What is marketing resource management?

  • Marketing resource management is a category of marketing software that allows companies to streamline, automate, and measure marketing operations so they can increase productivity, reduce time to market, and grow revenue faster.
  • Companies of all sizes operating in every industry use marketing resource management to become better, faster and more economical in their marketing.
  • Marketing resource management modules include digital asset management, creative project management, web-to-print, brand identity guidelines, product information management, brand store, budgeting & planning, ROI tracking and CMS/e-Commerce integration.

Why do you need a business case for marketing resource management?

Whether the economy is booming or in crisis, it’s difficult to get approval for marketing investments. This is because marketing departments struggle day in, day out to prove the ROI of their marketing campaigns and, therefore, find it difficult to justify spending. It’s no surprise, then, that during an economic downturn marketing budgets are often the first to be cut. But even when times are good, investments are funneled into applications that are primarily focused on facilitating sales, and that bring an instant ROI.

It doesn’t help either that marketing departments are often seen as a “cost center”, meaning that major marketing investments are considered a burden. And let’s be honest, marketing resource management software (aka marketing asset management or marketing content management) is an investment—one that could cost anything between €10,000 and €300,000 per year. It’s also difficult to prove the value of a marketing resource management solution, as the results are seen in the long-term compared to their sales counterparts. However, if used correctly, the cost savings will outweigh the IT investments in one to three years.

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All marketing departments have a tried and tested way of working, and it’s natural that most marketeers are opposed to any operational changes, especially on a large scale. That’s why the implementation of an marketing resource management solution is often greeted with apprehension as MRM systems significantly change existing processes and structures. However, if implemented successfully, MRM will improve existing business processes, increase productivity and establish a more streamlined way of working.

As you can see, the long-term benefits of implementing a marketing resource management solution can sometimes be overshadowed by human and financial costs involved. That’s why you need a business case to justify investing in an MRM system.

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Where to start?

When building a business case for marketing resource management, it’s important to define the challenges your marketing department faces—whether you’re struggling to manage your ever-growing number of campaigns; you need more transparency in your budget allocations or you need to prove the value of your marketing investments. Later we’ll go into more detail about how an MRM solution improves marketing efficiency, but for now, here’s a general overview of how MRM solves the above challenges.

1. Marketing resource management is a one-stop-shop for managing marketing activities

MRM systems provide marketeers with a central location to create, organize and manage campaigns. Upload, store and share digital assets, and monitor and control budgets and expenditures.

2. Marketing resource management streamlines marketing processes

MRM enables global marketing teams to work as one. Thanks to centralized asset libraries and workflow modules, marketeers can share files and collaborate on projects regardless of where they are in the world.

3. Marketing resource management helps marketeers be more economical

Planning and financial management modules help marketeers monitor spending, allocate resources and measure the ROI of marketing campaigns, as well as increase transparency when it comes to budget allocations.

Improve marketing return on investment

Planning and financial management modules empower marketing departments to improve planning and budgeting processes, and revenue management. This allows marketeers to allocate more resources to successful campaigns and stop underperforming ones; enabling marketing departments to:

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Improve productivity

Creative Project Management modules enable marketeers to streamline the content creation process, improve accountability, and achieve a quicker time to market, so marketing departments can:

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Cut agency costs

With Digital Asset Management, companies can upload, store and manage their marketing materials, reuse existing content and improve brand management. This enables marketing departments to:

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Reduce waste and improve reuse of marketing content

MRM solutions provide 24/7 access to marketing content, allowing users to order, print, and download assets directly. Marketing departments can now:

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Increase return on marketing investment (ROMI)

MRM software helps organizations measure the creation time, cost, and performance of marketing collateral produced by internal departments or external agencies. Subsequently allowing marketing departments to:

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Investments and costs

Once you’ve worked out the return delivered by marketing resource management, you need to understand the investment required. Most modern MRM solutions are delivered via a SaaS model as recurring subscriptions on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. Subscription costs depend on the following factors:

1. The number of users

Your subscription cost will depend on how many users you have and the type of user. There are three user types, each with different rights and responsibilities:

  • Admin: Refers to a user who has full access rights within the product.
  • Regular: Refers to a user that has the access permissions of a light user, as well as the rights to upload and edit media and manage guidelines. A regular user can make use of the Creative Project Management module for online collaboration and workflow.
  • Light: Refers to a user that can share and download, but has read-only rights to the media. A light user can also view and create media collections.
2. The amount of storage

Storage space can range from 50GB to unlimited TB. As with the number of users, the more storage you have, the higher the subscription. There are two types of storage:

  • Hot Storage: Storage used on a daily basis / often.
  • Cold Storage: Storage that you don’t use but want to keep on your platform to be accessed at anytime—considered archive storage.
3. The number of modules

The price will depend on the number of modules you need. As you can imagine, the more modules you require, the higher the cost.

  • The Number of Modules: Many vendors offer different modules and functionalities depending on a company’s requirements. As a DAM is the foundation of an MRM solution, it is often the most expensive module, especially if it needs to be personalized to your own needs, e.g. add / edit existing functionalities.

Other investments and costs

1. One-off configuration and setup fees

This is the cost associated with customizing the platform fully and integrating it with your company’s information system. The main factors that drive the cost of your configuration and setup fee are custom theming, import of media, the configuration of taxonomy, and API.

2. Professional service fees

Once the environment is complete from a technical perspective, your vendor will train the project managers to ensure a successful implementation for all users. This includes support when launching the portal—user invites and imports—and project management and consultation (e.g. taxonomy setup, etc.).

3. Training fees

After the solution has been implemented, most vendors provide training to help with the onboarding process. This includes personal demos, tutorial videos, and in-house implementation training.

Want to become an MRM expert? Download our free 70-page e-book, the The definitive guide to digital asset management, and find the answers to all your MRM questions!