically, driven by huge consumer shifts from trends like smart mobility and social media and a fundamental business realignment around technology that improves customer experiences.

Small wonder then that marketing resource management has had to change as well to reflect the new working realities of modern marketers while not losing sight of the basics.

Deficiencies in marketing resource management were due to a range of factors. According to Gartner, marketers themselves – as well as vendors and information technology teams – were unclear about what they needed from marketing resource management software.

Uncertainty over where marketing resource management ended and related product categories such as content marketing and marketing analytics began further clouded the picture.

Analysts Forrester recently identified the emergence of “best of breed, software-as-a-service-based point solutions.” These point solutions aim to replace on-premises, full-function marketing resource management platforms. However, while they increase diversity and competition in the category, they also make product selection more complex and confusing.

MRM 2.0

To align the marketing resource management category more closely with marketers’ requirements, Gartner released what it described as ‘MRM 2.0’. This updated definition features three competencies:

  • Work management – dealing with the day to day working processes of a marketing organisation;
  • Asset management – dealing with the ingestion, storage, retrieval, collaboration and lifecycle management of rich media assets such as text, graphics, images, videos and audio; and
  • Performance management – comprising resource management, operational productivity and business performance.

These competencies directly address deficiencies in many marketing operations. A recent survey of marketers in Australia and New Zealand – conducted by cloud-based marketing resource management software business Simple – identified weaknesses in process ‘hygiene’ as a widespread issue.

For example, 52% of survey respondents nominated completing work and approvals on time as the top way of making marketing teams more efficient. A further 18% favoured a centralised collaboration workspace as the top way of making marketing teams more efficient.

Furthermore, most marketers surveyed claimed to be aware of the importance of deadlines and process management. Yet about half (51%) did not measure or track their marketing processes at all.

Processes and plaforms

Simple Chief Executive Officer, Aden Forrest, points out the damage that not properly enabling marketing processes can do. “If systems are not consistent, people revert to spreadsheets and email,” Forrest says. “While email in particular is a good medium for communicating requirements, it is not a great medium for managing processes. This makes consistency across multiple parties within and outside an organisation difficult and frustrating.”

“We are finding more and more companies are looking to adopt consistent, uniform, supported processes across internal teams and external parties such as agencies.”

Failing to track marketing processes – and the outcomes of campaigns – can impede the overall effectiveness of a business as well as its marketing teams. “If marketing teams are not managing how they are delivering campaigns or undertaking post-campaign reviews, they risk the ability of their businesses to determine return on their investments,” Forrest says.

Marketing teams may also find themselves losing relevance and authority within the organisation. “Without process and outcome tracking, marketing teams cannot account for the decisions they’ve made,” Forrest says. “This compromises their credibility at a time when they need to be playing a greater role in stewarding the brand and owning the customer.”

So how can marketing teams and businesses overcome these challenges? The answer, according to Forrest, is to use a platform that supports MRM 2.0 while providing the agility, performance and ease of the cloud. The platform should act as the backbone of a marketing operation. It should enable integrated marketing teams to undertake all the work required across planning, budgeting, briefing, collaboration, approvals, asset management and reporting. “The most important thing the platform should do is ensure your brand messaging is on point across all the touch-points through which your customers interact with you,” Forrest says.

Simple’s own intelligent marketing platform performs all these functions. The platform supports processes that ensure all requirements and deliverables are captured in marketing campaign briefs. These requirements and deliverables are referred back to at each step to ensure campaigns are delivered on time and budget. The Simple platform also ensures campaigns reach customers at the right time and through the right channels to maximise effectiveness. Furthermore, the platform captures performance management data from campaign execution tools for reporting and enables teams to review campaign results to identify areas of improvement.

“It is now time for marketing resource management to take the box seat in marketing by providing a command centre for marketers to orchestrate the best use of marketing technologies and investments,” Forrest declares. “Choosing a cloud platform can enable marketing leaders to avoid the shortfalls of legacy on-premise platforms and the confusion of software as a service point solutions.”

An cloud platform can also help marketers looking to use planning and advances in technology to gain a competitive edge. “At a time when technology is progressing rapidly – particularly through machine learning and artificial intelligence – and the range of products available to marketers is unprecedented, planning how they are going to deliver value to customers is more important than ever,” Forrest says.

About the Author

Iain Ferguson is a writer and editor with extensive experience in journalism and corporate communications. Simple is a corporate member of the Which-50 Digital Intelligence Unit. Members provide their insights and analysis for the benefit of our readers. Membership fees apply.

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