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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

The term MRM

 

Back in 2002 when searching for an understanding of MRM from Google, I found:

Mormonism Research Ministry www.mrm.org

Monticello Railway Museum www.prairienet.org/mrm

Lots of sites offering Metabolic Response Modifiers, research papers on Magnetic Resonance Microscopy, references to the US Department of the Interior's Mineral Management Service which runs the Minerals Revenue Management program, fascinating insights on Mechanically Recovered Meat, plus growing numbers of sites offering End Host Implementations using the Multicast Reachability Monitoring protocol.

Of the 199,000 results only a a handful related to MRM as the mnemonic for Marketing Resource Management, even though sources such as the analyst company,Gartner, and The Financial Times were highlighting this as the next emerging application which was said to be in use at that time in at least 10% of the Global 1,000 companies.

Gartner were forecasting "that by 2005, more than30 percent of Global 1000 organizations will have implemented MRM at least at the business unit or geographic level", whilst the Giga Information Group projected this "software sector would grow from$1.4 billion in 2003 to$2.5 billion by 2004. “   These figures were even exceeded in an article on FT.COM on the 31 st March 2003, where they reported that 450 of the Global 1,000 had, or were in the process of implementing MRM.

So users were taking up MRM even whilst I was finding it hard to establish a fixed definition of what it meant.

The term MRM has been around since early 2001, when it was being used to differentiate the emerging solutions from the myriad of isolated Marketing Automation applications which were being sold to resolve particular issues.

In a press release in 2001 for an early product release, from a company which no longer operates in this market (an all too common occurrence) MRM was defined as:

" Marketing Resource Management™ is a new category of enterprise-class, Web-based applications, designed to bring the same levels of efficiency, integration and cost-savings that companies such as Siebel, PeopleSoft and Oracle have delivered for CRM, human resources and database solutions.”

In the March 2003 article on FT.com Fred Burt, director of BrandWizard, a division of Interbrand, defined MRM as: 

MRM systems combine elements of document management and work flow systems, which govern the distribution of tasks to relevant workers, and they tie into databases of market research or customer information. They generally comprise four parts: planning and budgeting; creating and developing marketing assets, such as TV ads and product logos; fulfillment and delivery of campaigns; and reporting on the success of campaigns.”

Gartner, at that time defined MRM as:

“ a set of processes and capabilities that aim to enhance an enterprise's ability to orchestrate and optimise the use of internal and external marketing resources.” 

Gartner have been involved and continue to play a significant role within the MRM market and their research is a valuable asset to any company contemplating introducing MRM.

The Gartner Group (www3.gartner.com) were amongst the first to recognise MRM as a distinct area of development, and since 2001 have been reporting on customer satisfaction, the emergence of MRM Suppliers and the growth in that market.

Gartner regularly publish their Magic Quadrant which categorizes suppliers as Challengers, Leaders, Niche Players or Visionaries. Gartner research, and their relative position within the Magic Quadrant has a great significance to Suppliers, and, depending upon their position, can feature prominently in any sales blurb about their MRM.

All of these definitions were useful starting points, but they not sufficient such that you could use them to determine whether a particular offering really is an MRM solution.

As a result Freddie Daniels of Cogentum (www.cogentum.com), some what tongue in cheek, wrote in 2004

What are these acronyms BRM, MPM, MOM, EMM that I keep seeing?

The industry has used many acronyms to show their products positioning. These are simply each company's way of saying “we are the leading <insert acronym here> player”! The industry analysts have settled on MRM, as has cogentum. Most MRM, BRM, MPM, MOM, and EMM companies offer similar products to help you improve the running of your marketing department.”

If you look for MRM now (2008) on Google, the situation is a little different.

There are now over 3,760,000 MRM references, but from the filters I could run it seems that less 5% contained the word Marketing in their main text.  Metabolic Response Rate modifiers still figure prominently, whilst the Moral Regeneration Movement has moved significantly up the list (which says a lot about the times in which we live).  The Monticello Railway Museum unfortunately seems to have lost some of its popular interest.

There are lots of sites offering real MRM solutions, and of course there is now a Wikepedia definition which is reasonably helpful. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marketing_Resource_Management

Unfortunately there are also a large number of links, including paid for links on the right of the Google page, which are misleading and in some cases down right wrong.  Those sites pass off MRM as a discipline to support CRM or as the natural extension to a Digital Asset Management (DAM) development.   

For the CRM orientated sites, it is worth pointing out that in surveys across Marketing in 2007 it was reported that over 60% of Marketing activities did not involve CRM, so what relevance has their MRM to these activities.

Equally on the DAM front there are lots of companies which want to schedule their Marketing activity, and plan their expenditure, who do not run DAMs and cannot understand why they need to store images before they can control their financial expenditure.

So I believe there is still need for this little home spun site and its attempt to provide a comprehensive definition of MRM (MRM definition & diagram). The definition is built up by examining the activities managed by MRM, discussing how far MRM extends in to those activities, and then outlining the functionality which MRM provides. Only when all these aspects are covered can a full definition be developed.

As MRM systems develop the definition will be re-visited and amended to reflect the changes. As a result the definition should provide an up to date starting point for people who want to understand MRM.