Insulation. Plumbing. Circuit boards. Marketing resource management (MRM) tools. All things that aren’t front and center but are critical for daily operations. MRM tools are the marketing engine that make your marketing department go. Resource planning and performance management in the key areas of money, people, content, and brand facilitate agile marketing across channels — critical during the global pandemic and for recovery efforts. At the pandemic onset in early 2020, Estée Lauder Companies created preemptive crisis recovery workflows after the marketing analytics team detected product demand changes in Asia.

While receiving less attention than larger and flashier technologies, the MRM space has quietly matured as marketers have sought more efficient marketing technology (martech) solutions and to consolidate their tech stacks (for example, 66% of marketers want to reduce the number of martech vendors). Since our last Forrester Wave™: Marketing Resource Management, Q1 2020, the pandemic forced virtual experiences, disrupted marketing channels and campaigns, and accelerated companies’ transition to digital marketing, thus fueling marketers’ need for tools like MRM that can support iterative, people-led planning. MRM moves planning from static spreadsheets to a dynamic and real-time environment. And MRM tools that are bidirectionally synced with enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools can draw tighter connections between marketing spend and marketing performance so companies can understand what’s working and replicate past successes (or avoid past mistakes).

Vendors are capitalizing on the renewed interest in MRM: BrandMaker acquired Allocadia this past July and, more recently, Hive9 to expand its B2B capabilities (in addition to supporting its core B2C brand customers). This follows on the heels of BrandMaker’s expansion in the US and other big moves in the MRM space, such as Adobe’s acquisition of Workfront and inMotionNow’s merger with Lytho.

For marketers interested in optimizing martech, read Forrester’s enterprise marketing technology playbook, or book an inquiry call.