2024 Guide

Marketing Resource Management

Learn how marketing resource management is evolving in modern organizations today.

What is MRM?

Ensuring resources are properly allocated, deployed, and driving results can be complicated—especially as an organization grows. Departmental silos between business units, markets, regions, or product lines can make getting a clear picture of what’s working (and what’s not) a time-consuming task.

Marketing resource management (MRM) is a methodology that aims to streamline marketing organizations and increase their efficiency. Early MRM frameworks and software were focused on Digital Asset Management (DAM): a discipline for managing an organization’s information, content, and brand management elements. DAM became increasingly popular as digital communication channels—and the assets to feed them—exploded in the following decades.

Gartner researched and chartered the progress of MRM solutions from 2001 until 2017 when they retired the Magic Quadrant for marketing resource management. In 2017, Gartner outlined MRM 2.0 and redefined the category to encompass marketing tools that focus on work management, asset management, and performance management.

Forrester picked up the mantle in 2018 with their inaugural Forrester Wave MRM Report. Forrester further expanded the definition of marketing resource management to a tool that enables marketers to manage planning, budgeting, project and program management, calendaring, content production, asset management, and performance analytics.  

The benefits of marketing resource management

When implemented properly, MRM software can help marketing teams and their leaders gain real-time visibility into budget allocation and resource deployment. An MRM tool can help marketers improve the campaign planning and budgeting processes by eliminating siloes and duplicate work across vendors and teams.

The three benefits of MRM solutions are all based on streamlining work:

  1. Reduce wasted spend: with better visibility, marketing teams can see where cuts can be made and where duplicate spend may occur.
  2. Increase efficiency: marketers can see where there are bottlenecks with projects and adjust resources.
  3. Remove silos: increased collaboration for content production helps improve communication
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Who is marketing resource management for?

For enterprise marketing organizations, it’s a never ending struggle to manage all their resources—people, budget, time, and content.  

  1. CMOs: The modern CMO is under constant pressure to prove marketing’s impact and justify budget changes. They looked to MRM solutions to find a way to streamline their organizations and surface answers to critical questions faster.
  2. Marketing Operations: MRM platforms should free up marketing operations time to focus on more strategic projects instead of resource tracking.
  3. Marketing Program Managers: Insights from MRM solutions should give marketing managers better overview of how their programs are performing and where there are bottlenecks.

In theory, MRM software is the engine that powers your marketing department by connecting budgeting, content management, and workflow management. But as the challenges facing CMOs and marketing organizations have evolved, MRM has lagged behind.

Where MRM software falls short

For most solutions, delivering on the promise of a fully integrated MRM system has been nearly impossible for four reasons:

  1. Marketers are flooded by the number of available tools. Marketing technology, tools, and services have ballooned from 150 tools in 2011 to more than 13,000 today. This makes finding and integrating data across systems difficult and time-consuming. Tech spending also increased operational costs, which has placed more scrutiny on marketing team budgets overall—and the demand for more results, more quickly.
  2. The scope of MRM means that it offers too many use cases to too many stakeholders. And none of them get their needs fully met by today’s MRM solutions. Executives want marketing plans tied to company objectives. Finance teams want better visibility and insight into marketing budgets. Marketing program owners need a campaign planning tool and a centralized marketing calendar. Agencies and creative marketers need a solution to manage the content workflow process. And everyone wants better analytics that prove marketing impact and ROI. While MRM seeks to serve all these stakeholders, it typically falls short, leaving buyers to seek best of breed point solutions that create only more silos in the marketing organization.
  3. The historical lack of marketing planning tools. While tools for managing or enhancing channels have increased ten-fold, much of marketing’s planning and work management has been run on tools that could be considered freeware–like Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint. If you want to create a presentation, slides work just fine. But using office productivity apps to run a multimillion dollar marketing strategy is problematic. These solutions don’t scale, they introduce version control issues and errors, and most importantly, they don’t integrated with commonly used martech tools—meaning they can’t give complex marketing organizations a reliable, real-time view of their programs.
  4. MRM tools are too heavily designed around content creation and traditional DAM. Content creation is a critical, but tactical element of the marketing plan, from which all activities flow. All too often, it occurs in a vacuum because marketing teams aren’t aligned on what content they are creating, for what audience, in support of what marketing goals. And the content market is being disrupted by generative AI tools that will soon automate much of the process that MRM tools seek to manage. Creating a single tool that excels at budgeting, planning, execution, and performance measurement is a tall order. Most MRM tools are only strong in one to two of those areas (with many still heavily focused on Digital Asset Management)—which means marketers must rely on integrations with other systems to truly streamline resource management.

A new operating model for enterprise marketers

Marketing resource management has gone through two analyst firms and multiple definitions, but still fails to meet the needs of today’s CMO. But a new framework recently emerged to tackle these challenges and gaps, known as marketing business acceleration. This new operating model’s goal isn’t just to make marketing more efficient, it’s to accelerate growth with smarter, faster resource deployment and reallocation.  

Marketing business acceleration is a new operating model that helps marketing teams optimize performance and prove the effectiveness of their marketing strategy by connecting the three key domains of marketing operations: plan, spend, and work management.

marketing resource management

When these three key areas of marketing are properly integrated under one system (more on that later) teams can measure and track data and spend more accurately; make better decisions, and, ultimately, move faster to capture market opportunities. There are three maturity levels that an organizations moves through when adopting marketing business acceleration: visibility, velocity, and agility.  

Visibility is about reducing or removing operational and data silos to achieve clarity and enable collaboration. It’s the end of silos departments with their own goals, tools, cultures, and even their own lingo. Your regions and departments work together and they can see what their colleagues are doing and how it all links back to common objectives.

Velocity is the rate of speed by which your organization can get to market. Achieving true velocity is about optimizing workflows and productivity. To do this, you must be able to tie strategic decisions to objectives, plans, programs, and tactics, and have them cascade down rapidly through the organization.  

Agility is your ability to change direction quickly and confidently. This requires developing proper segmentation, aligning on KPIs, and enabling accurate measurement and analysis across all of your data sources.

marketing business acceleration maturity

The linchpin of this new operating model is having a single system of record to tie plans, spend, and work together. This is why a marketing business acceleration platform is vital to modern marketing resource management.

Hear what adopters of marketing business acceleration are saying

Marketing business acceleration solutions: the next evolution of MRM platforms

Marketing business acceleration platforms give marketing teams a single system of record for end-to-end planning—much like CRMs, ERPs, and SCMs do for operations, IT, and supply chain teams respectively.

They seamlessly integrate campaign planning, marketing financial management, and work management to create a single system of record. Strategy, planning, execution, and measurement are finally connected in a way that legacy marketing resource management software could never match. Marketing business acceleration solutions help team members work together on every stage of the marketing planning process, enabling true end-to-end collaboration by tying campaigns and activities to budgets, projects, and real-time performance metrics.

Switching from marketing resource management to marketing business acceleration will improve data integrity, streamline workflows, and help marketing organizations properly measuring performance with the right tools and processes. Teams that embrace marketing business acceleration can expect to plan better, pivot faster, spend smarter, and execute with confidence.  

Learn how your organization can achieve these by speaking to an Uptempo expert today. 350+ leading enterprises already use Uptempo’s end-to-end marketing planning software to accelerate their growth.  

Marketing business acceleration

A new operating model built for today’s fast-moving markets

Learn how marketing business acceleration can help CMOs cut through the chaos of managing plans, budgets, project workload, and performance data to get the visibility, velocity, and agility they need to run marketing like a business.

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