By Jillian Erasmus, marketing manager of About IT
Marketers need accurate information, workflows and collaboration tools to be effective, and to be able to generate and then demonstrate a return on marketing investment (ROI) to the CEO.
That’s why CEOs should provide them with an ERP solution with integrated CRM so they know they’re executing the right strategy, targeting the right people, and using assets that work to demonstrate ROI.
ERP with integrated CRM, in the cloud, helps marketers digitally transform their operations to streamline their strategies. It helps to manage cross-platform audience engagements and campaign executions that break the shackles of traditional marketing.
Tight-knit ERP and CRM keep campaign and activity information up to date and accurate. They track inputs and their results. You can combine it with additional analytics, various social media insights, and produce dashboard views, which makes the results of your marketing activities visible to the executives who sponsor and support them.
Integrated content management provides a 360-degree view of all customer and marketing employees’ activities and records. I use the tools myself to track and record all our activities for the various campaigns. It’s an effective way to stay on top of what’s happening.
With the dashboard and reports you get real-time data to help manage team goals, activities, campaigns, and results.
You can know your audience, create relevant strategies, develop tactical activity plans, create and keep track of your assets, deliver them to market, then track their effectiveness. It creates powerful team collaboration and real-time feedback that keeps people in the loop. It’s a solid combination for any modern, tech-savvy marketer.
Marketing managers need a 360-degree view of what’s going on. They need to know what the team is working on, where they’re headed, what the budgets are, and any returns. With the financials being baked into ERP and naturally extended into the CRM function marketers get a tool for looking at the successes and failures of previous campaigns that helps them improve future activities.
Automated workflows support meaningful collaboration. I should be able to plan a campaign as part of my strategy, for example. A designer and animator can then collaborate on their respective tasks with other team members to create assets that are executed on a variety of platforms. Every person can seamlessly play their role in achieving the goals.
Marketers can also improve customer service because they can capture all quotes, invoices and, in fact, any document related to a customer interaction, even service level agreements (SLA).
I know from personal experience that having an add-in for Microsoft Outlook is invaluable. Cloud-based, integrated ERP and CRM working cohesively with Outlook nails down that connection between campaign activities and the many e-mails typically associated with marketing. There is a lot of administration in the marketing function that goes on behind the scenes. Other people don’t see it, they usually only see the results of the marketing campaign, but there is a lot of planning and execution that happens before it launches.
A decent, cost-effective, scalable, cloud ERP solution with integrated CRM designed for the SMME market should be able to provide marketers, their managers, CEOs and other executives with the right tools to execute their role in the sophisticated modern era. It tracks inputs related to expenses, budgets, resources, activities and executions, incorporating engagement measurements and dashboarding it for executives in easily understood graphical representations. And it helps marketers collate the data from multiple platforms to present a unified understanding that helps them realise more effective future strategies. Isn’t that the kind of savvy solution CEOs want for their marketing teams?