By Bridget McCrea, Contributing Writer
When Kim Collins thinks about how companies are using Marketing
Resource Management (MRM) systems like Microsoft's MarketingPilot
to plan, budget, and forecast the utilization of marketing resources and
budgets, she divides the task up into five different core competency areas.
Collins, research vice president, CRM, at Gartner, Inc., in Stamford, Conn.,
identifies the five sectors that companies should be looking at as strategic
planning and financial management; creative production management; digital
asset, content, and knowledge management; marketing fulfillment; and MRM
analytics, the latter of which allows companies to effectively measure the
other four competency areas and optimize their media mixes according to that
"Before implementing an MRM strategy, companies have to take
a step back and assess the biggest areas of opportunity within these five
categories," explains Collins. "Look at where your organization will get the
highest business benefit and where the low-hanging fruit lies."
A firm looking to align corporate and local marketing goals,
for example, should put a high emphasis on marketing fulfillment, while one
looking to boost time-to-market could leverage creative production management
to help speed up that process. Finally, a chief marketing officer interested in
better budgeting across a growing marketing mix will gain a better
understanding of costs through the planning and financial management competency
In assessing MarketingPilot's ability to support each of
these five MRM competency areas, Gartner, Inc., calls the solution "visionary,"
for its broad MRM vision and capabilities, particularly for the midmarket. "The
acquisition by Microsoft should increase MarketingPilot's overall viability,"
writes Collins in Magic
Quadrant for Marketing Resource Management, "and, with training and
execution of the Microsoft partner network, it could become a global leader in
MRM during the next few years."
To most effectively leverage one or more of MRM's core
competencies, Collins says companies should kick off their initiatives by
getting the key stakeholders (namely the chief marketing officer, head of advertising,
and/or chief financial officer) involved in the process. Figure out which of
the five competencies matches with each of those stakeholders, she adds, and
then integrate those competencies into a single, holistic approach to MRM. "The
five areas are interrelated," says Collins, "so when you build strength in one
of them, you also help increase your firm's competency across the other four."