Marketing is an increasingly complex beast, and your average marketing stack is close to teetering. Content, promotion, social, sales, data, management: the typical marketer is split across many roles. At the same time, they’re staring up at a ramshackle tower of solutions, each of which promised to make their life better.
It’s more than just a problem of scale. Poorly-defined and overlapping software can have the opposite effect from that intended, adding complexity, causing delay and confusion, and leaving marketers less able to prove their value and deliver results.
So it might sound like the last thing you need is more software – you probably need less. But it’s quite probable that you could benefit from a smarter approach to marketing resource management (MRM).
According to a Gartner study, more than half of businesses aren’t even using up to a quarter of their SaaS subscriptions.
What is marketing resource management?
MRM is designed to help simplify modern, multichannel marketing, and declutter the martech stack. Working with other tools, MRM can help standardise and automate processes, ensure proper quality and version control, and accelerate your ability to deliver results.
Like much in the fast-evolving martech landscape, marketing resource management isn’t tightly defined. MRM software is typically founded on a digital asset management (DAM) or marketing asset management solution. This may be enhanced through modules providing brand asset management, creative workflow management, collaboration tools and budgeting.
Crucially, MRM solutions support integrations with existing software, helping hook other processes and data streams into a central workflow. Not only can this help harmonise fragmented processes and keep everything in sync, it also simplifies marketers’ work. Various platforms and apps can be updated with fresh data in the background – and sometimes dispensed with altogether.
Helping you stay on top of your assets
One of the most critical functions of any MRM software is to take control of marketing assets. Modern marketing depends on clear brand identity, and the ability to communicate and support it with consistent, high quality media. The typical marketing team may have a library that hosts thousands of logos, photos, videos, copy blocks, templates and other assets – these all need careful management to make sure everyone’s on the same page.
MRM platforms with a brand asset management function act as a single source of truth for marketing materials. They enable marketers to properly store, organise and retrieve assets as they’re created, approved and iterated. Today’s cloud-based systems effortlessly support distributed and collaborative working patterns, plugging all stakeholders into the flow. Features like version control with in-line commenting support approval and compliance processes, and ensure that marketers only share and promote finalised content.
By ensuring the integrity of assets – both as they’re created and used – MRM helps protect and strengthen brand identity. It can also improve your return in other areas, accelerating campaigns and preventing mistakes. As an example, a team might use asset management and version control features as they put together launch assets for a new product. And they might use secure sharing options to serve the assets to internal and external stakeholders, and allow embargoed use to journalists.
Ideate, iterate and stay agile
Marketing resource management software conveys benefits beyond invaluable asset control. Many platforms offer features to simplify marketing asset creation, iteration and approval, further eliminating wasted resources and accelerating time to market.
For example, built-in templating makes it quicker to create new documents and other media. More than that, by ensuring the use of approved, bespoke templates, it helps ensure that new materials are produced to spec. This tight control of quality persists throughout assets’ lifetime, and even once they’re archived. Asset management features such as version control and integrated approval remove any confusion about live, approved or public assets, preventing expensive or embarrassing mistakes that might dilute the brand identity or message.
Marketing resource management platforms support other key marketing functions too. Centrally, this often includes planning and scheduling features that help marketing leaders execute campaigns and hone inbound performance. Workflow management modules, meanwhile, help to organise and focus activities, again, accelerating the results and delivering efficiency savings.
Some MRM platforms offer budget management modules, helping marketing leaders gain visibility over the costs of campaigns and other activities. Other dashboards may provide easy visual and tabular oversight of key performance metrics – vital to measuring and managing the performance of campaigns, inbound marketing and other initiatives.
Providing better insight, and an ability to compare costs and results, marketing resource management software can help drive efficiencies and improve the return across all marketing activities. Cost and effect can be weighed to reveal value, letting the team quickly pivot from work that isn’t landing, to the messages, channels and initiatives that drive returns.
Making the business case for MRM
As we’ve outlined, an MRM platform delivers multiple time and efficiency savings that, taken together, make a compelling business case. By centralising management, asset control and budgetary functions, MRM provides a platform from which to coordinate and get the best from decentralised teams and multiple external partners.
“Imagen’s platform is so flexible that we can connect our global teams with ease.”
Mike Melcher, technical director and producer, Aon
The best MRM software can integrate with, accelerate or even shortcut existing processes, helping free up resources in the team and reduce clutter in the martech stack. The savings from easier asset retrieval alone are significant – potentially adding up to many thousands of pounds in saved time or asset duplication costs. Additional money saved on redundant martech shelfware cuts down on ongoing software expenses.
By supporting improved collaboration, MRM can deliver significant efficiency savings among distributed teams. Particularly, it can streamline and simplify the sharing of assets between in-house colleagues and their agency and freelance partners. And by replacing ad-hoc asset sharing arrangements with centralised, secure access, MRM reduces the chance of valuable IP or embargoed information leaking, protecting the value of your marketing investments.
Crucially, alongside these passive savings, MRM supports and empowers more active, agile and responsive marketing. It rapidly accelerates marketers’ ability to conceive, enact and measure the success of their initiatives. Better quality ideas get to market faster, and are easier to monitor, evaluate and tweak based on real world performance. For marketers looking to engage today’s audiences by providing a coordinated and on-brand message across all channels and touchpoints, marketing resource management is evolving into a must-have platform.
How can Imagen power your brand to new levels of efficiency, engagement and success? Why not book a demo today?