Today’s marketers face an existential crisis of looming irrelevance. To combat this, companies must follow the model for modern marketing: customer understanding informs brand strategy, which leads to brand experience. To adeptly support brand strategy, marketers must make marketing operations more efficient, streamlined, and cost effective, especially among pandemic-induced decentralized workforces. Proactivity is paramount for modern marketers; they need to position themselves as forward-thinking business drivers who can quickly adjust to fast-changing market conditions (like a recession), corporate strategic shifts (such as a rebrand), or competitive pressures.

Marketing resource management (MRM) and MRM tools underpin brand strategy and can save marketers from being seen as an expense rather than an investment. In Forrester’s Q3 B2C Marketing CMO Pulse Survey, 2022, we asked marketers “What marketing technology investments have you prioritized for the next 12 months that you believe will be most impactful to your business?” MRM was the top-selected choice out of 11 tech categories, ahead of performance management, adtech, and customer data platforms (CDPs).

Forrester defines MRM as:

A tool or suite of tools that enables marketers to manage planning and budgeting, project and program management, collaboration and calendaring, content production, asset management, and performance analytics.

Currently, the MRM tech category is peppered with vendors that offer a wide swath of capabilities spanning budgeting tools, project management software, and repositories for content and assets. To help marketers navigate the sprawling offerings, our Now Tech: Marketing Resource Management, Q1 2022 report defined three segments of capabilities:

  • Money tools deliver deep budget allocation and spend management functionality.
  • People tools offer project management, collaboration, and calendaring functionality.
  • Content tools centralize content storage, management, and distribution.

Our newly published Forrester Wave™: Marketing Resource Management, Q3 2022 further defines the MRM vendor landscape. This year’s Wave evaluation included nine providers examined across 34 criteria: Adobe (Workfront), Aprimo, BrandMaker (now Uptempo), HCL Software, IntelligenceBank, Marmind, Lytho, Optimizely (Welcome), and SAS. Marketers can use this research to identify their needs, use cases, and suitable technology providers.

The next frontier for MRM vendors must be optimizing marketing performance. For marketers to prove value, they need access to budget and spend data, marketing activities from planning through delivery, and subsequent campaign performance and revenue in order to tell a complete story of marketing performance. Marketers also need their MRM tools to offer more automated and optimized processes and workflows to ensure that employees aren’t mired in monotonous tasks and the endless back-and-forth that slows collaborative work. Finally, tech integration, both within the MRM suite and in the broader martech ecosystem, continues to be a top priority for marketers.

To dive deeper on this latest Wave research, please join our “Ask The Analysts” webinar on Thursday, September 29 at 11:00am EST. For more on marketing and martech, check out our B2C marketing coverage to help you navigate the seven biggest marketing priorities. And our marketing operations service can provide insight for B2B marketers on unlocking unseen possibilities through uniting insights, technologies, and innovative approaches. More questions? Schedule an inquiry or guidance session to chat live with us.