Marketing departments don’t have it easy these days. If you’re a Marketing Manager it can often feel like you’re trying to tame a multi-headed beast.
Back in the day, Marketing Managers had only a couple of channels to manage. Today, there’s about a hundred things you *could* be doing and endless channels vying for your limited attention and resources.
And it’s all further complicated by complex team structures, collaboration hurdles, and the necessity to pivot at the drop of a hat.
It can kinda feel like you’re expected to move mountains AND be the goose that lays the golden egg WHILE juggling fire.
Enter Marketing Resource Management… or MRM if you’re into acronyms.
So What is Marketing Resource Management Anyway?
Marketing Resource Management sounds like something reserved for mega-corporations planning global domination.
In reality, it’s a solution that can help marketing teams both large and small accomplish more, in less time.
MRM software is designed to assist teams in navigating and managing the complexity of today’s marketing environment.
(It has also been known to keep Marketing Managers from pulling all their hair out in frustration.)
MRM tools usually help solve the following marketing problems:
- Strategic planning
- Project management
- Creative & content development
- Asset distribution
Download Your Free Marketing Management Templates
Before committing to an MRM tool, check out some of these free templates to get your team organized.
Marketing Strategy Guide (PDF): Plan an entire marketing strategy efficiently (with team collaboration in mind from the start).
Marketing Project Calendar Template (Excel): Collaborate on project timelines with a single version of truth.
Marketing Project Management Plan (Doc): Get all of your team on the same page before every project starts.
Marketing Project Checklist (Excel): Keep track of due dates and workflows with this spreadsheet.
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Strategic Planning For Marketing Resource Management
Spreadsheets just aren’t made for the needs of marketers and strategic planning.
Marketers need to see interactive views, updated in real-time of how each activity fits into a larger campaign. Not static rows in a complex spreadsheet that only you, the manager, can make sense of.
MRM tools allow marketing managers to easily communicate with everyone (from intern to CMO) how each task, project, and campaign contributes to accomplishing a higher strategic goal.
Managing your marketing budget isn’t just about tracking media spend or CPC on paid search. While that is undoubtedly an important part, MRM is also about maximizing your team’s output.
By improving visibility into team tasks on a micro level, you can maximize task allocations AND ensure individuals aren’t being overloaded. As the old adage goes, watch the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves.
Marketing Managers are de facto project managers. Aside from all your day-to-day marketing tasks, you’re also responsible for coordinating internal resources, developing detailed project plans AND monitoring progress of all your campaigns.
This is one of the biggest benefits of MRM.
An MRM tool will give you a firm grasp on your team’s progress and workload - at any given moment. Allowing you to delegate, assign, and reassign projects & tasks, so you can effectively manage your team’s week in a more effective way. No more lost emails, endless chat threads and unnecessary meetings.
Creative & Content Development
Producing great content and visuals take a lot more than just a designer. There are often several people involved in editing, approving and mocking-up until something is ready to be seen by an external audience.
Does the lack of a clear approval process cause bottlenecks for your team and slow down time to market? MRM can help solve this by creating a central hub where everyone knows who is responsible for what and where a project is within its lifecycle. One of the best parts about this you no longer have to endlessly chase down approvals.
Have you ever spent way more time than necessary trying to track down an image or logo? Even with your entire organization using Dropbox or Office 365 it can be a challenge. Different naming conventions coupled with a folder structure that no one follows can make someone want to bang their head against the wall.
Most MRM systems also have built-in Digital Asset Management (DAM) capabilities. DAM components centralize a company’s digital assets, which eliminates the need to spend hours tracking down logos, images, header graphics, etc.
Collaboration is often one of the biggest challenges faced by marketing teams. The challenge usually stems from the need to have many specialities involved in the production process.
Copywriters, designers, social media strategists, bloggers, email specialists, project managers, maybe even an agency or a client…
Solving the collaboration conundrum without an MRM tool usually means…
… meetings on top of meetings…
… countless emails flying back and forth…
… and little time for working on *actual* marketing projects.
Using MRM software creates a central repository for all project related communication, assets, tasks, and timelines for better and more efficient collaboration.
What a Marketing Manager Should Know About MRM Tools
A time-strapped marketer’s problem is exacerbated by what we call Makeshift Marketing.
You’re hacking multiple tools to manage your resources and marketing projects… none of which are made for a marketing team. You need one tool that’s made for you.
Here’s a list of some MRM tools to check out
CoSchedule is an all-in-one marketing project management platform.
Claim to fame?
- Task & social templates: Save time using workflow templates and social sharing templates so you never have to reinvent the wheel.
- Built-in social media scheduling: Plan all your social media sharing directly in CoSchedule for one less tool to manage.
- ReQueue - smart social automation: Automatically re-share social campaigns to drive more traffic to your site.
- Agile view (Team Management Dashboard): See daily scrum summaries of each team member’s tasks.
- Calendar view: High-level views of every campaign, email, social message, etc. in an easy to see calendar view.
Percolate is a cloud-based Content Marketing platform designed for enterprise customers. It integrates with enterprise CMSs and business intelligence platforms.
Claim to fame?
- Kanban style workboards
- Content metadata
- Integrated campaigns
NewsCred is an enterprise Content Marketing platform specializing in integrated marketing campaigns.
Newscred enhances productivity with content workflows designed for an integrated team. The platform’s workflow allows for assigning tasks and deadlines to ensure your team is on track with their content marketing. Here are a few other features:
- Integrated campaigns
- In-app keyword research
- Content & advisory services
Kapost is a software solution for B2B enterprise organizations aiming to solve their content marketing and content creation hurdles.
Kapost does not operate as a calendar-based platform. It has a visual timeline to plan and create content. Customer insights ensure teams are driving their content strategy in the right direction. Features include:
- Content consulting
- Kanban board style overview
- Custom tagging by persona/buyer stage
MRM Challenges Marketers May Face
Marketing Resource Management aims to solve a lot of challenges facing modern marketing teams…
*BUT* implementing an MRM system and sticking to it has challenges in and of itself.
Firstly, gaining internal support from the C-suite and your marketing team can be your first hurdle.
Teams grow accustomed to the status quo, even if it’s broken and a total time suck.
Your C-suite might be reluctant to open the purse strings for yet ANOTHER tool. They’ve grown weary of every tool promising the world only to be slowly phased out in favor of the status quo.
This brings us to the first challenge… overcoming the status quo.
Challenge 1: The Status Quo
You might mistake the status quo as the safe choice. After all, it’s what you’ve always done.
However, sticking to the status quo IS the risky option. We live in a change or die world.
Think of Blockbuster. They could be Netflix right now if they had only taken an early risk on digital streaming, rather than sticking to the status quo.
Think of how Facebook has changed the state of marketing. In less than a decade, social media has caused our marketing budgets to shift drastically. There are job titles we couldn’t imagine living without that literally didn’t exist 10 years ago.
Marketing. Moves. Fast.
Do you have time to waste updating that old spreadsheet? Or should you be using your time to think strategically about new campaigns? You’ve got to go all in. At the risk of sounding dramatic, your job depends on it.
Why Challenging The Status Quo Will Make You A Better Leader And How To Do It
What about your team?
To successfully challenge that status quo, do your legwork and be prepared for some pushback.
- Anticipate questions - spend 30 minutes brainstorming every question your team might have.
- Anticipate roadblocks and have a plan to overcome them.
- Anticipate objections and be ready with a rebuttal.
Humans hate change. We love a good rut... even if it’s wasting our precious time. The longer your team has been following an old process, the longer it can take to change. (*Spoiler Alert* it can take over 21 days to build a new habit.)
This brings us to our next MRM challenge: onboarding
Challenge 2: Onboarding
Start by planning out your roadmap to implementation. It may take your team several weeks to be fully operational with an MRM system.
Getting your game plan ready means you’ve got a day-by-day plan to bring your team up to speed ASAP.
We’ve created an easy to follow implementation calendar to help.
One thing you can do before implementing a tool is to make sure the MRM option you choose has training resources and a dedicated person to assist you in successfully onboarding your team.
How To Sustain Positive Changes In Your Marketing Team
Challenge 3: Cost
MRM systems are a serious investment -- solutions can range in price from $300/month to $3,000/month or more.
This is an issue you’ll have to be ready to discuss. We recommend coming to the table armed with the tangible impact an MRM system will have on your team’s bottom line.
We’ve laid out a map that tracks back to business goals in a way that will appeal any data-driven CMO.
Time Spent on Pointless tasks
How much of your time is wasted emailing back and forth? Or searching for the latest version of a graphic? Or a meeting that went over an hour just to get a status update? Measure the hours you and your team spend on these inefficiencies for one week.
Multiply that time by each employee's hourly wage to show your C-suite how much money your team wastes on admin tasks that add nothing to the bottom line.
Let’s say that your team is comprised of 5 full-time employees. Each person wastes 10 hours per week on admin and unnecessary meetings. For simplicity sake, we’ll say everyone on your team is paid the same amount of $50,000/year. Their hourly wage is about $24/hour
This means that everyone on your team is spending $240/week on unnecessary tasks for a grand total of about $1,200/week.
Times that by 52… your team is spending $62,400 a year chasing down graphics, approvals and status updates.
You might as well rake that money into a huge pile and light it on fire.
Do you know exactly what everyone on your team is working on this exact moment?
Think about if someone on your team is only working at 50% capacity simply because it’s impossible to keep tabs on all the projects happening at once.
By gaining a better understanding of who is working on want, you can save money because everyone is operating at their full bandwidth.
Let’s say that your designer is paid $60,000/year, but is only getting enough work to fill 75% of their capacity. Your company is wasting $15,000/year right there.
All because there is a lack of visibility and accountability regarding daily tasks.
We can also view this from the opposite perspective.
People who are overloaded with tasks and feel like they can’t keep their head above water are overwhelmingly less happy at work.
Being unhappy at work translates into a higher employee turnover rate.
According to a study by The Society of Human Resource Management, every time a salaried employee leaves, it costs an average of 6 to 9 months’ of their salary to hire a replacement.
Let’s use that same designer as the example. Replacing them will cost your organization $30,000 to $45,000.
And you thought not knowing your team’s daily tasks was just a pain in the @ss…
Turns out, it’s also a pain in your company’s pocketbook. 💸
Marketers today are faced with big challenges like…
- The inability to get everyone on the same page.
- Bouncing from tool to spreadsheet and back again to try to cobble together visibility.
- Proving ROI and showing which campaigns are driving real results.
- And general issues collaborating across a complex team with competing KPIs.
Explore CoSchedule as your MRM solution
Maybe CoSchedule is the right solution to help solve the disorganization your team faces? Why not hop on a discovery call to find out? We’ve been known to make marketers actually enjoy heading back to work on Monday.