header image of the blog title "CRM and Marketing Automation What's the difference" with a black and white background of a girl's eyes divided by a zipper
header image of the blog title "CRM and Marketing Automation What's the difference" with a black and white background of a girl's eyes divided by a zipper

CRM and Marketing Automation: What’s the difference?

September 4, 2017 CRM Data Management, Marketing, Marketing Automation, Marketing Automation Platforms, Marketing Tips 0 Comments

We’ve all heard about Marketing Automation and CRM Singapore platform. We’ve all been fed with how both platforms complement each other and how businesses can benefit from each one. But as someone who is just starting with marketing automation, can you even tell the difference between the two?

CRM and Marketing Automation: The Main Differences

First of all, let’s begin this discussion with a fact bomb: CRM and Marketing automation are two different software. A lot of people believe that both of these platforms are the same. Though they may look similar to some degree, both actually serve two distinct purposes.

The main difference between CRM and marketing automation is who they’re targeting. Marketing Automation platform, from the name itself, is more focused on marketing, while CRM platform is more sales-focused.

Infusionsoft CRM as one of the leading CRM software providers defines CRM as “a method for managing current and prospective customer engagement and interaction.” A CRM system lets users save vital customer information such as names, phone numbers, addresses, and interactions made with the company.

On the other end, Marketo, one of the leading marketing automation software providers, defines marketing automation as a system that “lets businesses automate, streamline, and measure marketing work, tasks, and workflows.” While marketing automation does store the same information as a CRM platform, such as lead contact details (company name, email, phone number, etc.), that’s about the only thing they can provide.

Marketing Automation Platform

A marketing automation platform lets you monitor a prospect’s top-of-the-funnel (ToFu) activities and behavior. It includes the following:

  • Website visits
  • Email Opens
  • Blogs read
  • Filling out a company form

Marketing automation tracks and schedule marketing campaigns, most especially business to customer (B2C) communications and email campaigns. Here are some of the benefits of utilizing marketing automation:

  • Email Segmentation – segments prospects into their respective mailing lists. Segmentation is determined by their interests, preferences, and previous interactions with the company.
  • Nurturing Leads – marketing automation automatically sends triggered emails at the right time, when your prospect is most interested in what you have to offer. It also lets you schedule a series of personalized emails and form a “drip” campaign, making sure that you are on the top of your prospect’s mind.
  • Analytics – shows how the success rating of the marketing campaign.

Marketing automation nurtures leads and helps prepare them for the sales pitch. Once the prospect has been adequately nurtured to progress through the bottom-of-the-funnel (BoFu), it will now turn into a qualified sales lead (the last and final step before a lead becomes a customer). This stage is when companies start tracking their customer interactions via a CRM platform.

CRM Platform

A CRM typically stores various information like the following:

  • The period of the contact being a customer
  • Records past and present purchases
  • Dates of phone calls and records of conversations
  • Inbound emails sent to the sales team
  • and more.

The sales team are the ones who commonly use CRM data to determine and optimize interactions made between the customer and the company to increase sales and customer satisfaction. A CRM system can provide the following benefits:

  • Track and monitor the current status of the customer in the sales process to help them make a sale.
  • Offer promotional content to help spark a possible sale and establish a healthy relationship between the company and the customer.
  • A full view of who your customers are, their history of interaction with your company, and much more information, enabling you to make future conversations as personalized as possible.
  • Sync with social media platforms and keep track of which outlets are leading to the most traffic and what people are saying about your company.
  • Send alerts when a client’s account is set to renew, when a call is being scheduled, or when a customer’s birthday is so that your sales and services representatives know how to reach out.
  • CRM sends internal notifications when one of your sales team needs to make a call to a specific customer, when a client’s birthday is coming up, or when a client is set to renew their subscription. This is designed so that your customer services reps know when to reach out to specific customers.

In other words, CRM systems focus more on helping companies secure sales. CRM is responsible for making the sales process a more personal experience for the customers.

Are there platforms that offer both CRM and Marketing Automation?

Most marketing automation solutions in the market allow you to synchronize your data with your CRM in order to access your lead’s activities in an all in one solution. Most companies sync data both ways so that their marketing team knows what is going on with the sales, and their customer service and sales team know the history that marketing has had with a specific customer.

To add, most CRM companies have all acquired or developed marketing automation software, so there are a handful of systems which include both in one system. Here are a few examples of hybrid Marketing Automation/ CRM providers:

  • Zoho CRM
  • Salesformics
  • Salesforce Pardot
  • Infusionsoft

At the end of the day, we can all conclude that both CRM and marketing automation serve two different purposes, making them completely different from each other. The latter is made especially for marketing, while the former is focused on generating sales. Although this may be the case, it is still necessary for both platforms to work hand in hand to get the best marketing results.

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