Keeping up with marketing best practices as your business scales up can be tough — there are only so many one-off emails you can write before you start brainstorming ways to streamline tasks. That’s where marketing tools and technology can help. By systematizing your data and automating your engagement with leads and prospects intelligently, you can drive growth without losing that personal touch.
But with new tech emerging at such a rapid rate, it’s easy to lose sight of which tools would suit your needs best.
In the field of Marketing Technology (MarTech), CRM and marketing automation software are two of your greatest assets. Here’s a quick guide to differentiating between them, and how they can work together in service of your business goals:
What are CRM and marketing automation?
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is designed to help you manage your interactions with leads, prospects, and customers. It’s a centralized place to store information about each contact in your database. It also automates certain processes that help you move them through the sales funnel — from being Sales Qualified Leads, through to being satisfied customers and brand advocates.
HubSpot CRM is a great example of a CRM that maximizes the benefits of a centralized database with built-in functionality such as pipeline management, email tracking & notifications, reporting dashboards, productivity tools, and more. With it, you can deploy a strategy that ensures all your company’s interactions with leads, prospects, and customers are optimized for your business success.
Marketing automation, on the other hand, essentially allows you to set up emails to send automatically when a lead takes a certain action. It’s part of what fosters leads for your sales team.
Marketing automation software allows you to streamline, automate and measure how effective your marketing tasks and workflows are from the moment your brand makes contact with a lead. Using this data, you’re able to refine your campaign efforts over time.
For a great example of its kind, check out HubSpot’s marketing automation platform, here.
How are they different?
Your CRM and marketing automation tools serve two distinct purposes. CRM software stores a lead’s details as a contact, allowing you to track brand interaction and their progress through the sales funnel.
Meanwhile, marketing automation tools focus on streamlining and tracking the marketing efforts that ready prospects from first brand contact until the point they’re sales-ready — leading them from the top through to the middle of the funnel.
The benefits of CRM technology for your business
Optimizing your one-on-one engagement with customers is the biggest boost that a CRM can offer. Imagine knowing how long one of your contacts has been a customer, each time you’ve communicated, and their past purchase history? Having this data enables you to delight your customer with frictionless service, and to upsell and cross-sell contextually.
With the help of a CRM you can personalize the sales experience and:
- Track where a customer is in the sales process
- Offer targeted promotional material
- Get a full, 360° view of your customer, enabling contextual outreach
- Automate internal alerts that enhance your team’s efficiency.
The advantages of marketing automation
There are three situations in which marketing automation software can help you:
- First, if your customer list is too big to manage manually
- Second, if you need to increase the rate at which you generate leads
- Third, if you need to focus on getting your content in front of your customers.
With the right software in place, you can:
- Segment prospects into mailing lists based on past interactions, their interests, and preferences
- Automate lead nurturing processes, like email workflows
- Assess the success of each campaign through its analytics functionality.
Getting the best out of both
Integrating your CRM and marketing automation software has its benefits. You’re integrating your lead nurture tool (marketing automation) with your sales tool (CRM). Sounds like a winner, right? By integrating these two systems, you’ll:
- Increase the flow of communication between your sales and marketing teams — each gains a full view of how their actions have contributed to the company’s success
- Build relationships with your leads before handing them over to sales, saving them time
- Get closed-loop reporting and clearly see what revenue goes with which campaigns
- Score and rank leads according to sales-readiness.
Combining your CRM with marketing automation is one of the best ways to generate the most agreeable and profitable balance between effort and industry-leading output.
At KBK Communications, we’re dedicated to refining this balance. Working together, we’ve pooled our more than 50 years of collective experience in the industry to bring you the best in healthcare marketing.
Sharing what CRM and Marketing Automation software can do for business is just a small part of how we can help. As you work to exceed the expectations of customers who now demand your online presence, we can support you every step of the way. We are now providing a Digital Marketing Strategy course to share the fundamentals of effective inbound strategy — arming you with the skills you need to pursue sustainable business growth. Learn how to:
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