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MRM Technology: Why You Need It, and How to Choose the Right Solution

by Len Shneyder  |  
April 27, 2012

In this article, you'll learn...

  • Why companies need to embrace marketing resource management technology
  • Six features to consider when deciding on an MRM solution

The words "the paper trail" might evoke thoughts of modern white-collar crime thrillers in which investigators follow the money and the receipts, looking through ledgers to uncover how the criminals cooked the books and to identify who's to blame for the crime.

Well, paper is a crime. In today's marketing departments, using paper is a criminal offense. If you're relying on paper to track and manage the day-to-day operations of your marketing department, consider yourself on notice.

Is Your Organization Efficient?

We've made great strides in automating the delivery of our campaigns, but too many companies have yet to embrace marketing resource management (MRM) technology in their strategic and tactical activities. The fact is... people still use Microsoft Excel to manage complex marketing projects. But contrary to popular belief, opening another tab in a workbook doesn't bring greater efficiency to a department that's working on a deadline and on a budget, and creating material that needs to be critiqued, edited, and approved before going into production.

What every good marketing foot soldier, and general for that matter, needs is transparency and accountability in the department. The problem with a spreadsheet is that it's subject to "versionitis," the phenomenon of every person having a different version of the official document.

There's no accountability in saving a document to a local or network drive if your colleagues are working off another version. There's no transparency if deadlines are not met and no one knows that balls are falling and cracks are swallowing the whole of a program or campaign.

A Common Problem

Before centralizing and automating its marketing program, Laerdal, a leading global provider of healthcare solutions, would rely on "the pink sheet" or the document that contained the approvals for a given project.

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Len Shneyder is director of industry relations at Message Systems. He has 10+ years of experience in email and digital messaging.

Twitter: @LenShneyder

LinkedIn: Len Shneyder

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  • by Andrew Tompsett Fri Apr 27, 2012 via web

    Are there any suggested tool examples?

  • by Daniel Kuperman Fri Apr 27, 2012 via web

    Great post, and I agree with everything you said. Would also add one critical element for those looking at MRM solutions: Ease of use.

    It's great to have many features in a tool but the reality is that marketers don't have time to mess around trying to figure out how to use the app or spending months in training just to get started. When evaluating solutions, look at functionality but also look at how easy it will be to get you and your team using it. If people decide the software is too complicated or takes too much time out of their day, adoption will be slow and may not even happen.

    My company ( is developing an MRM solution that hopefully will be seen as the most user-friendly in the market. Stay tuned!

  • by Len Shneyder Fri Apr 27, 2012 via web

    Thanks for the response Daniel and I look forward to seeing your MRM solution.

    To answer your question Andrew, there are a number of solutions out there to be evaluated. IBM has two solutions that are designed to address the needs of a marketing organization to help speed campaigns to market.

    IBM Unica Marketing Operations OnDemand ( is a hosted SaaS solution ideal for creative groups that manage lots of collateral, tasks and projects. The software can be leveraged by every part of the organization from budgeting, time keeping, financial and strategic planning to providing oversight and tactical accountability.

    The other solution, IBM Unica Marketing Operations ( is an on premis enterprise MRM solution that brings together organizations under one management system. This product helps not only achieve that which Marketing Operations OnDemand does, but ties into IBM Unica Campaign so that the back office work can be seamlessly brought into production through segmentation/targeting and then sped to market.

    You can review the full set of Enterprise Marketing Management solutions from IBM here:

  • by Andrew Tompsett Fri Apr 27, 2012 via web

    Ahh, this looks really interesting. It's the sort of thing that I would love to spend a few weeks learning how to use in demo format - or maybe use for a volunteer group project.

    I find the concepts are easier to apply to business practices when I'm able to blend theory and practical application together.

    Very, very fascinating!

  • by Juri YTY Sun Apr 29, 2012 via web

    thanks Len Shneyder...tis article is really good, i would like to apply its to my daily work as well....

    hope you can post more MRM article for a reference

  • by pavan Wed Sep 12, 2012 via web

    an eye opening article ...

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