Enterprise resource planning (ERP) ensures you use your skills and tools to the utmost ability. Your marketing team is only as good as their planning and implementation. ERP software gives them an advantage and helps them utilize their time wisely. A computer system can analyze numbers in a mere fraction of the time it takes a human to do the calculations.
A recent report from Gartner shows marketing budgets dropped from 11% to 6.4% in the past year. With tighter funds, making every campaign and moment count is vital to the success of your company. The tools you use can help you make the most of your time and effectively grow your team’s output with little additional effort.
ERPs offer information the marketing team uses to help grow brand recognition. Third-party software also makes it easier for sales and marketing teams to combine and share information back and forth for a seamless customer service experience.
How Does ERP Help in Marketing?
Growth spurts can propel your organization to the next level. However, you must have a plan for how to continue marketing even when your cash flow falls and rises. Integrate functions so you have the data at your fingertips to increase conversion rates and reach new customers.
Once you get used to using an ERP system, you’ll wonder why you didn’t implement it sooner. Here are some ways to get the most from your software:
1. Choose Prices
An ERP helps you ascertain market elasticity and whether your customers will tolerate a price increase. You certainly don’t want to undercharge and put yourself in a cash flow crunch. On the other hand, you don’t want to overcharge and drive long-term customers away.
Figuring out the perfect pricing requires a deep understanding of your buyers and the value of your product. Are there other options out there priced more competitively? What makes yours different?
The cost of raw materials and goods keeps rising. Delivery services raise their rates, the cost of fuel is higher and even utilities to keep the lights on may run you more. A price increase may be necessary to remain profitable, but your ERP can help you decide how much of an increase is tolerable to your customers.
2. Justify the Cost
Investing in an ERP isn’t inexpensive. Expect to pay a big chunk of money for software costs, implementation and training. However, ERPs are one of the highest return on investment (ROI) items you can buy for your company.
Take a look at how you might increase your conversion rate, better meeting the needs of your clients and time saved running reports. If you can hit a button and run a report instead of putting one of your team members on analysis, you save them for more creative endeavors that bring in additional revenue.
Streamline decision-making so you can complete more projects at the same time. The right software keeps you organized and helps you anticipate issues. Each person will know their role at a glance and complete the to-do items on their list.
3. Develop Products for Customer Needs
ERPs help companies develop new products with customer needs in mind. Of course, the information in the system is only as good as what your sales team collects. You must train your staff to ask questions about other products customers might like to see or what they are using that is different from yours.
You should also consider competitors and their products and services. Are they selling something you aren’t? How would your customer base react to the addition? Combining your sales data with marketing and development gives you a chance to come up with new ideas from a strategic viewpoint.
Marketing can also use the angle that your company gets its customers. You create new products they most want.
4. Track Projects in Real Time
Are you not quite sure about the latest marketing campaign? ERPs give you the opportunity to track results in real time and make changes on the fly. You can throw up an ad on social media, integrate analytics with your program and figure out what works with your target audience.
The goal is to invest in cheap advertising that brings big results. Only through trial and error and careful tracking can you accomplish it.
5. Micro-Segment Your Audience
Qualtrics recently dove deep into the topic of audience segmentation, reporting 81% of business leaders felt segmentation was a crucial part of growth. Some of the benefits you’ll uncover when you micro-segment groups is the ability to more closely target your messages, attracting the exact customers you want with repeat messaging and increased brand loyalty.
People want to feel they are more than just another face in the crowd. When you segment, you can personalize the message. Show them you understand their specific pain points and have a solution to their problems.
6. Forecast Revenue
When it comes to marketing, you must plan out campaigns sometimes a year in advance. However, it’s hard to know where revenue might be in twelve months. Enter ERP software. You’ll be able to forecast revenue based on prior years.
Forecasting revenue shows you how much you have for marketing. Typically, most companies reinvest a percentage of profits into marketing. However, it’s impossible to know how much your company might make from one year to the next. ERP yankees all available data and generates predictions on how well you’ll do.
7. Work More Efficiently
Your marketing team may not grow in numbers but can work more efficiently and grow in productivity. EPRs give you an opportunity to streamline processes. Instead of spending hours on analytics, you run a single report.
You also won’t forget important marketing campaigns or upcoming events with built-in reminders. Set your ERP to automatically complete some things, such as sending out a quarterly email to see if clients need any additional help.
8. Integrate With Other Software
Look for an ERP that integrates with software you’re already using. For example, if you have your marketing team upload assets to Google Drive, does the ERP integrate to help with tracking and project management?
You won’t waste time hunting for a link to a document, because the ERP has it stored and you can just click on the link and get to the asset.
9. Keep Only the Best Clients
Another way marketing teams can use ERP software is to track client profitability. You’ll know how much time gets spent on each customer and if the pay you receive from them is worth your time.
Although it’s hard to do, you should trim your client list every so often, losing the bottom few clients to make room for new ones. Over time, your customers will all be high-profit and low-maintenance. Ideally, cut the bottom 20% of your clients each year.
Who goes first? Anyone who takes up too much of your time, doesn’t pay invoices or refuses to increase their budget with rising costs.
10. Improve Security
The Identity Theft Resource Center recently cited rising security issues, with a 17% annual rise over the previous year. Investing in high quality ERPs keeps client information secure.
A breach eats up time and resources and can set your business back as you struggle to overcome trust issues. You’ll lose a lot of momentum putting out fires. It’s better to prevent them in the first place.
Most ERPs protect the backend of your system, keeping it from being vulnerable to hackers. Look for one that has monitoring capabilities and gets updated regularly to prevent breaches.
11. Look for Patterns
One huge way ERPs help marketing teams is by looking for patterns in customer behavior. For example, your top client places an order every three months and consistently requests the same number of a particular item.
The predictable patterns can save you precious time and help your client because you can set them up on an automatic schedule to receive those items. You can also identify things that don’t move very well and prevent your company from buying more until they’re needed.
Look for patterns in outstanding inventory, so you can push special promotions and move stale items out of the way to make room for new ones.
12. Find Opportunities for Customization
ERPs allow you to customize everything from ads to products for your top clients. With more people embracing personalization, it only makes sense to look for ways to offer custom options for your clients.
Track telephone calls. What do customers request most and can you add that to your products? Complaints might show additional patterns that allow you to better develop your products and tweak issues out of existence.
Build an Efficient Machine
ERPs help everyone on your marketing team get on the same page. You’ll spot patterns easily, speed up the time it takes to analyze stats and otherwise help your customers with the solutions to their pain points.
Building a great marketing team requires time and effort. Help yours along by being more efficient and using tools such as an ERP system.