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Why marketing resource management is undergoing a renaissance: Forrester

Marketing Operations Cloud is undergoing a renaissance. Now, more than 20 years after the first MRM systems were implemented, the need for efficient, effective marketing operations management is resonating anew with chief marketing officers and teams charged with managing the customer experience while delivering growth in a complex marketing landscape.


Here at Simple, we’ve known for some time what our friends at Forrester detail in their August 2018 report on Marketing Operations Cloud — namely, that the MRM market is growing because “marketing professionals see MRM as a way to address organizational and operational challenges”.

Despite that, they pull few punches about where the category has come from, citing negative experiences with clunky, complicated on-premise software installations.

MRM was a dirty word,” the Forrester report states. “More than one B2C marketing leader we spoke with described experiences with MRM seven or eight years ago as traumatic.”

We’ve seen it ourselves in-market: CMOs who years ago trialed MRM implementations and either terminated the trial or implemented the system and then pulled it out. Often, installations were on-premise, user interfaces were clunky, effectively forcing marketers to do all their work outside the MRM platform and later put it into the system — doubling workloads and creating parallel administrative systems instead of the stated goal of helping marketing teams to work more efficiently.

These days, however, marketers expect MRM to support the “high pace and demands of modern marketing operations”. Far from creating additional work, MRM systems are expected to streamline and reduce workloads, provide visibility via a consolidated centralised workplace, and enable planning, work and results to be captured in one place, facilitating continuous improvement.

Many marketing teams go looking for a solution to their operational problems without knowing MRM exists. “We didn’t even know what to call the solution,” according to one marketer surveyed for the report. “We just thought it must be possible to manage things in real time, not via midnight conference calls and spreadsheets.”

According to Forrester’s latest analysis of the market, MRM technology connects four key elements:

  • Money management (manage, approve, optimize, reallocate, and adjust spending in a single, shared environment);
  • People management (re-establish visibility into how skills are deployed in large, complex marketing organizations);
  • Content and asset management (support the production, approval, publishing, and analysis of content); and
  • Brand management (give distributed marketing activity a single, governable environment).

The advantages of establishing better connections between teams, workflows, measurement, and assets come immediately, with many MRM buyers seeing a return on their marketing investment within a year or two.

Forrester interviewed marketers who:

  • Used their solution to manage a $1 billion marketing budget, while reducing administrative headcount;
  • Saved $1.7 million in workers’ hours in the first year after its MRM implementation; and
  • Saved £650 million by moving agency-led creative development in-house and using their MRM platform to manage the process.

Also exciting marketing teams are new capabilities around agile workflows, closed-loop reporting and optimization, AI-informed content and process and low-code and no-code platform integrations.

Happily, Simple’s Marketing Operations Cloud platform ticks all the above boxes with an easy-to-use Kanban visual project management board, marketing team and marketing activity analytics, AI capabilities to facilitate continuous improvement and easy, rapid integrations within the Microsoft Business Solution ecosystem.

But don’t just take our word for it. Kerry-Ann Benton, who helped to implement Simple at Australia Post, discusses her tips for a successful MRM implementation.

From planning and review to optimisation, Simple’s intelligent Marketing Operations Cloud platform helps marketers drive productivity, revenue and growth at every stage of the marketing process. Reach out to one of our consultants to see how it works.

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