The Buyer’s Guide
To Marketing Resource Management (MRM) Systems

Discover the Most Important Things to Look for When Choosing a Marketing Portal Technology Partner

Your Search: What to Look for in a Solution

There are many questions and requirements that buyers of marketing software and systems bring to the buying process. Inputs range from the tangible to the emotional. And while each buyer emphasizes different values based on their objectives and experience, there are common criteria that can guide the way to a successful decision.

Start with a Vision – Think Big Picture and Long Term

What do you want your software to do for your organization? Allow your vision to guide you in choosing and configuring your system to your specific needs and environment.

The 3 Most Important Things to Look for in an MRM System and Technology Partner – Operations Optimization, Usability, Support & Expertise


Have you ever considered how an organization’s competitive advantage is linked to its ability to optimize marketing operations? Often, the lack of marketing operational technology impacts marketing’s ability to mobilize. Without adequate marketing tools and technology, organizations can lose ground to competitors, simply because they are not operating optimally. There are efficiencies to be gained across the organization by leveraging marketing’s investment in talent and technology. Marketing’s cross-departmental involvement in areas such as HR, customer experience, brand management and operations can help companies strengthen their operational effectiveness and competitive advantage. Look for an MRM system and partner that can help you break down silos and involve marketing in ways that drive consistency across brand messaging, customer experience and employee experience.


  • Franchise marketers make materials available on their marketing portal to support franchisees in recruiting and hiring.
  • Banks make new employee onboarding kits available through their systems as well as employee rewards and recognition kits.
  • Insurance companies use their portals to enable employees across functions to order business cards, letterhead, and other stationery products.
  • Restaurant franchisors facilitate menu pricing and product offering flexibility through their MRM systems, enabling franchisees to make adjustments to address local market conditions.

Questions to Ask
You need a solution that is purpose-built to handle the complexities of distributed marketing.
□ How are creative requests and other requests from frontlines managed?
□ How does the system help manage disclosures?
□ What kind of data is stored in the user and location profiles and how is that data used for customization?
□ Does customization include ad resizing of approved materials?
□ How is data used to streamline Limited Time Offers (LTOs) and other marketing kits?
□ Are LTO/seasonal kits rightsized or do all locations get the same kits and quantities of materials?
□ How is local spend tracked and can budgets or funding be provided to users?
□ Can the system manage and administer details related to subscription-based marketing programs, such as subscription enrollment, renewals, changes, and cancellations, payment and sales tax processing?
□ How will print campaigns be managed end-to-end?
□ How does the vendor handle third-party coordination when required?

Look for a long-term partner who can grow with you.
□ How scalable is the solution as your organization grows over time?
□ What training is available at implementation and ongoing as new users come on board over time?
□ Does the vendor offer marketing fulfillment services that can integrate with the MRM system – campaign design, printing and fulfillment, execution and end-to-end production management?
□ What kinds of licenses will be needed and at what cost?

Operations Optimization Features to Look For

Marketing asset management – collateral, ads, social media posts, direct mail, email, surveys, invites, kits, etc.
Makes it easier and faster for marketing to deliver marketing materials to the field while making it easy for your frontlines to order approved marketing assets.
Customizable materials – Approved, templated marketing materials enable customization of specific elements.
Customization of approved materials increases local relevance. In addition to manually customizing specific content elements, fields can be auto-populated with data from user profiles or location profiles. This makes it easier and faster to implement locally relevant, compliant marketing campaigns.
Approval workflows – Customized pieces and requests can be automatically routed through workflows for review and approval.
Automating key marketing processes like approvals on requests for customized marketing pieces increases the effectiveness and efficiency of your marketing operations. Freed from low-impact tasks, your marketing department will have more time for strategic activities. Streamlining approval workflows increases the efficiency of managing brand consistency.
Global fields – Auto-update information across all affected assets by revising them once in a single global field.
This increases efficiency, reduces errors and ensures the most current version of materials is accessible in the system. This is particularly helpful for updating items like disclosures and interest rates.
Location profile management – Extensive data for each location is captured in the system, as well as structural details, like hours of operation, product pricing, number of windows, and more.
The data can be auto-populated on templated items and/or order quantities can be auto-populated, reducing errors and waste.
Auto-order placement – Materials, kits or campaigns that are required for multiple locations are automatically ordered on their behalf.
Quantities for marketing assets can be automatically determined based on location profile data, so each location receives the correct type and quantity of materials automatically, increasing speed to market and reducing waste. Users receive order tracking information so they know what materials to expect and when to expect them.
Request management – Automates the process of collecting, approving, processing, and tracking requests from local users.
As the number of locations, agents and affiliates you support increases, managing and processing even the most basic requests can become a significant drain on your marketing resources. Reclaim time spent on managing and processing field requests by automating request management tasks.
Creative production management – Seamlessly routes, approves and tracks progress on creative production.
Localization of marketing materials requires time, attention and focus. Keep your teams focused on creating new designs and materials – not chasing down creative production status and approvals.
Data management – Scrubs lists, completes fields, performs address standardization, removes opt-out names, and more.
Effective data management services provide peace of mind by ensuring your frontlines are working with quality, compliant, reliable data.
Budget management – Assign, track, review and approve budgets; manage co-op funds. Enable managers to manage different funds. Distribute funds to users and transfer funds as necessary.
Budget management within an MRM system significantly increases efficiency compared with budget tracking via siloed spreadsheets. In addition, it can bring clarity to your overall marketing spend. It enables you to measure spend by market, identify best practices and share insights with teams across regions to help sales channels maximize local marketing budgets and boost local sales.
Multi-brand management – Manage materials for multiple brands in one place and enable simplified co-branded marketing.
A system that supports multi-brand operations enables you to capitalize on the improved efficiency of the brand family structure. Manage marketing assets for all brands in one online system. Track and monitor campaign engagement and results across brands for improved customer targeting and cross-selling.
Campaign response tracking – Track response data from multiple sources (internal, partners, other third parties).
The ability to cleanse, aggregate and display campaign response data geographically on intuitive dashboards results in more actionable insights and the ability to improve campaigns over time.
Reporting – Track asset usage and downloads, marketing spend, campaign engagement and more.
Reporting capabilities are essential for managing today’s distributed marketing programs. Whether on-demand or automated report generation, the ability to track system user engagement, local budgets, and campaign results, and more, enables you to pinpoint issues and opportunities that can lead to improvements and shared successes.
Payment flexibility – Enable frontlines to pay by credit card, use budgeted funds or allocate to a cost center.
Offering a variety of payment options for system users makes it easier for them to engage with your marketing programs and demonstrates that you care about making things easier for them.
Campaign automation & subscription services – Enables users to subscribe to participate in scheduled, customizable marketing campaigns.
Automated marketing campaigns and services make it easier to execute locally customized, recurring marketing campaigns. Managing and administering these programs can be complex, encompassing subscription enrollment, renewals, changes, and cancellations, payment and sales tax processing, and more. A system that can manage all the details will make it easier on your corporate marketing team and your end users.