In a recent webinar, Ian Michiels, principal and CEO of Gleanster Research, spoke of the importance of developing a road map for planning and implementing marketing resource management (MRM) software. This thought really struck a chord for me. A road map can serve many different purposes: it sets expectations, identifies possible roadblocks and helps ensure a smooth implementation.
But a road map can also serve another critical function: it can help tell the story, and create champions, for the technology. Upper management may be skeptical of what they perceive to be just another shiny new technology. An effective road map, properly laid out and communicated, can help make the case for MRM and the impact it can have on business.
As Ian indicated, every marketing resource management road map has three key components:
- Identify your biggest marketing challenges and the impact they are having on business. Common challenges, and impacts, include:
- Generic local marketing materials fail to motivate consumers to purchase products or services.
- Branding is inconsistent and poses compliance risks, which could have a financial impact on the business.
- Localized marketing campaigns require considerable time and resources, taking corporate marketing staff away from marketing planning and strategy efforts that push the business forward.
- Clearly outline your marketing and business goals. Share what can be accomplished with an effective MRM system. According to Gleanster research, top performing companies implemented MRM to:
- Decrease marketing costs (95 percent)
- Optimize spend across channels (86 percent)
- Manage brand consistency (82 percent)
- Create a clear road map.
Now, it’s time to put all your research and plans down on paper. Be sure to plan for a realistic timeline. Outline the priorities of what you want to accomplish, and when. Start out small, and work your way up to all the solutions you need. We often see, and Gleanster’s research proves, that a small, smart approach is best.
Prioritize your biggest marketing challenges, and implement the software that will address those first. Keep leadership updated on progress and impact, whether it’s spending less money on print thanks to a managed approach, or more sales made through local channels because of easily customized materials. Once you have champions on the leadership team, it becomes easier to make the case for new technology capabilities.
If you’re interested in learning more how you can create a road map to MRM implementation success, be sure to view our infographic. You can also review the slides from the webinar led by Ian Michiels that outline how top companies effectively manage local marketing efforts across multiple regions.