Move over, marketing resource management (MRM) software. There’s a new category of technology in town, and Gartner has named it “MRM 2.0.”
We’ve all watched the marketing technology landscape evolve in recent years. As a brand manager at a distributed organization, you’ve seen your organization move away from clunky budget tools and file-sharing folders to sleeker, mobile-accessible cloud apps and software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions. You know first hand that “MRM," as a concept, is a lot different today than it was in 2006.
Today’s MRM is moving toward a suite of cloud and SaaS apps, as it simply makes more sense for most multi-location brands.
Managing Marketing Resources is No Longer a Matter of Features
Gartner’s new report is an official replacement for their 2008 analysis The Five Competencies of MRM. The 2008 report focused on the need for enterprise companies to have centralized marketing tools for strategic planning, creative production, knowledge management, marketing fulfillment and performance management.
These features are still valuable today, and we recently reviewed them in 7 Features Your MRM Software Must Have. However, as MRM technology has evolved, these features might not all exist within a single system - which is why Gartner has updated their take on MRM.
Brands today need MRM 2.0.
Read on to learn what's new in the new concept of MRM, and see use cases that illustrate how it fits into a multi-location organization.
Why MRM 2.0 Matters Today
With their new take on MRM, Gartner’s analysts didn’t throw any MRM functions out the window, but they’ve significantly reorganized how we think about the tools it offers. MRM 2.0 is composed of 3 all-new categories:
- Work Management: Process automation, ideation, sourcing, and other strategic activities.
- Asset Management: Ingestion, storage, retrieval, and lifecycle management of rich media assets. This concept overlaps tidily with Gartner’s Market Guide to Digital Asset Management.
- Performance Management: Resource management, operational productivity, and business performance. This is the CMO’s overview of where resources are going.
Why Did the Definition of MRM Need an Update?
Work, performance, and asset management are more than just features. They’ve evolved into entire product categories. Today’s enterprise brands are more likely to use a SaaS vendor for asset management, and a separate cloud-based accounting tool for big data visualization requirements of their performance management needs. Open APIs and integration have made it possible for organizations to build a customized, marketing technology stack.
If you’re trying to understand how MRM 2.0 works when it’s optimized for a distributed marketing brand, we’ve aligned each of the three new categories with distributed brand roles. Read on to learn why distributed brands often need all three categories of tech, and how to fill the gaps in your distributed marketing ecosystem.
Work Management: Brand Graphic Designer
Graphic designers at distributed organizations are responsible for more than just designing gorgeous layouts. They take a single campaign concept and scale it to cover each of their local outlets, target markets, and other differentiating factors. A single email template may need to be modified a dozen times to meet the needs of local marketers.
Graphic designers need tools that help them automate the tedious, manual parts of their workflow. They also need a tool that helps them excel at what they really love: ideation and creativity.
While designers will often continue to use products like Adobe for creative, they will need to enhance their creative tools with additional apps for project management. Distributed brand graphic designers also have a unique need to streamline the most tedious aspects of template creation, like uploading individual image assets and linking those assets to campaigns.
Asset Management: Brand Managers and Local Marketers
Brand managers and local marketers have very different job responsibilities and day-to-day realities, but both roles spend a lot of time working with brand assets. All of the people who fit these categories at your company need digital asset management (DAM) functionality that’s easy-to-use, globally-accessible, and (most importantly) optimized for the needs of a distributed brand.
Distributed DAM is still DAM. It needs to do all of the same ten core functions that a DAM at a centralized corporation does, but in slightly different ways. As a refresher, the ten core competencies of asset management tools, as defined by the DAM Foundation, are:
- Render & Transform
- Produce & Publish
Brand managers handle the first half of the asset management workflow. They ensure new campaign templates are being uploaded (storage). They set criteria and manage the standardization of metadata and asset naming conventions to ensure your files are consistently searchable (relate, process, and render). They also provide local marketers with access to the right templates and editing capabilities - also relating to the competencies of rendering, relating, and security.
Local marketers execute. They need to be able to find the right assets quickly, and preview templates before getting to work. Once they’ve added the right local messaging to unlocked template fields, they need to be able to produce and publish marketing – by placing web-to-print orders with a local vendor, or publishing a new webpage to their content management system.
For longer definitions of DAM functions, and in-depth insights into how distributed DAM needs to be different, we recommend How to Get the Most From Your Digital Asset Management Software.
Performance Management: Chief Marketers
CMOs and other individuals who are heavily involved in tracking marketing performance and budget are likely going to need tools that provide a lot of insight and oversight. In order to continue justifying your company’s marketing spend, your CMO needs data to prove to leadership that you’re more than just a cost center. If things get tight, CMOs are called upon to prove the ROI of campaigns, and whether your assets are driving value for your local marketing outlets.
CMOs need to understand how your marketing team’s resource use stacks up against budget, and where your spending is going. They may collaborate closely with sophisticated analysts and data science professionals to delve deep into your market segments and customer behaviors. Large-scale data analysis and tracking could take place using a patchwork of technologies. Performance may be measured using one accounting or budgeting software, and another enterprise analytics tool for segmentation and prediction.
Distributed brands have a use case for these high-level analytics tools. However, unlike fully centralized brands, they also need to be able to understand performance on a very granular, local level. Distributed CMOs also need local marketing reporting tools that measure:
- The most popular templates and assets
- Template ROI reporting
- Trends in franchise demand for creative
- Local marketer activity
If you are adopting local marketing automation (LMA), it may contain highly-specific insights that are incredibly valuable to your CMO. By taking advantage of an LMA’s reporting capabilities in addition to other analytics tools, you can measure success at the local level by individual assets.
Long Live MRM 2.0
Back in 2015, MRM was in a state of flux. Jake Sorofman of Gartner captured this in a blog titled “MRM is Dead. Long Live MRM.” While Sorofman acknowledges that “marketers need a system of record,” he describes the MarTech environment as “unsettled” while technologies change and new vendors “jockey” to replace the old school MRM giants.
Since 2015, even more disruption and new SaaS and cloud vendors have entered the field. In 2017, marketers still need tools that can do all five of the basic competencies of MRM from a decade ago. The difference today is that marketers have high-quality options, and are likely to choose products that fit their need to manage work, creative, and performance.
Multi-location brands have specific needs and workflows that look very different from the use cases at a centralized corporation. Local marketing execution requires architecting a system for graphic designers, brand managers, local marketers, and CMOs to collaborate effectively. By using tools like CampaignDrive, brand managers can unlock asset management, templating capabilities, reporting, workflow, and integrations to power their entire marketing process.
Interested in how the world’s smartest distributed brands have hacked a MRM 2.0? Check out how The Marriott, The Melting Pot, and Polaris are managing their work, assets, and performance in our free eBook Distributed Marketing on Steroids: The Brand Manager’s Guide to Designing and Managing Local Marketing Assets Without Breaking a Sweat