Marketing Resource Management and Marketing Automation: How Sharp NEC Display Solutions Europe Is Getting Its Marketing Future-Ready

Marketing Resource Management and Marketing Automation: How Sharp NEC Display Solutions Europe Is Getting Its Marketing Future-Ready

Around two and a half years ago, Sharp NEC Display Solutions Europe decided to introduce marketing automation. It soon became clear that the complexity in marketing called for a comprehensive solution to optimize not only the lead generation process but also resource management. To make marketing truly future-oriented you need a combination of marketing automation and Marketing Resource Management.

Large screen from NEC Display Solutions Europe's Q series on a building in a public square

Sharp NEC Display Solutions Europe (SNDS Europe) offers a complete range of digital display solutions for any situation. This B2B company not only offers displays, LEDs, projectors, and computing solutions but also works together with software manufacturers to provide complete solutions that meet the precise needs of their customers. It is no surprise that SNDS Europe is known for more than their wide product range: Customers value their reliability and commitment.

Clearly Defined Processes and Greater Transparency in Marketing

Anyone who works in B2B marketing for a company operating throughout Europe knows the challenges associated with international marketing campaigns. First, core messages and the most important content are developed centrally; then, they have to be adapted to the different target markets—something that involves a great deal of coordination between head office and staff in the different countries.

Here, transparency is key, as Brigitte Kommer, Marketing Manager at SNDS Europe, explains:

“To prevent things from being done twice and three times, I need a solution that neatly maps the processes in marketing and provides an overview of the current situation. A lack of transparency is often the main problem in large organizations.”

Brigitte Kommer, Marketing Manager at SNDS Europe

However, the aim is not only to prevent duplication and the extra work this creates. If you need to compile analyses and reports before planning the next steps, it is important that all the necessary information is centrally available.

Marketing Resource Management Makes Successful Marketing Automation Possible

At the latest when your company takes the step towards marketing automation, it becomes obvious that you need a central Marketing Resource Management platform. Brigitte Kommer also emphasizes its importance:

“I can’t just introduce marketing automation without incorporating a system in the background that supports me and my whole team in creating the content we need. If I want our marketing to be future-oriented, I can’t do step three before I’ve completed step one.”

Brigitte Kommer, Marketing Manager at SNDS Europe

An MRM solution not only makes the entire content creation process easier, but also standardizes file management and typical marketing processes such as budgeting, cost tracking, and reporting.

In introducing an MRM solution, SNDS Europe wanted to not only create greater transparency but also facilitate consistent marketing processes.

Marketing Software Needs to Meet Real Business Needs

Right from the beginning, it was clear that marketing automation and Marketing Resource Management would be introduced together. So SNDS Europe chose a complete solution offered by UPPER Network and dialogue marketing agency Dialogschmiede.

The decision was taken to introduce MARMIND—a comprehensive Marketing Resource Management platform that provides optimal support for marketing automation and clearly meets real business needs. Brigitte Kommer explains her choice:

“It is obvious that MARMIND was developed to solve the challenges that marketing departments are confronted with on a daily basis. It takes into account collaborations with agencies and external contractors as well as the need to visualize marketing plans and reports.”

Brigitte Kommer, Marketing Manager at SNDS Europe

Successful Change Management and Process Optimization

When the time came to implement the system, some employees were reluctant. There were comments such as “not another tool—I’ll just write an email”. A lack of initial enthusiasm for new software is not uncommon. But this makes it even more satisfying when a new system is introduced in a professionally guided familiarization process—and is not only accepted but brings about positive change in an organization.

MARMIND has also played an important role in optimizing processes at SNDS Europe. Existing processes were scrutinized and made more systematic. An important aspect is making sure that they don’t become too complicated or bitty—an ongoing task.

Customized Software: Meeting Each Client’s Specific Needs

Another important aspect of this project was customizing the budget module in MARMIND. The specific features of SNDS Europe’s budget could not be mapped in the standard version which meant that this module needed to be adapted. This ensured that all marketing measures can not only be planned in MARMIND but can be connected with the relevant budget and cost data.

Woman surrounded by her team pointing at screen showing the MARMIND marketing plan

The Result: Clearly Defined Responsibilities, an Overview of Budget and Costs, More Efficient Coordination

Introducing new IT systems does involve a change process, but the advantages of an MRM solution for SNDS Europe mean that the effort is clearly worthwhile.

More transparency in marketing means that responsibilities are clearly defined and documented. All tasks can be mapped, even the most complex ones.

MARMIND also makes cooperation with agencies and freelancers simpler. Instead of reaching decisions via email, communication can happen directly in MARMIND—and always in the correct context, connected to a project, campaign, or to do, etc.

The entire communication process is visible and the platform even provides an overview of the allocation of resources, in terms of both budget and personnel. Plus, files are saved centrally and automatically versioned, making coordination even easier.

Marketing Resource Management and Marketing Automation as an Integrated Solution

MARMIND’s crucial advantage is that other systems can be connected via interfaces. And SNDS Europe needed a complete solution that could integrate several systems.

This made the following typical workflow possible:

The first step when planning a campaign is to compile a top-down brief to ensure that the right target group segment receives the right message at the right time. If the aim is to, say, plan a marketing email as part of the campaign, this then happens within the overall context.

When it’s time to implement the measure, the marketing email is created directly in MARMIND using a template. The correct target group segment can then be selected to predefine a list of recipients.

Finally, the draft is sent directly to Acoustic Campaign, where it can be checked and worked on further.

Once the email has been successfully sent via Acoustic Campaign, the KPIs are automatically sent to MARMIND, where the measure can be analyzed in the context of all other initiatives. Combining the two platforms creates a closed-loop system that makes a continuous marketing cycle possible.

Regular Product Updates and Customer Centricity Guarantee Satisfaction

As the driving force behind this overall solution, Brigitte Kommer hopes that customer requests continue to play a central role in developing MARMIND further, as this makes it possible for everyone to benefit from individual requests.

And above all, she hopes that UPPER Network and its core product, MARMIND, continue to stand for customer centricity, outstanding customer service, and reliability.