Increase Brand Engagement

5 Tips to Increase Brand Engagement Through Packaging

One of the hot topics right now in the business world is brand engagement. Although there are differing definitions of engagement, it describes the process through which an emotional memory (or connection) is formed between the consumer and the brand of the company (the brand refers to a feature of the company that makes them unique within their space).

Successful businesses have demonstrated that engagement is the key to attracting new customers to your base while keeping current customers as loyal fans that will re-buy your current product line, along with any new items that you produce in the future.

Increase Brand Engagement

Millions of dollars have been spent on trying to figure out the best ways to create and sustain engagement of a company’s brand. Some companies have opted for the social media route, in which they try to interact with their customers through inventive ads and campaigns that encourage participation.

Other companies have gone down the road of big data in which advertising and engagement are done on a one-to-one basis using information from the customer’s shopping habits and browsing history on major platforms. There are many more methods that have been investigated and often there are disagreements among heavy players on the best method around.

One of the most underrated methods of brand engagement that is starting to gain some recent attention is the use of branded packaging. The old model involved delivering products in boring boxes that did nothing to grab the customer’s attention. They were nothing more than a storage medium that got quickly disposed of in the garbage bin.

A couple of smaller companies literally thought outside of the box and saw an opportunity to create an interactive experience with their customers that keeps them happy with the product while creating that emotional bond that leads to repeat sales in the future.

Even if you are doing everything else right and your customer is satisfied with what you are selling, improving your packaging will put you one step ahead of your competition. Not only is packaging-based brand engagement lost in cost due to the shipping costs that are already accounted for, but you also create an opportunity to deliver a laser-focused marketing approach that is individualized to the customer. This results in a greater degree of loyalty from your customer and a perfect opportunity to upsell something in your store.

The best part about brand engagement through packaging is that you can start small and work your way up to more creative approaches. Here is a small collection of ideas to get you started:

The Handwritten Thank You Note

In the era of digital communication and information overload, we seem to have lost our personal touch. Everything seems to feel mechanical, and the emotion appears to be gone from our day to day interactions with people. Speaking to companies feels like a corporate drag, and there is no special bond that exists, so to speak. Anyone who has grown up in the previous decades can attest to the great feeling they have in their stomachs when a small mom &pop shop created something special just for them!Thank You Note

One of the ways to instill that kind of feeling in your customers is by sending a personally handwritten note expressing your gratitude and thanks for their purchase.Here are some tips on how to write high impact thank you letters to your customers. Make sure that your handwriting is legible, as messy writing can ruin this moment for the person reading it. Larger companies may have a harder time implementing this strategy due to the massive scale of shipping they have to deal with, so smaller businesses might use this strategy as a competitive edge.

Give Them the Deal of Their Lifetime

Imagine the look on your customer’s face when they open up the package to find a little coupon that gives them a discount on their next purchase. Your fan base will be more eager to purchase your products again if they know that they can save money doing so.

A neat way to approach this would be to create 5-10 different offers and randomize them among your orders. That way, every customer will get something unique. If they want to eventually get their hands on all 10 of your offers, they will have to buy your products first. It’s subtle things like this that can make a big difference over a long period of time.

Call to Action

Aside from your salespeople and your marketing team, your customers are going to be your best advertisers. There are fewer things that will boost your bottom line more than organic reviews from ecstatic customers that love using your product.

The only catch to this is that you might have fanatical customers who want to spread the good word but don’t know how or where they can do it. You can solve this problem by including a little slip in the package that encourages them to share their experience on social media or any other platform of your choice.

Tell them where to do so, along with a special message that should be included in their review – maybe a trending hashtag or a post that’s unique to your brand? Be creative, as customers love being a part of viral movements.

A Sampling of New Products

Let’s suppose that you have a prototype of a new product that’s not quite ready for the shelves but is good enough to send to a few loyal customers. Some vendors will allow you to do this for a low cost or for no cost at all. If your small sample ends up being a hit among your customers, it will get a lot of attention, and it will provide you the opportunity to upsell something alongside your existing product line. Even in the event that this strategy fails, you already have hard data to prove that your new product is an avenue that is not worth pursuing.

Small Tokens of Appreciation

Sometimes, it’s the little things in life that truly matter. Imagine if you opened a package that contains the product you ordered, along with a small little gift or two at no extra cost to you whatsoever. You’d be more motivated to buy from the company again, and this has been confirmed in scientific studies.

There’s nothing customers love more than getting little extra gifts. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make this happen, as things like stickers and well-designed brochures are usually enough to get the job done.

There’s nothing wrong with focusing on the packaging itself, as one can tell from the increasing shift toward eco-friendly packaging by major corporations. However, small businesses and online stores will need to literally think outside the box to think about what they can put into the box that will create a “WOW” customer experience. Don’t be afraid to try out different approaches until you find the one that leads to the greatest amount of brand engagement.

Written by , Director of Business Development, Air Sea Containers, Inc.

5 Ways For Retailers to Make Money Online

5 Ways For Retailers to Make Money Online

5 Ways For Retailers to Make Money Online

Making money through retail these days involves a bit more than just peddling your wares on the corner. You need to embrace digital opportunities to remain competitive, and a lot of that will be about being available to consumers on all possible channels. Leveraging omni-channel approaches properly will drive sales, improve customers’ overall experiences, and develop online visibility. By embracing omnichannel, you have to embrace customer data and segmentation and not be afraid to rethink your business model. Here are five ways retailers can increase engagements and sales online.

Diversify: Marketplace Selling

Think outside the box and sell your products on popular marketplaces – profit margins won’t be huge, but you will get a lot of visibility and a steady source of marketplace income.

Websites like eBay, Amazon and Etsy are great places to amplify visibility and increase traffic to your website or store and they pretty much sell everything. Marketing is done for you, so products that are properly tagged up show up in search results frequently, and money tends to just roll in.

  • It isn’t as easy as just listing your products on these sites. Tap into niche avenues where competition is low and profit margins are high.
  • Marketplace selling changes fast, and profits will fluctuate.
  • This omni-channel approach increases profit and harnesses multiple channels to make more sales.
  • Find out how to open your store on a marketplace following these simple steps.

Embrace: Omni-channel Retail

Omni-channel recognizes that a customer’s experience is made up of an array of different channels, from the products they see to the reviews they read online, through social media channels to your online store.

The customer journey is unique and far wider than companies would care to imagine. For your customers to have a truly satisfactory experience, you need to target and support them through all of these different shopping channels effectively.

  • Track data from all channels you use within your company. This is a perfect indicator of what channels offer great customer experience and which ones might need improvement. Use real-time inventory management in order to serve customers better wherever they are.
  • Branding needs to be consistent across all channels.
  • Avoid focusing on one specific channel for too long, all channels must run concurrently and on the same level. If one improves significantly and the others stay the same then it can be counterproductive and look bad for your brand.
  • Understand that every process in a customer’s experience is interlinked, all channels need to be acknowledged.

Manage: Ecommerce

Ecommerce is a great way to make money online, especially if you already run a busy store – and it’s not as hard as it once was.

Transitioning to selling online means enhancing customers’ overall experience of your retail outlet – don’t let it take away from what you’ve already built.

  • Ecommerce management encompasses a wide range of solutions for your own online store. For absolute beginners, a hosted platform that allows you to open your first online store in a matter of hours means that anyone with a few products can now become an ecommerce merchant. On the side of the spectrum, you can also invest in custom ecommerce management system and software – but just make sure you choose a system makes sense for you and is the right one for where you are now.
  • Make sure your store experience online matches the one that customers love in store – don’t forget the important of great customer service and a friendly face.
  • Try to update your print branding for the online world – website design and graphic design are different, so you may need to make subtle tweaks.

Create: Content

Did you know that in the heydays of content marketing and brand mentions, blogging has become a great way to make money online? Retailers and online merchants can embrace the power of content too.

  • Build your store’s blogger brand. Curate valuable content on your social media channels and blog that your readers are going to want to read. Post and update regularly to boost visibility and get your brand name out there.
  • Once you have a considerable amount of traffic to your blog then you will be able to start making money from it. There are so many different ways to do this, so take a look at how other people make money from their blog. You can use your blog to up your own sales, earn sponsorship income, sell advertising spots and host guest bloggers.

Network: Affiliate Marketing

Earning money through affiliate income has been touted as the ultimate ‘passive income’ dream. It’s not as easy as it looks, but it’s still a solid way to make money online. As an online retailer, you are in the perfect position to earn good money through affiliate marketing because you already understand the psychology of selling.

  • You can earn affiliate income on your own domain, on your blog, through your newsletter, on social media, or you could even open a brand new affiliate store or website that sat under your overall brand.
  • Merchants can be picky about who they accept as affiliates – make sure your website passes muster. Have a branded media pack ready for bloggers and brands.
  • You will need to create a lot of content to make a success of this – affiliate marketing is all about relationships.
  • Always openly disclose affiliate links – you can’t mislead the user.

There are so many different ways to make money online as a retailer beyond opening opening your own store. All it takes is a little know-how and  some extra effort. Take a look into the different options and go with whatever fits your brand the best.

Do you think that you would ever give any of these suggestions a go? Let me know in the comments below.


Patrick Foster, ecommerce entrepreneur, coach & writer.

I’m currently writing on where I share engaging ecommerce content for entrepreneurs, bloggers and business owners. You can follow me on Twitter here.


Business Team

Why Small Business Owners Using Magento Need ERP Software

Business Team

Idea concept. Lamp Head and Business team against different backgrounds

The rise of e-commerce in recent years has revolutionized the marketplace in just about every type of retail business there is. The Internet is giving small businesses the ability to compete with mammoth national corporations, and many smart entrepreneurs have been taking advantage and building great small businesses that provide for their families.

One of the most popular e-commerce platforms for these types of small businesses is Magento. This excellent open source option allows businesses to establish a web presence, as well as display products and actually accept orders. Of course, the best part about Magento is that it is extremely user friendly, which is what has made it such a popular option.

While it is a great start for the front of your e-commerce store, Magento is not equipped to handle many of the back-end processes that you are going to want to manage. In order to create a complete business model, you also need to implement some additional ERP software.

When you combine an outstanding ERP solution like FiO ERP, you will add these capabilities to your already strong Magento storefront:

Order Fulfillment

Magento is a great option for displaying products and taking orders, but that is pretty much where it stops. If you want to avoid fulfilling all of your orders manually, you are going to need to add another option. That is where an ERP solution comes into play.

Your ERP solution will be able to take the orders from your Magento storefront and route them to the appropriate fulfillment center or dropship vendor. This will ensure that your orders are filled quickly, without having you in the middle clogging up the process.

Supply Chain Management

Another capability that your ERP solution can bring to the table is the ability to manage your supply chain. This will allow you to make sure that you always have the right amount of inventory in stock. The software will constantly monitor your inventory levels and automatically reorder more when those levels drop below certain par values.

If you are using myFiO ERP, you will have the added benefit of being able to track sales and inventory in real-time, ensuring that all of your inventory details are accurate up to that very second.

Customer Relationship Management

There is much more to a successful e-commerce business than simply taking orders online. In order to keep those orders flowing, you need to be actively engaging new leads and receiving feedback from recent customers.

Integrating an ERP solution with Magento will allow you to establish a sales funnel and track leads as they move through it. You will also be able to follow up with recent customers, as well as former customers that have not reordered recently.

Finance & Accounting

Another critical component of running a successful e-commerce business is making sure that you are profitable. Using an ERP solution in conjunction with Magento will allow you to track your profitability on each and every item sold. You will also be able to track all of your important financial numbers quickly and easily.

Why General Managers of Small Businesses Need Real-Time Inventory Management

As technology continues to evolve and improve, many inventory management solutions are now beginning to incorporate real-time inventory management features.

If you have any experience in logistics, then you already understand that this development could represent a revolutionary change for your business. That’s why Group FiO has made the addition of real-time inventory tracking a key improvement in their FiO ERP Software.

If implemented properly, real-time inventory can be a complete game changer for your business. Having the right inventory in the right places at the right time and being able to track every item with real-time reporting will allow you to maximize your operation’s efficiency from the ground up.

In order to make sure you don’t find yourself falling behind the curve in today’s rapidly changing marketplace, here are some of the key reasons that you need to implement a real-time inventory management solution:

Woman doing inventory with laptop in working in greenhouse

Optimal Inventory Distribution

The difference between struggling to pay your bills and profitability can be as simple as having the right inventory in the right places at the right times. Cases of your products sitting in a warehouse in Orlando aren’t going to be very helpful if all of the clients that are purchasing those products are located in Seattle.

Your real-time inventory management system will be able to identify where all of your inventory should be allocated between warehouses and stores in order to optimize your sales and maximize profitability.

Improve Internal Auditing Abilities

Knowing exactly where each and every piece of inventory in your company is in real-time will dramatically increase your capabilities when it comes to performing internal audits.

If you have encountered any problems with missing inventory, this can be a huge help. Real-time inventory management assures that you will be able to locate the cause of any disappearing inventory issues and quickly address the problem.

Real-Time, Up-To-Date Reporting

When you incorporate real-time inventory management into your business, standard reports like your Profit & Loss Statement and Balance Sheet will no long be delayed in order to reconcile inventory numbers.

You will now be working with up-to-date reports which will make your company more informed and able to change directions faster. This can be a huge competitive advantage, especially in quickly evolving industries.

Automated Reordering of Inventory

Tracking your inventory in real time means that you will now be able to set your system to either alert you or simply reorder when inventory levels get low.

Automating this process ensures that you will no longer be troubled with overstocking or running out of a particular product. You will always be able to maintain your correct par levels of inventory.

Optimal Efficiency & Forecasting

Not only will real-time inventory management help you maintain optimal levels of inventory at the moment, it will also help you better forecast exactly what your inventory needs will be in the future.

Having the most up-to-date reporting on your inventory will allow you to be more efficient with the future inventory you need to order.

The goal of any inventory management system is to make sure that there is enough product available at the right locations for anyone who wants to purchase it without having an extra inventory sitting in warehouses collecting dust.

Obviously, this is easier said than done. But it gets a whole lot easier when you are tracking that inventory in real time.

Real-time inventory management gives your business the advantage of knowing exactly what is happening with its inventory at all times, which can mean the difference between making money or losing it.

If you aren’t tracking your inventory in real time, you should start thinking about how much more efficient your business could be using a solution like FiO ERP.

Focused boss using digital tablet in warehouse

How Big Data Can Help CFOs of SMBs Manage Inventory in Real Time

Focused boss using digital tablet in warehouse

Focused boss using digital tablet in warehouse

Big data is one of the hottest buzzwords in the business world today. When you combine some of its popular applications with the ability to track and monitor your inventory in real time, a whole new world of possibilities suddenly opens up for your business.

From monitoring logistical information and transaction costs to applications like risk management and social media analysis, there is literally no end to the things you can do with today’s modern technology.

Let’s take a look at some of the key ways that combining big data can help you manage your inventory in real time.

Logistics: Anticipating Demand

One of the most interesting applications of big data is the way that Amazon is using it to monitor and move their inventory between warehouses, tracking everything in real time.

The company performs high-level analysis on the extensive amount of customer and order data that they collect. They are then able to use this information combined with their real-time inventory management to anticipate where customer demand will be and move inventory into place ahead of that demand.

Imagine the advantage a restaurant would have over their competitors if they were able to accurately forecast how many chicken wings they were going to sell in a particular week in advance. That is the power that big data and real time inventory represent when it comes to logistics.

Transaction Costs

Penny pinching has a negative connotation, but most successful businesses understand that the best way to increase profits is to stop waste from slipping through the tracks. This is another area that big data can have an impact with your real-time inventory management.

Using big data to analyze every line item in your expenses and real-time inventory to contrast your stock levels, you might find that adjusting your inventory levels at certain points can save you huge amounts in various transaction costs.

Risk Management

Another way that profits could be slipping through the cracks is if your inventory is walking right out the door before you sell it.

Combining big data analysis with your real-time inventory management will allow you to set up fraud alerts so that you will know instantly if this is happening in your company. If so, you will be able to quickly identify the source of the problem and take action.

Pricing Decisions

Do you ever wonder if you should be charging more for those products that you just can’t seem to keep in stock? On the opposite side, how do you make decisions regarding when and how much to discount a product that isn’t selling?

Big data can help you assess your inventory and evaluate where you should be pricing your products according to the laws of supply and demand. Being able to monitor your inventory in real time will keep your pricing right where it needs to be at all times.

Analyzing Social Media

One of the more theoretical applications of big data is to monitor social media in an effort to gauge customer demand and anticipate what their future needs will be.

Few companies make good use of this analysis, but when you combine it with real-time inventory management, you could be quick to reduce your inventory levels when a product is becoming less popular.

As you can see, there are quite a few applications where big data can combine with real-time inventory management to either save your business money or make it more efficient. Being able to monitor large amounts of data to evaluate your inventory levels in real time will keep your company in the best possible position to make a profit and hold onto it.

Warehouse management

5 Things CEOs Should Ask When Considering Omni-Channel Retail Management Solutions

One of the hottest buzzwords in retail management technology today is “omni-channel.” This sophisticated sounding buzzword is meant to represent the idea of providing the customer with a seamless experience between different online platforms as well as in physical stores.

There are a wide range of options that can make your company’s omni-channel dreams come true, but in order to get the most out of the platform you choose, you should carefully consider whether it will be able to properly manage the basics of omni-channel retail management in the manner that best fits your business.

Here are five questions that you should be asking when considering an omni-channel retail management solution for your business:

Can we fuse our online and in-store efforts?

The biggest selling point of today’s omni-channel retail management solutions is the ability to seamlessly integrate both your online and in-store shopping experiences.

You are going to want to be able to offer in-store customers the option to shop your entire online catalogue. At the same time, you are going to want to enable online customers to view products in-store before making their purchasing decisions.

Your ideal omni-channel retail management solution might include the ability to utilize tablets for in-store shopping, and also be able to allow online shoppers to come see products in the physical stores.

 Will inventory be tracked in real time?

5 ThingsReal-time inventory tracking is also a top concern among those looking to implement an omni-channel retail management solution. You are always going to want to know exactly where your inventory is located at any particular moment, but there are also a number of benefits that real-time inventory tracking can provide for customers.

Tracking your inventory in real time will allow you to let online customers know which physical stores have the products they are concerned with in stock. It can also let physical store employees search other store or online inventories to find products for customers.

Real-time inventory management is one of the latest improvements and biggest selling points for Group FiO’s FiO ERP.

Can your solution offer multiple fulfillment options?

Today’s consumers have come to expect the ability to order online and pick up their purchase at a nearby store. They also want to be able to purchase from any of your channels and have their purchase sent to friends or family.

You are going to want to make sure that your omni-channel retail solution has these types of features built into it, because adding them yourself will almost certainly result in employee errors that cost you time and money.

Will the shopping experience be seamless between devices?

You have worked hard to build your company into a successful brand. Your omni-channel retail management tools should do a good job of representing that brand across every platform on which you make yourself available.

Customers shopping on your mobile app should have the same experience as customers shopping on your website.

Can we track customer loyalty across platforms?

Another important feature included in many omni-channel retail management solutions is the ability to allow the customer to log-in and identify themselves. This is key for tracking purchased and offer meaningful rewards points and allowing customers to save and reorder their favorite products.

Regardless of whether a customer is shopping online, on mobile, or in-store, you should be able to identify them and quickly locate their records to ensure elite service.

As you can see, there are more than a few benefits to implementing an omni-channel retail management solution. When you are looking for the right solution for your business, make sure that you carefully consider all of the options and implement a system that will be the best fit for your business.

Recent Improvements

Recent Improvements to the myFiO ERP Software

Recent Improvements

The FiO ERP software is one of the most comprehensive ERP software packages on the market today. It contains a wide range of different modules that address just about every aspect of running a business in today’s fast-paced environment. These modules allow business owners to stay up-to-date on many different aspects of their businesses and allows different departments to share information and interact with each other.

Despite being one of the best ERP options available, Group FiO is constantly working to improve and further develop many of the capabilities of the myFiO ERP software. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Ravi Srinivasan from Group FiO about some of the recent improvements in the myFiO ERP software, and he was very excited to discuss some of the tremendous improvements that have been made which allow for even better inventory controls than previous versions.

Real Time Inventory Visibility Across Multiple Channels

One of Group FiO’s latest improvements to the myFiO ERP software is the ability to view inventory levels across multiple sales channels in real time. In addition to viewing how much inventory is in stock, the software can also help you decide how it should be allocated across different channels.

Ravi explained that if you have a situation where your total stock is limited and you are trying to properly allocate it across eBay, Amazon, and your own e-commerce store, the myFiO ERP software can help you best determine how much inventory should be allocated to each channel in order to maximize your profitability based on your sales estimates and specific profit margins with each channel.

Supply Chain Visibility

Another inventory improvement that has been made recently is the ability to determine how many order to send to a vendor that leverages the level of stock the vendor carries. The software will identify how much inventory a vendor is storing and automatically send the proper orders for units to that vendor as necessary.

Am I Making the Best Choices?

Ravi also explained that one of the core functions of the myFiO ERP software is enabling a business owner to make better choices about how they allocate their resources. This can have a tremendous impact on the business’s bottom line, so it should not be taken lightly.

myFiO ERP software has the ability to incorporate factors like shipping costs into decisions about which location to ship a particular product from in order to maximize profits. The software can also help business owners identify where they are finding new customers and how they can get the right marketing information in front of those customers.

According to Ravi, Group FiO is constantly working to improve the myFiO ERP software and its abilities to be a tremendous aid in critical decision making for business owners.

While many of its competitors don’t amount do much more than glorified database management tools, the myFiO ERP software has the ability to contribute to key business decisions. As you can see, those capabilities are continually evolving and improving, which is why the myFiO ERP software is such a powerful tool for your business.

Marketing System

How to Maximize the Performance of Your Marketing System

Marketing System

Once you make the jump and begin integrating Marketing Solution software into your day-to-day business activities, the options to maximize the performance of the system are nearly endless. When properly integrated, Marketing Solution software can be extremely powerful and provide a complete hub from which you manage your business. Here are ten great tips to maximize the performance of you Marketing Solution system:

1. Get Your Entire Team on Board

Marketing System

For your Marketing Solution system to be as powerful as possible, you need it to handle your entire business. That means that every division or group needs to get on board and begin integrating the software into their routines. Once everyone is on board, then you will have the best chance of maximizing performance.

2. Stop Cold Calling

One of the most powerful aspects of using an Marketing Solution system instead of a more basic CRM system is that the Marketing Solution system will allow your marketing people to integrate their process with your CRM database. That means that you will have the ability to property educate any potential clients about your products before making your sales calls.

3. Better Execute the Timing of Sales Calls

Using the extensive database contained in the CRM module of your Marketing Solution system, you should take keep detailed notes of exactly when the best time are for contacting each of your clients. The more details you are able to process, the better chance your software will tell you to call a particular client right when they are considering making a change.

4. Shorten the Sales Funnel

Another way that you can maximize the impact of your Marketing Solution system is to shorten your sales funnel. Having every aspect of your business interconnected through the Marketing Solution software makes it easy to be sure that your prospects are well educated about your products and that sales calls and emails are being made at the perfect time.

5. Fold Email Marketing into System

Email marketing is one of the best ways to develop potential customers to the point where they are ready to make the sale. Make sure that your Marketing Solution system is tracking how far along each lead is in your automated email marketing series so that you can properly time your sales efforts.

6. Integrate Social Media Marketing

Social Media Management

Where email marketing can develop leads into customers, social media marketing can develop random people into leads. Your Marketing Solution system should be adding anyone who interacts with your social media efforts into a lead development funnel with the goal of getting them into your email marketing funnel.

7. Prioritize Your Leads

One of the most important rules in business is to spend your time working on the highest caliber issues. The same goes for prospects, leads, and customers. Your Marketing Solution system should be prioritizing your leads based on specific factors you identify as important to the eventual sales process.

8. Increase Cross-Promotional Sales Efforts

If you are a larger business with multiple products, you want to make sure that your Marketing Solution system is set up to properly cross-promote similar or complementary products to customers who bought one of your other products. This will increase the value of each individual customer.

9. Get Everything Into The System

In order to truly maximize your Marketing Solution experience, you need to have all of your business information included. You can’t reach the ideal performance levels if you only have half of your business divisions using the system. All of your data needs to get into the system.

10. Push Through the Dip

During the course of your Marketing Solution integration, you will almost certainly reach a point where you are utilizing some aspects of the system and seeing some return on your investment. Make sure you are not accepting “good enough” instead of pushing through the dip into an ideally integrated system. There are a lot of incredibly powerful things that you can do with an Marketing Solution system integrated into your business operations. Getting your sales, marketing, accounting, and supply chain management departments all on the same page can have a tremendous impact on your bottom line. If you are ready to start improving your business today, so is myFiO RMS.

Marketing Automation

It’s Time to Combine Your CRM with Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation

Using a CRM system to manage your connections is a great start, but it is not enough to keep pace with your constantly evolving competitors. The next evolution of CRM will combine your customer resource database with your marketing automation efforts to form a symbiotic relationship that dramatically outperforms a situation where the two systems work independently of each other.

In order to understand the best approaches for combining CRM and Marketing automation efforts, we need to understand what each of them do well on their own. Then we can explore the exponential growth power that can result from combining the two operations.

What CRM Does Well

Ten years ago, just having a CRM system put you way ahead of the rest of your industry and gave your business a huge competitive advantage. Today, CRM systems are much more common, but that doesn’t diminish the value that they can still provide.

CRM systems do a great job of keeping track of an index of all of your customer and lead contact information. This is not just a rolodex though. Your CRM database can include detailed notes on each and every interaction with a customer or lead and what their responses were at that particular time.

Your CRM system can also include other forms of data storage, such as contracts, call logs, and lists of potential opportunities. Basically, we are talking about a great digital filing cabinet that can keep track of everyone your business interacts with.

Where CRM Falls Short

What CRM systems don’t do is actually market your products. They just aren’t built for that because that is what your marketing automation and sales teams are doing.

However, if you integrate your CRM system with your marketing automation strategy, you can create a hybrid system that primes your leads at just the right times and then alerts you when they are ready for a sales call.

Combining CRM with Marketing Automation

Your marketing automation strategy almost certainly includes things like tracking your website analytics, an email list with an autoresponder sequence, some type of social media effort, and a method of scoring and prioritizing leads.

When you integrate those marketing automation efforts with your CRM system, you will be able to track the development of prospects into leads and then know when those leads are really ready to become customers. That means that you will dramatically improve your conversion rates on sales calls.

The (Marketing Solution) RMS

One of the best ways to combine your CRM and marketing automation solutions is through an integrated RMS system like myFIO RMS. This will allow your team to manage all aspects of your prospect development from one dashboard where everyone is working together and on the same page.

Too many businesses these days are struggling because the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. Why waste your time developing leads through your web, social media, and email efforts if those leads aren’t going to be tracked by your CRM system? And why track any information at all if the rest of your operation doesn’t have access to it?

If you want to take your business to the next level, getting your entire business on the same page is the way to do it, and implementing an integrated ERP solution is the way to get started. What are you waiting for?

Grow Your Business

How myFiO ERP Can Help You Grow Your Business

Grow Your Business

One of the biggest advantages of implementing an ERP software solution is that it will give you more time to focus on how to grow your business. In addition to saving you time by automating a number of different tasks, FiO ERP can also help you work on that growth in many different ways.

The best way to use the myFiO ERP software to grow your business is to approach its implementation on an as-needed basis. The ERP software has the ability to take your business to the next level right from the very start, but that can often be too overwhelming for business owners. Many prefer to implement one step at a time based on their largest pain points.

Every business has a wide range of potential pain points, and whether your biggest issues are with inventory, margins, or supply chain management, the myFiO ERP software has a module that will help you automate a large portion of your business.

The best way to implement any ERP software is to focus on one specific pain point at a time and then continue to increase the quality of the problems you are setting out to solve.

Here are some of the most common pain points that myFiO ERP is able to address:

Customer, Sales and Staff Database Management

Managing multiple databases can be a major pain point for many growing businesses. When you started out, it was easy to keep track of your handful of customers on a spreadsheet and you might not have had any employees at all.

As your business grows, a number of leads, customers, sales and employees you need to keep track of will skyrocket. This is a good thing, but you need to be prepared to handle it!

In order to keep up with all of the information you need to store for each of these, you are going to want to implement some form of CRM software, and myFiO ERP has the perfect component for that. You will be able to keep track of information relating to all of your leads and customers, document all of your sales data, and even store your employee records.

Inventory Management

Supply chain management is often the biggest struggle for many fast-growing companies. Getting a handle on these types of issue early on will no doubt be helpful in growing your company for years to come. Implementing an ERP software will allow you to watch your inventory like a hawk and myFiO ERP give you the added benefit of doing so in real time.

Another way that myFiO ERP can help you grow your business is by allowing you to improve your multi-channel inventory management, making sure you keep just the right amount of inventory available to each of your sales channels.

Manufacturing Management

If your business handles any type of manufacturing, myFiO ERP has a module that will allow you to really dig in and break down your manufacturing processes. This will enable you to identify and eliminate any and all bottlenecks, thus improving your capacity.

Content Management

E-Commerce retailers will be able to dramatically grow their businesses through the way that myFiO ERP allows them to quickly and easily update their product lists and other online content right from the ERP interface.

Finance and Accounting

myFiO ERP software also contains a finance and accounting module that will integrate with all of the other modules and allow you to stay up-to-date with all of your relevant financial information without having to leave the ERP interface. This can be an incredible time saver and can lead to better financial awareness.

As if all of these great functions weren’t enough to help you grow your business, myFiO ERP also offers easy data migration, so you can import data from just about anywhere and get up and running fast. There is no telling how fast your business will grow once you start saving time and capitalizing on all of the great modules built into the myFiO ERP software!