Are CRM and Marketing Automation Software 2 Different Things?

Posted by Glory Eke

Talking about CRM and Marketing Automation software, let us begin with an example.

Do you remember someone, who told you that England and Great Britain were not actually the same? Well, your mistake is completely understandable. Actually, Great Britain is composed of England, Scotland, and Wales, and so England is just a part of Great Britain. It is confusing, we know.

People often have the same kind of reaction when they realize that Marketing Automation software and CRM are different. If this is news for you, it is okay! Since even though at face value both appear to be the same thing (like England and Great Britain), however, both these software serves two distinctly different purposes.

The main and the biggest difference between CRM and Marketing Automation software are their targets. Therefore, while CRM is more sales focused, Marketing Automation software is marketing focused which is very much apparent by its name.

According to a key vendor in the CRM market, CRM has been defined as:

A strategy for managing all your company’s interactions with current and prospective customers.

A CRM system is a platform that saves customer names, addresses, phone numbers, and most importantly the interactions of the customers with your company.

On the flipside, leading marketing development software companies describe Marketing Automation software as a platform that:

Allows companies to streamline, automate, and measure marketing tasks and workflows”.

Hence, although Marketing Automation software, stores similar information as a CRM software, such as your lead details (addresses, phone numbers, email, job title, company name etc.), this is all they typically share – and no more.

marketing-automation-vs-crm

Marketing automation lets you follow any prospect or lead’s “top-of-the-funnel” activities. Like, when your lead visited your web page and blogs, opened your emails, or filled out a lead magnet form.

Scheduling or tracking marketing campaigns is also done by marketing automation software. Especially mass business communications like email campaigns.

Some of the advantages of using Marketing Automation software platforms are:

  1. It provides you with the ability to conveniently segment leads and prospects into separate mailing lists based on their previous interactions with your organization or their preferences and interests.
  2. Ability to nurture leads, so that you can automatically send triggered emails when a prospect is found most interested in your products or services.
  3. Activate “drip marketing campaigns” by scheduling a series of emails, so that your company remains at the top-of-mind with your prospects.
  4. Once your campaign has ended, Marketing Automation software also helps you to generate analytics to show and measure the success rates of your campaigns.

In other words, Marketing Automation software is one that helps to nurture leads and foster them to make the leads ready for the sales team.  Now, once the lead has graduated to the bottom-of-the-funnel, and has become a sales lead (and then a customer), that is where business organizations start tracking the interactions with those leads through a CRM.

Customer Relationship Management platforms typically stores how long a contact has been your customer, record the number of purchases made in the past by your customer, the date and notes of the phone conversations you have had with your customer, records of your customer’s inbound emails that they have sent to your customer care and sales team, and others.

To optimize the one-on-one interaction between the customers and your company, Customer Support team and the Sales reps use this data, to increase customer satisfaction and sales.

Some of the other advantages of using a CRM are:

  1. You can send more targeted promotional materials, which is more likely to lead to a sale, and foster a good relationship between you and your customer.
  2. While speaking to a customer, your employees using the CRM can get a full 360-degree picture of the customer’s interactions with your company, which helps in making the conversations more personal and successful for your organization.
  3. By viewing where a customer is in the sales process, your sales personnel can find additional help in closing the deals.
  4. Many CRMs can also synchronize social media outlets so that you can understand which social media websites are generating more traffic and what your customers are saying about your company online. These CRMs are commonly known as SCRM (Social CRM).
  5. CRM can send internal alerts to your team, informing them when a call has been scheduled, when a customer’s birthday is coming up, or when a customer’s account is set for renewal, which helps your sales and service team know exactly how to reach out under these specific circumstances.

Simply speaking, CRM helps to generate sales by making the sales process a more personal experience for the customers.

Hence, although at a first glance Marketing Automation systems and CRM may look similar, they cater to dissimilar roles in an organization and this difference makes these two systems more valuable to the unique teams they serve.

Marketing Automation Vs CRM

Now you may wonder, why would you track half of your prospect’s interactions using Marketing Automation software and the other half in CRM?

Good question!

Most Marketing Automation software allows you to synchronize your business data with your CRM, which in turn helps you to see and record your entire customer and prospects’ activities through one solution.

There are several companies those who synchronize their data both ways so that the marketing teams know what is going on in sales and the sales and customer support teams know the history that your marketing team has had with a specific prospect or customer.

Moreover, many CRM companies like ConvergeHub and others have developed or acquired Marketing Automation software thereby including both these business solutions on one platform.

Typically, SMBs begins to adopt CRM to optimize the bottom of their sales funnel and close more deals, but as they grow and prosper, these companies use CRM for SMBs, invest more in marketing by opting for a Marketing Automation system that will integrate with their CRM platform.

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Now, that you know the basic difference between these two business intelligence software, if you are still unsure and need further help to guide your decisions, write back to us on the box below.

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