Marketing Resource Management (MRM): An Expert’s Guide
In our recent study, State of Content 2022, we found that 23% of marketers surveyed intend to spend between $100K and $500K on content in the coming year — with 16% planning to spend up to $5M.
We also found that 43% of organizations have more than 20 people involved in content operations, and 76% plan to hire even more staff to get the job done in 2022.
But it also presents a unique challenge in terms of managing the mountain of digital assets being created every day. If this is a headache you’re all too familiar with, you’re not alone.
In fact, there’s a whole industry dedicated to it, known as Marketing Resource Management (MRM). In this guide, we’re going to walk you through everything you need to know about MRM, including the most important features to look for when choosing a solution.
Here’s a sneak peek of the top three MRM features:
- Centralized digital asset management
- A marketing-first approach
- Capability to support deep integrations
First, though, let’s answer some basic questions about MRM.
What is marketing resource management (MRM)?
Marketing resource management is the process of allocating marketing resources like digital assets, budgets, planning capabilities, editorial calendars, content production, creative briefs, and metrics at each stage of the marketing lifecycle from campaign planning to execution.
MRM is conceptually similar to enterprise resource planning (ERP) in that it takes a centralized approach to resources, gathering them in a single ecosystem that’s accessible to everyone. The idea is that productivity will increase when people aren’t constantly starting from scratch.
As marketing departments become more and more complex, MRM software is becoming a must-have tool for many companies. Which begs another question…
What’s MRM software?
MRM software is a solution that stores all of your marketing resources in one place, often serving as the central hub or backbone of a marketing technology (MarTech) stack.
Welcome’s MRM software, for example, allows you to centralize all your digital assets for easy discovery and reuse them across all teams and stakeholders, making it easy to create and repurpose content at scale.
Plus, centralized requests provide a single source of truth, making management easier throughout the process and ensuring proper resource allocation for future marketing activities.
Key features an MRM system should have
In this section, we’re going to cover three key features to look for when evaluating an MRM solution for your company.
1. Integrated digital asset management
Digital assets are pieces of marketing collateral that provide value to your organization. As a content marketer, these are typically individual pieces of content, from blog articles to graphics to podcast episodes. Other relevant marketing assets include logos, approved images, and other brand-specific visuals.
With that in mind, digital asset management (DAM) is the practice of organizing and tagging assets in a centralized library so everyone who needs them can easily access them. It’s one of the key features you should look for when evaluating MRM systems.
Theresa Regli, a strategic consultant focused on digital asset management, explains it this way: “DAM is concerned with delivering the right content to the right people, on all devices, mostly in real time, with the ability to track and measure digital asset engagement across an enterprise and its potential global reach.”
2. A marketing-first approach
As we mentioned earlier, the idea of centrally organizing resources is not a new one. What is new, however, is the sheer number of resources that need to be managed within marketing departments.
In fact, in that State of Content survey we mentioned earlier, we found that figuring out how to store, manage, and reuse assets is the third hardest challenge marketers face right now.
For this reason, it’s important to choose a solution that’s designed specifically for marketing as opposed to one that has a broader audience. Marketing-specific tools are going to include features that tie everything together and make life easier for your team.
Here are some specific features to look for:
- Editorial and content calendars
- Campaign planning and execution tools
- Customizable tasks and workflows
- Automated work request routing
- Content production and distribution tools
- Asset management
- Content editing tools
- Performance analytics
3. Capability to support deep integrations
Try as they might, even the most comprehensive all-in-one tools won’t eliminate the need for specific point solutions. So, it’s important to find a tool that’s designed to allow deep integrations as opposed to just surface-level add-ons.
This approach is in line with what Scott Brinker, creator of the MarTech 5000, calls the “second golden age of MarTech”. He posits that a new dynamic is emerging in the industry and that the old battle between all-in-one versus point solutions is being replaced with something more akin to an ecosystem.
In this new ecosystem, major platforms will serve as the backbone of marketing stacks, designed to be augmented with specialized apps that can plug deeply into their systems — just like Welcome. Here’s how it works:
- Capabilities – Welcome integrations map directly to the way your team works across the full marketing campaign and content lifecycle, helping you at every stage of the process.
- Connectors – Welcome’s Codeless Connectors are purpose-built solutions, designed to map to common use cases and give you the freedom of choice to integrate with the tools your team uses daily.
- Public API – Welcome’s open API extends the functionality of our Connectors, helping you push (and pull) content and data between systems — even your unique, homegrown tools.
How to get started with marketing resource management
Now that you know a bit more about what features MRM solutions should have, we’re going to cover a few tips on getting started.
1. Consider your needs
Before diving into marketing resource management, it’s important to take a step back and evaluate your needs. Here are a few questions to ask your team:
- How many marketing resources do we need to manage?
- What type of digital assets do we need to organize?
- How are we storing and managing our assets?
- What does our content development process look like?
- How do we collaborate with each other and with outside stakeholders when developing content? Do we like this system?
- What workflows do we have in place? How well are they working?
- What kind of metrics or KPIs do we use? How effective are we at measuring them?
2. Compare your options
The next step is to see what’s out there and compare your options. Obviously, we’re a bit biased towards our own software (wink, wink) so we’ll start with that. But then we’ll take a look at some other choices in the MRM space.
Welcome is a marketing-specific solution that offers everything you’ll need in the way of marketing resource management. Some of the benefits of our system include the following:
Welcome’s capabilities cover you across the entire marketing lifecycle. Our software supports strategic planning, content development, and performance analytics.
Welcome was built specifically for marketing purposes whereas other tools were built for more general project management.
From managing individual assets to planning long-term campaigns, Welcome gives you marketing automation and real-time collaboration capabilities for any scenario.
Monday is a broad project management tool that offers a wide variety of features and a flexible user interface. However, its versatility is actually its main downside because it lacks important MRM features as a result.
For example, Monday doesn’t offer an in-platform document library. You can integrate with an external tool that hosts your documents, but you can’t do it natively.
Wrike is another project management tool with broad capabilities. Unlike Monday, though, you can customize Wrike for marketing teams. They also have a solid number of features that support marketing tasks.
The problem is that it takes quite a bit of legwork to get up and running. And since it’s not specifically designed for MRM, it’s not very intuitive to use from a marketing resource management standpoint.
Asana is another good project management tool, but it’s geared more towards tracking assignments. While you can technically use Asana to store files, its capabilities are limited when it comes to communicating with your team and effectively managing resources.
Trello is a good organizational tool for smaller marketing campaigns. Its easy-to-use interface takes the shape of a simple Kanban board, which is useful for tracking deadlines and individual responsibilities. However, Trello’s simplicity makes it inadequate for teams with large amounts of resources to manage or anyone looking for a more analytical tool.
3. Always start with a free trial or demo
Even if you’ve done all of your research and talked to all the right people, you really can’t tell if you’ve picked the right tool until you’ve tried it for yourself. Every marketing department is different, and a tool that works for one team may not be an ideal fit for another.
That’s why it’s always best to start with a free trial so that your team can get some firsthand experience with the MRM solution. Once everyone has used it for a bit, here are some questions to ask them:
- Is the tool making their job easier?
- How steep is the learning curve?
- Are they still able to use their favorite point solutions as effectively as they were before? Or is it creating more hoops to jump through?
- If they ran into problems, how easy was it to get in touch with customer support?
Marketing resource management FAQs
What’s the difference between CRM and MRM?
In short, one manages customers and the other manages resources. CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management whereas MRM stands for Marketing Resource Management. Many companies use CRM software to streamline customer communication and manage leads.
What departments are involved in MRM?
While MRM refers specifically to marketing resources, it can be helpful to many other departments in your company who need access to things like brand assets, calendars, and budgets. Such departments include finance or accounting, product development, sales, human resources, and more.
What are marketing resources examples?
Examples of marketing resources include digital assets like brand logos, images, graphics, blog articles, podcast episodes, customers success stories, and more. They also include editorial calendars, publishing schedules, budgets, and timelines.
Hopefully, this guide cleared up some of the mystery surrounding marketing resource management tools. And if we’ve convinced you to give Welcome a try, you can reach out for a free demo any time.
Best of luck out there!