Whether it’s helping to manage day-to-day tasks, helping to uplevel your marketing, or giving you tools for additional support, automation wins.
And, there’s two automation tools that we really love here at The Automation Co: marketing automation platforms and CRMs, otherwise known as customer relationship management systems. CRMs are the key tools that help you manage all of your customer relations from a high level, while marketing automation platforms are the key tools to help you manage your marketing efforts from a high level.
When it comes to comparing marketing automation platforms and CRMs, you have to understand their differences first — which is where an understanding of both comes into play. It’s also important to understand that there are many marketing automation tools that include a CRM component, and vice versa — you just need to be able to optimize both sides of the coin.
You ready? Let’s dive in.
Marketing automation tools are systems that exist to automate, personalize, and streamline marketing as a whole for a company, from the most high level of tasks to the most granular. This means that your marketing automation tools have a ton of power, especially when it comes to targeting customers, segmenting leads, and nurturing those leads.
You can put marketing automation tools to use for things like robust email nurture campaigns, lead generation, and even live chat capabilities — meaning that you can deeply personalize and expand the way you’re marketing, generating leads, and growing as a business.
Plus, you’ve probably heard of marketing automation tools before — even if you didn’t realize what they were. Some of the big guys include Marketo, Ontraport, and Keap — but that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what’s available to you from a marketing automation standpoint (and many of these have massive CRM components, too — think: Hubspot and Salesforce).
On the other side, you have CRMs — or customer relationship management tools. These help you gather and aggregate information and data, track your leads, gather deeper insights into your leads and customers, and communicate with those same leads and customers. CRMs are key for keeping track of your customer journey, and they also make the jobs of your team a lot easier.
Wondering about CRM tools? Like marketing automation tools, you probably know of more than you think — some top CRMs include Hubspot, Salesforce, Dynamics. If you’re a smaller business, you’ve likely heard of CRMs like Dubsado and Honeybook.
Utilizing your CRM and your marketing automation tools together will give you the best bang for your buck in several ways. By allowing them to work alongside each other, you get the best of both worlds — strategizing and streamlining. While you can work with a tool that acts as both an automation tool and a CRM, you can also simply allow them to work together in harmony. To do so, you’ll want to connect and merge the tools in a few distinct ways:
Getting in the weeds is a super common problem when automating processes in your business and your marketing — especially when utilizing both a CRM and a marketing automation tool. From the get-go, pay attention to all of the tiny details you can during set-up. Take care to upload data and eliminate duplicates in a truly centralized way — and make sure you’re regularly cleaning up and auditing said data.
Tools only work when people know how to use them — so make sure that the proper people on your team have a comprehensive understanding of both your CRM and your marketing automation tool. While customer support is always an option, your team should be able to troubleshoot mild issues — and, more importantly, take advantage of all of the features and functionality that your tools offer.
Marketing automation and CRMs are key to building up your lead generation strategy and nurturing said leads, so utilize your tools to score the leads you’ll be generating with your tools. You can do this by creating a lead scoring model unique to your own business that allows you to market more effectively.
(Interested in lead scoring? Check out this helpful video from HubSpot.)
Just because you’re automating your marketing and your communications doesn’t mean you need to SOUND like you’re automating it. Make sure your marketing aligns with your brand voice, ensure that each automated communication that you’re sending out is personalized, and remember that humans come before computers… always.
To put it simply, automating your marketing and your customer relationship strategies is one of the most massive things you can do to help your business scale and grow with speed, efficiency, and power. By utilizing the right tools (and the right team), you’ll be able to maximize everything from lead generation to segmentation to performance — and your marketing can become the biggest growth engine possible for your business.
Looking to level up your marketing automation with expert strategy for expert results? That’s why we’re here. Get in touch with our team today.