Han Solo is a bighearted, high-flying marketing and communications manager, who is accompanied by his ever-present, loyal companion Chewbacca wherever he goes. As a talented project manager, a popular leader and a natural charmer, he has all the virtues of an effective communicator and has proven his worth in the fight against the Empire. The only problem: "the luckiest man in the galaxy" suffers from a brutal shortage of high-performance tools to help him do his job (it's difficult to install an ERP solution on the Millennium Falcon!) Han Solo explains what he and his intern could have improved with a good ERP solution.
Benefits of an ERP system for marketing and communications professionals
With a good ERP system that is designed for SMEs, you can easily create platforms that link in to your business, whether they are for a website, a blog or even a forum. You can even follow your graphic charter while doing so! These modules are generally very easy to use, with no coding knowledge to develop a modern, appealing platform.
Some ERP modules allow genuine productivity gains in your communications campaigns. For example, by making it easier to create e-mail campaigns: from qualifying the database through to analyzing performance statistics (opening rates, numbers of clicks) and link tracking. The same applies to event management. A good ERP package will enable you to manage every stage in the process of creating a professional event - such as managing speakers, selling tickets, and even promotions.
In addition, the features offered by an ERP solution result in genuine time savings for the communications team, because all documents can be accessed directly from the platform. There's no longer any need to spend time exporting data: documents are instantly ready to send.
A "fully integrated" solution with benefits for the entire business
With a properly configured ERP system, coordination between the various departments is improved and some activities are even automated. And, to optimize the communications process even further, you can choose to integrate discussion group or chat modules into your ERP solution to encourage dialog among your workforce.
A new generation ERP solution for an effective marketing team
With a "new generation" ERP solution that uses a SaaS and/or open source model, a plethora of even more advanced features will be available. Still on the topic of encouraging discussion and sharing ideas within the organization, you can decide to provide an ESN (Enterprise Social Network) for your team.
This will make it possible to implement a strategy to improve customer satisfaction via your ERP, for instance by using online surveys. These can be integrated directly into the customer process with an automatic link to the CRM system. This is ideal for sending satisfaction surveys to a list of targeted customers just after they've made a purchase!
So, as Han Solo would say to his intern, Chewbacca: "Come on Chewie, hit the hyperdrive!"
Master Yoda's advice
"Anticipate, you shall."
The Marketing and Communications modules should feature in the budget from the very start of the project. This does not mean that they need to be deployed immediately, but they should be planned for.