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The Term MRM
What activities does MRM manage?
How far does the MRM system extend?
What functionality is covered?
MRM Definition & Diagram
What benefits will MRM deliver?
What savings should MRM Deliver?
Is MRM right for every Organisation?
The issues involved in MRM installation

MRM Explained

What benefits will MRM deliver?


MRM systems deliver two types of benefits both of which can result in savings.

Firstly, there are very specific parts of the Marketing role which MRM automates to reduce the need for specialist skills thus enabling jobs to be taken back from Agencies.

Secondly, they provide a more productive supportive working environment by automating many of the routine clerical tasks, and by reducing the elapsed time involved in transfer of images etc.


Automated processes

MRM systems have specific routines to handle most of the aspects of image management where money and time can be saved from automation.

This is most clearly demonstrated in the area of collateral approval.

In a clerical environment, to gain approval of a finished image, the Agency may print multiple copies of the image, courier them to people at different sites, and then spend Agency time chasing people for sign off, followed by attending a number of meetings until the final image is approved. All of this is chargeable.

In MRM systems the image for approval is circulated electronically to all required who review on-line. Comments are posted on-line and are available for all to see. Electronic transmission is faster and certainly cheaper than couriers. On the Extranet the images to be approved are available 24 * 7 from any point where the person can connect to the Internet.

There may be the need for a final contract proof where printed hi-end colour is involved, but this should only be printed at the last stage as one signed copy. All other costly printing will be eliminated.

This particular module of MRM delivers large savings to the Marketing organisation, with minimum real loss to the Agencies, (as they profess that they run the approval, duplication and management process, at just above cost e.g. the courier costs are normally just cross charged).

The re-use of material should deliver the largest over all cost saving, provided there is the normal amount of re-use of collateral. The areas where these savings should be achieved can be summarised as:

•  reductions in the purchases of image. On average Marketing spend in excess of 5% of their budget on photo shoots and acquiring images. These are stored in a variety of places where they are then only available to the area that bought the image and a few select other people. The use of images to support the Brand is a growing trend. Reducing this spend by reusing existing images will be a major benefit. There is ample evidence to demonstrate that the introduction a DAM delivers savings in excess of 15% of the image budget once the DAM has reached a critical mass.
•  reducing the Agency involvement in making simple changes to collateral which is controlled by templates (e.g. changing the text of adverts or flyers.) At the present time many of these simple tasks are completed by the Agencies because even the text changes involve working with fonts, and perhaps simple colour balancing or advert resizing which cannot be done by on the standard PC. On MRM systems the simple text manipulation of Quark adverts can be accomplished in Word and the system then manages the advert within the set template.


Productive environment

Developing, supporting and enforcing Brand Management is accepted as a major task for all Marketing departments, but far too often all that happens is that a printed copy of the Brand guidelines is given out to Agencies and key designers. Updating multiple copies of the guidelines stored at different offices is onerous, and the whole system relies upon people regularly using the manual as a reference source. In their 2003 MRM Survey Brand Wizard ( reported that of the leading Marketing organisations they approached only 53% of these had their Brand Guidelines on-line, and of these only 53% allowed on-line access to all parts of Marketing and their partners.

MRM supports having the Brand guidelines on-line, available by an Extranet to all involved parties. This strengthens Brand Management and removes the onerous clerical task of copying changes to the Brand guidelines and circulating them to ensure the guidelines are kept up to date.

A large part of the Marketing role is concerned with managing the workflow for the creation of Marketing collateral (ie the Process Management referred to earlier). This involves the routine aspects of Project Management, confirming that Campaigns are following the agreed time lines, chasing suppliers and notifying people as to progress etc.

MRM systems deliver Campaign management, supporting on-line input to an Extranet by all involved. Once time lines have been defined the application monitors progress, and provides reminders, and dynamic messaging. The objective is to allow the Marketing Executive to concentrate on problem areas, rather than monitoring the large percentage of Campaigns that meet the required time scales.


The clerical routine involved in Diary planning is another area of normal activity which is significantly reduced by MRM systems. Provided the correct criteria have been defined the system will update the “To do lists” etc. based upon the information held by the system.

The whole work cycle involved in collateral approval can normally be completed on-line, reducing the need for meetings or the confusion involved in circulating multiple copies and then collating responses.

Management reporting is completed on-line by using the system's ability to analyse information based upon pre-defined criteria. This eliminates the need to produce work summaries etc.

Exception reporting will automatically report when spending levels are exceeded, or when Campaigns are at risk of going over budget.

MRM systems are designed to enable collaborative working so that all people inside the Marketing enterprise can be aware of initiatives across the whole of the Marketing enterprise. Knowledge of similar exercises normally encourages the re-use of at least some parts of the materials or just allows people to benefit from the experiences of their colleagues.

The existence of a multimedia DAM is a significant benefit to all in Marketing. The re-use of material is not confined to the obvious re-use of images. Having completed campaign briefs in the DAM has, in some implementations, allowed the people in Marketing to re-use large parts of the existing internal documentation, copying and pasting large sections of text, to reduce their work load. In most sites there is considerable clerical effort involved in starting a campaign. Re-using extracts from the best examples stored on the DAM reduces this clerical effort and helps to raise the quality of the campaign briefs.

There is credible evidence from earlier MRM implementations that the types of clerical support described above, delivers improvements to Marketing Productivity equating to about 20% of the normal day.