Marketing Resource Management (MRM) tools solve one problem—the management of marketing. Over the past 10 years, MRM was probably the first vertical market technology to drive some accountability, transparency, efficiency, and effectiveness through the marketing supply chain.
Marketing is made up of three key business elements: people, time, and money. Marketers try to put as much of these three elements into creative content and consumer experience to achieve maximum impact and engagement. MRM adoption was based on the idea that the process of marketing was inefficient if not broken, and that MRM would fix the business process issues so marketers could make better use of their people, time, and money.
Vendors like Aprimo and Unica paved the way for an MRM market boom, with Gartner’s and Forrester’s blessing. But in reality, MRM technology has delivered little in terms of overall marketing cost savings. Agencies never really invested in a technology that exposed their inefficiencies, and marketers are not process-obsessed. So after much investment, integration, and promise, you see very few totally successful MRM tools. Why?
Well, it’s not the process that’s the issue—the upstream content creation requirements are the issue. The emergence of digital content, media, and analytics has challenged marketers with multi- or omni-channel content requirements, where messaging must excite, engage, and offer interactivity while remaining consistent across multiple touch-points. Throw additional languages into the mix, and for one campaign you could potentially have hundreds of executions.
In this new world where customer experience is king, it’s imperative that agencies know how to automate their content marketing across media to drive consumer engagement, purchase, and advocacy. Multi-channel marketing plans cannot be successfully carried out with manual creation and production processes. If your marketing technology is dispersed, de-centralized, and manually driven, your overhead is in the creation of content, not the management of your work.
If you use content marketing automation to achieve a 20% reduction in the people, time, and money that go into your content creation process, you’ll significantly reduce your costs, optimize your messaging for more agile marketing, and get your campaigns to market on time.
The organizations that have adopted content marketing automation have gained on many fronts. Transparency, accountability, and auditability. Faster time-to-market, more accurate messaging, more engaging content, better customer experiences, and the ability to put knowledge gained from data analytics to work more immediately.
Agencies have been slower to adopt content management solutions (CMS), as the industry trend has long been to bill based on employee hours (FTEs). But not only does CMS deliver efficiencies that can improve an agency’s bottom line, CMS can open new revenue streams. Agencies can offer services to their clients based on the number of formats or types of channels to which content is delivered, and they can also offer clients access to various CMS modules as a service. In addition, greater efficiency gives agencies the capacity to take on new work.
So if you want to reduce your marketing overhead, focus on your content marketing strategy and execution. Start to audit what you have—assess the number of channels, languages, and platforms you use and the number of executions you need. Then, look at optimizing the process from content creation to execution by using smart CMS. Work closely with your agencies and vendor/partners by including them in your content processes. You’ll streamline the supply chain between creativity, production, and execution.
Stop looking at MRM and start looking up your value chain to where and why your content is being generated, consumed, and shared, and then automate where and when you can with CMS. You will save time, money, and effort, and you’ll gain much bigger rewards in terms of better brand engagement, customer experiences, and connectivity.