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Trading a deluge of emails for efficient marketing planning: Why Styria Tourism uses marketing resource management

steiermark tourismus
© Styria Tourism

Which campaign is about to be launched? On which platforms? And what is the budget?

The marketing team at Steiermark Tourismus & Standortmarketing GmbH (“Styria Tourism”) were looking to answer these questions without having to trawl through various documents to obtain the relevant information. The solution: MARMIND, a marketing resource management software. And as an added bonus, the company has ties to Styria.

Advertising vacations in Styria – in a nutshell, that is the business purpose of the regional tourism organization, both in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland as well as on international markets. Recently, a further business area, place marketing, was established. As a result, the company’s marketing activities will continue to grow in the future.

Everyday work requires close coordination both within the organization and, to an even greater degree, with external partners. Campaign partners, however, use their own tools and plan campaigns in line with their own needs. As a result, the day-to-day tasks for the staff at Styria Tourism are full of variety. Nevertheless, it makes it a huge challenge to keep track of all the projects, channels, and to-dos.

Effective marketing requires careful coordination with various stakeholders

The company’s marketing activities are organized cross-departmentally. While the content management team is responsible for bringing content to life, it is then the responsibility of the channel management team to place the content on the appropriate channels with the right message.

So far, so good. However, it becomes more challenging when regions, partner businesses, different markets, and focal points come into play. The trick is to coordinate all of these needs, creating an ideal balance between them.

Why countless spreadsheets are not the ideal choice for marketing planning

Marketing planning and budgeting are still commonly carried out using Office applications. But this will cause a marketing team to quickly run into constraints, particularly if it works cross-departmentally and with external partners.

Stephanie Renner, responsible for online marketing and social media in the channel management team at Styria Tourism, explains:
“We didn’t have a planning tool. Instead, we worked quite traditionally with Excel files that were floating around somewhere. Communication mainly took place via email. This meant that we didn’t have the overall picture. We were lacking a central location to plan and file everything in a clear manner.”

Stephanie Renner, Onlinemarketing and Social Media, Styria Tourism

Important questions could only be answered with a lot of effort: Which content is appearing on which platforms? What is the budget? Which partners are on board? What markets are we active in?

As a result, it was extremely difficult to analyze marketing activities and, in some cases, quite impossible.

Stephanie Renner: “That was the moment when we decided to look for a tool for unified campaign and project planning for our marketing. A tool that would allow us to access all the information we needed at the click of a button.”

More efficient processes and structures thanks to marketing resource management

The marketing resource management platform MARMIND proved to be the right tool for the company’s needs. The decisive criteria were not only the comprehensive scope of application of the platform itself but also the geographical proximity – MARMIND has a location in Premstätten, near to Graz.

The project started at the beginning of 2020 with an extensive test phase, which was followed by the gradual introduction of MARMIND.

The implementation of a comprehensive platform, such as MARMIND, requires careful planning and cannot be done overnight. Stephanie Renner also confirms this: “We needed to think in depth of how we want to organize our internal marketing structures in the future. We might have been a special case, as we were revising our organizational chart at the same time. Challenging on the one hand, helpful on the other, as it meant we could immediately tailor MARMIND to the new structures. At the same time, though, MARMIND also helped to optimize our processes even further.”

Reliable project management as the key to success

Our permanent contact at MARMIND turned out to be extremely helpful, especially at the start of our cooperation.. “When we got stuck, our contact always got us back on track. She gave us specific suggestions on how to increase the efficiency of our structures and processes – this was a huge help for us,” says Renner.

She particularly values the fact that her contact continues to be there for her:
„We are very grateful that we can continue to rely on our dedicated project manager at MARMIND, whether with questions, support requests or if we need input.”

Stephanie Renner, Onlinemarketing and Social Media, Styria Tourism

Efficient campaign management and
simplified reporting

Steiermark Tourismus has now been working with the MARMIND marketing resource management software for three years. How has it changed everyday life at the company?

Stephanie Renner replies:

„As we carry out a number of small marketing activities alongside our large campaigns and there are a lot of steps involved in creating editorial plans and partner contributions, in particular, MARMIND has provided us with a brilliant solution. I can set up each of these steps as a to-do list and distribute them to the person responsible for that task. It allows me to always have a view of the planning as a whole, the responsibilities, and the deadlines – it makes my day to day work so much easier.“

Stephanie Renner, Onlinemarketing and Social Media, Styria Tourism

In the past, she could only do this with the help of various lists and multiple e-mails. Renner is happy that the amount of work has now been drastically reduced and explains: “MARMIND enables our team to not only see at the click of a button which of our editorial plan contributions are being implemented, but also to view all marketing campaigns at the same time. We can rapidly find out which campaign is currently running, which channels are being used, and where we are in terms of timing. All of this information is displayed clearly, without the need to wade through multiple spreadsheets.”

steiermark tourismus plan
© Styria Tourism

She adds: “There are a lot of small things that, at first glance, don’t seem like a lot of work. But by using a campaign management platform such as MARMIND we save a great deal of time and resources overall.”

However, this applies to more than just the planning and implementation of marketing activities. MARMIND also provides greater clarity in reporting:
„In the past, I needed multiple tools to collate figures and KPIs. MARMIND makes it a lot easier for me to analyze campaigns, which saves us even more time.”

Stephanie Renner, Onlinemarketing and Social Media, Styria Tourism

Efficiency and sustainability with manageable
to-do lists instead of a deluge of e-mails

One of MARMIND’s most popular features is the creation of to-dos. The ability to send to-dos via e-mail enables more efficient sorting and processing of internal inquiries, as well as external inquiries from partners. External e mails can be turned into to-dos and directly sent from a user’s inbox to MARMIND, where they are processed, just as they would be in a ticket system.

Stephanie Renner also wishes to mention something else: “It might not seem like much at first, but the stack of papers on my desk and in my filing tray is now much smaller. By being able to access, view and process a lot of things in a clear manner, I have less to print, which is very positive in terms of sustainability.”

MARMIND: Useful, efficient, clear

The plan for the near future is to carry out many other projects in MARMIND, such as those from the new business area of place marketing. Renner says: “The second business area is going to generate a good deal of new tasks for us. In future, we particularly also want to use MARMIND to centrally plan and carry out offline activities, such as events.”

When asked how she would describe MARMIND in three words, Renner answers: “Useful, efficient, clear.” And she adds with a laugh: “And it’s even Styrian!”