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Key Differences Between Marketing Automation and CRM Systems

It’s okay if you don’t know the difference between marketing automation systems and CRM systems. A lot of people don’t. Even the people whose jobs are to know the difference don’t really know which is which – and for good reason.

At first glance, both systems have a lot of similarities. But, if you delve deeper, marketing automation and CRM systems are actually quite different.

It’s important that you understand what makes marketing automation and CRM systems what they are so you don’t end up using the wrong system – a decision that could end up harming a business’ bottom line.

The Main Difference Between CRM and Marketing Automation Systems

The main difference between these two types of systems is their target audience.

CRM software is sales-focused. On the other hand, the focus of marketing automation software is on marketing.

Now, because of that, it’s easy to see why people get both of them confused and think that they are one and the same. Marketing, after all, leads to sales, right? Technically, that is correct, but there is a difference between how each one is approached.

With marketing automation software, the focus is on companies to measure and automate any marketing-related tasks and workflows, while in CRM, the focus is on the company’s interaction with their current customers and prospective ones.

Both systems track data and businesses will be wise to make use of the data that they gather. The difference is what kind of data they track.

You see, where CRM systems are focused on storing the data of customers, such as their addresses, names, and phone numbers, marketers use marketing automation software to schedule and track marketing campaigns, specifically, to know how well they are doing and how they can improve.

Does Your Company Need Both?

A good, long look at your sales funnel should help you decide whether or not your business needs a CRM or marketing automation software, or maybe even both.

Typically, small businesses can benefit more from free CRM systems, because it allows them to optimise the bottom of their sales funnel and secure more customers. But, as they grow and begin to invest more of their efforts into marketing, pairing the CRM software with good marketing automation software becomes a necessity.

Keep in mind that it is possible to find a marketing automation solution that can integrate itself in the CRM system that’s already in place, resulting in an all-in-one solution that helps address your business’ marketing and customer relationship needs.

Ultimately, while each system is designed to communicate with different contact points in the sales funnel, both were made to benefit the company. Ideally, you’ll want both systems working together. But, that is not always possible.

For this very reason, it’s important that you know what tool to use and when, so your company doesn’t end up wasting valuable time and money trying to get a lot out of something that’s not designed to help and address its current needs and problems.

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