MRM expectations vs reality

Marketing Resource Management: Expectations vs. Reality

With today’s ever-growing amount of digital assets, companies have to think of clever and efficient ways to manage this content. If not, the problems are well known: duplicated content, content that does not correspond to brand guidelines, wrong content distribution or content that is not appropriate for the intended target or channel, to name only some. This is why companies often opt for a Marketing Resource Management (MRM) strategy.

This MRM strategy can help streamline their marketing operations and gain efficiency. However, when it comes to implementing new approaches and tools, certain expectations are set. How much do they correspond to reality? We have collected some common expectations for MRM projects and checked how well they match reality.

Expectation: Marketing Resource Management is the same as Digital Asset Management

The explosion of digital marketing terms nowadays can easily lead to confusion (if this is your case you can check out our digital marketing definitions in our Wiki Wedia section). When it comes to Digital Asset Management and Marketing Resource Management, people may assume that it is the same thing. The increase in marketing technologies and the extension of the functionalities/capacities offered by software publishers have made it more difficult to distinguish between different solutions. It’s therefore not simple to understand the place of an MRM solution in the Martech stack. More and more DAM solutions tend to expand their scope by adding planning, project/content management, etc. That means that sometimes a coworker might say: “We need a Digital Asset Management solution” when they actually need a global MRM solution or vice versa. 

Reality: Digital Asset Management is part of Marketing Resource Management

One could define Marketing Resource Management as a range of technologies (solutions), production processes and a marketing strategy associated with the creation and organization of marketing resources. The main objective is to reduce  production costs and increase efficiency and performance of marketing content, ultimately leading to a high ROI and rapid growth. 

Whereas Marketing Resource Management intends to organize, streamline and optimize all marketing content tasks, Digital Asset Management focuses mainly on managing, enriching and maximizing the use of this content. It is a unique repository for managing all marketing assets in one Single Source of Truth.

A DAM solution is a component of a MRM strategy and plays an essential role in it. It makes sure that companies can coordinate their increasing volume of marketing assets and easily organize and share them. It is therefore a vital part of any Marketing Resource Management approach – but by far not the only element. Other pillars of Marketing Resource Management are tools like CRM, Marketing Automation, PIM, CMS etc. 

A successful MRM approach combines (apart from a DAM platform) a solution to plan projects, forecast budget and assets, a solution to adapt and localize content, and a solution to adapt and distribute content.

While a DAM is used to manage, share and repurpose marketing content, a Marketing Resource Management system manages the entire content lifecycle from ideation, production to distribution.

Expectation: Implementing a tool is enough

When companies decide to follow a Marketing Resource Management approach they often equal this to implementing a solution. Often the expectation is that such a solution or approach makes everything better and is seen as a miracle cure. The expectation is: through the implementation of a tool we have successfully achieved an MRM approach in our company. 

Reality: You need a strategy

In order to make your MRM project successful, you need to define a strategy. Tools and solutions are helpful and can certainly make the life of marketing and communication departments easier. However, before implementing a solution, and this goes for any digital project, a clear Marketing Resource Management strategy has to be put in place. Objectives have to be clearly defined as well as the metrics that will be used to track efforts and observe the success of the project. Questions like: “Which functionalities are the most important and why?” (Lists of functionalities or RFP templates can help define these needs.), “What are the most important pain points?”, “How do I measure the ROI?” or  “Who is involved in the project team?” should be answered. 

Also, when companies choose their software provider, there are two strategic approaches: If they wish to have an influence on the roadmap, they should favour a solution implemented directly by the provider. Otherwise they can choose a software provider and a separate implementation partner.  

Expectation: MRM is for Marketing  – no need to involve IT

It is usually the marketing team or the head of marketing who identifies the need for a Marketing Resource Management approach and/or a solution in this area. As it is a marketing topic the assumption that marketing takes care of this is logical. Expectation: Why should we involve the companies IT department if this is a solution purely used by the marketing team?                             

Reality: The IT department should be involved right from the start

Even though a MRM solution is mainly used by marketing, the IT department should be involved from the beginning, as there will be strong technical implications.

The solution has to be integrated into the existing IT landscape, and also with other important already existing solutions like PIM or CMS.  Apart from that, Data migration is another extremely important point for any Marketing Resource Management project.  All these mentioned above are responsibilities of the IT department. Consequently, the IT department should be involved from the beginning to make sure the new solution will be smoothly integrated into the existing IT landscape and avoid roadblocks throughout the project.

Expectation: Indexing is a nice-to-have but not essential to a Marketing Resource Management project

Indexation is key when it comes to finding, managing, organizing the creation, validating and reviewing media assets. It helps easily and successfully find assets. However, companies frequently think they just have to give digital assets quickly two or three tags and that’s it. Or that they can do it later. Maybe right now it seems too much work to do it and there is no time. The expectation is: Indexation is useful but not really important, we can do it later, users will find the marketing assets they are looking for anyways . 

Reality: Indexation is essential

The proper categorization/indexation of  marketing content is an often underestimated topic. A classification is unique to each project and each company has to decide which keywords to use for their assets and define a dedicated taxonomy. Librarians or an indexing service can help companies with enormous amounts of asset correctly name all categories and define the taxonomy. 

Today,  more and more intelligent AI services may support this tagging and can be taught to identify certain elements in images (brand, product, people …) better and quicker.

In order to quickly find certain assets, especially when handling thousands of them, it is essential to properly index those assets, tag them with as many rich, precise and appropriate keywords as possible, including synonyms because not every team member will search for something with the same words. With a good indexation, marketing assets are easily searchable, found and and more efficiently reused. Plus, thanks to a powerful and efficient search, the creation of duplicate content is minimized.  

In summary, it is important to search and identify all the needs before starting an MRM project in order to effectively manage expectations. It should be clear what is achievable and what are wrong expectations. If you want to read more about the topic, have a look at  our eBook “From DAM to Marketing Resource Management”. It explains how MRM goes beyond DAM to respond to new marketing challenges.

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