3 Reasons Why MRM Failed Retail Marketers

Retail Marketing MRM

The MRM craze kicked into high gear in early 2003, every retail marketer was being told they needed an enterprise marketing solution. Their IT departments rushed to read analyst reports and figure out which vendor to implement.

Several million dollars later, it’s 2012, and retail marketers are stuck looking at complicated systems, that don’t handle their end to end process.

How did it all go so very wrong? The idea of an enterprise marketing solution for retail marketers was great in theory, but early MRM vendors approached the problem from the wrong direction.

Here are the three main reasons why MRM failed retail marketers:

1. Over-Engineered Systems With Inflexible Workflows

Deciding what jobs to plug into MRM was just the beginning of a very messy process. Each job entry led to a complicated form, which led to an even more complicated workflow with approvals. A single person not approving a step would bring an entire event to a halt, as notifications tied to subsequent steps would not trigger. Creative teams simply did not want to interact with the MRM solution, and Traffic departments would have to manually collect updates from them, to plug into the system. The added overhead spent managing MRM negated any benefit from a centralized system.

2. Bottom Up Approach To Strategy

MRM vendors took a bottom up approach of allowing marketers to build out projects and workflows that didn’t tie into a strategy. Instead of planning out their strategy inside the MRM tool, retailer marketers had their marketing calendars done on Excel spreadsheets, and then entered projects into the solution. The lack of a link between events, campaigns and strategies made it very difficult to maintain a consistent message across all channels.

3. Incapable Of Handling End To End Retail Marketing Process

Looking at the end to end process for executing an event like a circular, it’s immediately apparent how much of it occurs outside of the MRM system. Let’s start with annual planning, the typical MRM system does not allow retail marketers to create annual plans or tie in participating stores against an event. Moving further down the process, content layouts, promotional planning, and proofing are three glaring deficiencies.

The creation of layouts or management of promotional offers happened as either manual processes, or in entirely different systems outside of MRM. Proofing of creative concepts in particular was typically handled by solutions their printer would provide, or done on hard copies with a marker and post-it notes.

Retail marketers are slowly peeling off the band-aid of MRM, and beginning a new search for an enterprise marketing platform. The second time through they will need to be mindful of a platform’s flexibility and how well it caters to an end to end retail process.

Is your retail organization planning to transition away from MRM? Talk to us to learn more about our tools built for retail marketers.

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