Gleanster, a leading voice in business technology research, insight and analysis, recently released their benchmark report on marketing resource management (MRM). Even living in a world that revolves around MRM every day, it’s always important to occasionally step back and view the industry through a fresh lens, and this report certainly provides that. More than anything, it does a good job of painting the challenges marketers face today as they look for MRM (and technology in general) to improve operations.
Their take doesn’t stray too far from what we observe here as well:
- Marketing invests in large technology systems. There is almost a “go big or go home” mentality when it comes to investing in technology. Sometimes this is smart business, other times it can bog down the department and even the company as a whole.
- MRM/Technology deployment can be a long, complex process. To quote the report, vendors typically are not so good at the “non-technical aspects of implementation, such as process re-engineering, organizational alignment, phased implementations, and industry-specific best practices.”
- In-house personnel are critical. There is a major need to staff and train a technology expert, but high dependency on this position creates an element of risk because that expert can leave at any time.
- Low adoption is a common occurrence. There tends to be low adoption when the system being implemented is highly complex. 73% of top performers in the report cite employee training as one of the most challenging aspects of MRM.
- Many features – and money – go to waste. Even if adoption is high, many businesses are likely not using the full set of features they’re paying for.
- Execution still matters. The system can be in place and processes may be streamlined, but you still need the marketing people, expertise and skill to put it to good use.
The New Model: Software AND the Service
The line between software vendors and service providers has been blurred, according to Scott Brinker’s Chief Marketing Technologist Blog, and these challenges have a lot to do with it. The situation creates a need for a new model where marketing departments partner with a full service provider rather than just purchasing a technology. In such a model, the software is merely a tool, almost invisible, that is used as part of marketing execution on behalf of the client. The provider would basically just become an extension of the marketing team in executing initiatives, driven by business impact rather than racking up software subscriptions.
While businesses are still finding their way with MRM in some regards, the good news is there is a new kind of solution provider whose approach keeps marketing departments from getting bogged down by technology. It’s an approach that prioritizes ease of deployment, ease of use and delivering results. By applying this new model, businesses are simply able to execute more marketing initiatives and drive more leads and revenue than they once thought possible..