Do The Math: Proving Marketing Resource Management ROI

It takes a deft hand to manage marketing programs across a distributed organization like a franchise business with hundreds of local franchisees, or a bank or other business with multiple locations or branches. Technology can be your friend, whether it’s to help boost sales, protect your brand, optimize marketing campaigns or streamline workflows.

Yet gaining the internal support and the budget approval needed to implement marketing resource management (MRM) tools and platforms can be an even greater challenge than managing the marketing campaigns of a large distributed organization. Marketing investments – particularly for MRM systems – can be difficult to justify, because proving ROI requires a long-term view.

Making your case for investing in MRM has to focus on the tangible impact on your company’s bottom line. It requires a bit more effort than simply plugging numbers into a formula. However, with a little thought and application, you can outline advantages specific to your company that will not only confirm your own confidence in your recommendations, but they will also persuade your management to make the investment in MRM.

Here’s how you can map MRM benefits to fundamental business goals in a way that will demonstrate the impact MRM can have on your company and its bottom line.

1.  Reduced Marketing Costs

Because marketing resource management helps streamline marketing operations – from automating approvals to maximizing print budgets – it can help reduce an organization’s marketing operations budget. In fact, 95 percent of top performing organizations cite a need to decrease marketing costs as the reason for purchasing an MRM system, according to Gleanster Research.

To make your case, identify areas you expect will benefit from your investment in MRM and benchmark current costs to execute specific tasks against anticipated savings (in time and dollars), such as:

Time Spent On Non-Essential Tasks:
Like tracking down approvals or chasing down the latest versions of marketing materials. MRM helps streamline these tasks so you can focus less time on details that won’t impact the bottom line and more time generating strategy and campaigns that support business goals. Estimate how many staff hours you will reduce for such tasks and assign a dollar figure to those hours based on staffing rates to determine the value of the time saved.

Print And Promotion Costs:
An MRM system can give you a detailed view of what materials are needed where – helping to reduce waste and printing costs.

Other Tasks That Can Be Automated With MRM:
Examine your specific marketing operations to find additional opportunities for automation and then estimate the cost savings associated with each of those tasks.

2.  Improved Distributed Marketing Efforts

The most successful distributed marketing campaigns are those that are easy for local sales channels to implement. The more individual sales channels that adopt and implement local marketing campaigns, the more people will see your brand’s messages, products, and services. Top performing organizations consider this a major benefit of MRM, according to Gleanster Research’s MRM benchmark report, with 93 percent citing improving local marketing efforts as a reason to purchase marketing resource technology.

To determine how MRM can improve your local marketing efforts, start by identifying how many sales contacts are currently taking advantage of local marketing campaigns and available materials. Next, estimate how many more sales contacts would use local marketing campaigns if they were made easily accessible. Lastly, calculate the value of those increased impressions gained from marketing campaigns.

3.  Improved Brand Consistency

One of the strongest arguments for investing in them is that an MRM system helps ensure brand consistency and minimizes compliance and regulatory risk. A common challenge for distributed organizations is the fact that local agents, branches, dealers or franchises will take it upon themselves to create their own unsanctioned marketing materials. Such materials may violate regulations and requirements that could put your company at risk.

An MRM system can help eliminate compliance issues and make it easy for local market contacts to quickly customize compelling, consistent, and compliant materials that will resonate with local customers. The streamlined workflow also ensures audit times are significantly reduced.

To determine how MRM can impact your bottom line when it comes to compliance, think about the compliance and regulatory requirements your brand must meet and calculate potential costs based on the fines associated with infractions.

4.  Improved Strategic Oversight

The beauty of today’s marketing resource platforms is that they provide both a detailed view of local marketing activities and results, while also providing a high-level view of your distributed organization’s marketing operations. Seeing what is happening at the local level can obviously help in managing and advising each individual location. In addition, it can bubble up trends that can inform your strategic planning and best practices that can be shared across all local operations.

Consider how a high-level overview could improve your planning and streamline your campaigns, then calculate the associated spend related to changes you can make.

Tips For Securing Executive And Budget Approval

Once you’ve done your homework to determine if MRM is a good investment for your business, you need to close the sale internally. When making the case for MRM, consider these tips:

Tell A Compelling Story:
Put the benefits and impact of an MRM system into a language your leadership cares about. What’s most important to them? If it’s boosting sales, increasing market share or raising awareness of products or services, use those words to tell the story of how an MRM system can help the company reach those business goals.

Create An Executive Champion:
Chances are, one executive understands the challenges of marketing operations and sees the value of an MRM system. Work closely with them to champion the system and communicate the benefits to fellow executives.

Roll Out Smart:
Once you get leadership on board, be sure to set yourself up for success with a phased roll out. Allow adequate time and provide proper training to ensure your people embrace the process changes that will translate to real ROI.