ERP and the marketing department:featuring Han Solo and his intern, Chewbacca

Captivea, Sebastien Riss

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.

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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.

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A "fully integrated" solution with benefits for the entire business 

Opting for a comprehensive solution benefits your marketing department and all business areas within your SME.

In fact, an ERP makes internal communications much easier by allowing anyone to access information held by other departments at the click of a mouse. This means that accountants will no longer have to chase after the events team to get the invoice for giveaway items bought last month. It also puts an end to salespeople sending an update to customers about a new item that was already included in the last newsletter issued by the communications department. Finally, say goodbye to HR teams fighting to get job vacancies sent to social networks.

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.

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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.

ERP Explain by Star Wars characters

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