Today’s marketers are increasingly adopting marketing resource management (MRM) solutions to help them manage a number of core use cases, from ensuring brand consistency and content localization to budget and workflow management.
As a considered investment, due diligence is essential for finding the right MRM technology partner for your organization. In addition to evaluating MRM software capabilities, think about what happens after you make your selection. How will the solution be implemented and supported?
Following are some suggested measures to help ensure a successful MRM implementation.
Active & Purposeful Contact
From pre-launch to kickoff to ongoing interaction, active and purposeful contact between your organization and your MRM technology provider is essential to ensuring a successful MRM implementation.
In addition, it’s helpful to adhere to a schedule of calls or meetings to discuss strategy and track progress – your technology partner should take responsibility for this.
It can be easy to lose momentum during the pre-launch phase of an MRM implementation. Working together, you and your technology partner can determine appropriate milestones leading up to launch. Weekly calls can ensure you are meeting these milestones and staying on schedule. At Vya, our clients often tell us that they are pulled in so many different directions. They are very grateful for the weekly calls we organize and for our leadership in managing the project so that it stays on track.
For success after launch, continue to meet regularly. Hold monthly calls to discuss the big picture and how the MRM system can further be utilized for greater value within the marketing department and across the organization.
To maximize success, your MRM provider should perform pre-launch testing of the system, which would include running through workflows as a user and as an administrator. Adjustments can then be made prior to launch, limiting the potential questions and support requests from users when the system goes live.
Of course, nothing can compare to testing with actual users. So another way to ensure success of your MRM solution is to perform pre-launch testing with a beta group of your users. This is not always feasible due to compressed launch schedules. However, if time allows, it is a great way to uncover issues before rolling out to your full network of users.
The most successful MRM implementations result in users actually using the system. So before training even begins, the system must be inherently easy to use. With an easy-to-use system, training can focus more on likely use cases, which allows users to not simply learn about the software, but to understand how to best use it to support their daily activities.
Of course, a lot of work goes into making a system and its training easy and intuitive. It’s helpful for training to be offered in multiple formats, including on site, online, webinars and quick reference materials. And, a good technology partner will do its homework to tailor your configuration and your training to support your specific environment.
You want your users to not just know how the system works, but how it works in your specific organization. Some of the most valuable training is that which focuses on the context of how your organization will use the system. Ask if your technology partner can build use cases around your business that can be used for contextual training.
Another important aspect of training is ensuring field staff understand and embrace marketing’s objectives for the MRM system. As a third party, an MRM technology partner can deliver the brand vision in an impartial and validating way that can win field staff support.
Knowledgeable & Reliable Support
Once your system has launched and your users have been trained, you want to know that your MRM technology partner will be there to help you troubleshoot challenges and optimize your use of the system. A good technology partner will provide you with multiple methods of contact such as email, phone and online chat.
Look for a solution provider that offers a designated account manager for your organization – someone who knows the specifics of your unique implementation, not a call center staff that you need to bring up to speed on your company every time you have a question. A designated account manager can also raise red flags about system bugs or the need for additional training based on the calls they are fielding.
And since there will be times when a designated account manager will be unavailable, you’ll want to know that there are trained backups who can seamlessly step in when your primary contact is unavailable.
From Implementation to Long-Term Success
Marketing resource management can greatly increase the value a marketing organization brings to an organization. But MRM is not a one-and-done solution. The most successful implementations are those that not only effectively address provider-client contact/communication, pre-launch testing, training and support, but also include a mutual commitment between solution provider and organization to ensure the system is embraced by users and continually adapted to support the organization’s evolving needs. Having a good working relationship from the start will position the implementation for long-term success.