Marketing Automation is Becoming a Key Feature of CRMs
Marketing automation systems arose from the possibilities afforded by online data collection. In the digital world, new forms of customer data now flow in through landing pages, web forms, and responses to emails. When fed into marketing automation software this data triggers automatic, and personalized, responses primarily in the form of email and customized web content.
Relationships that once were personal but time-consuming to maintain can now be fully automated using digital media in combination with marketing automation systems. Companies such as Amazon have used this ability to collect personal data and track individual’s online customer behavior to achieve phenomenal success. Marketing automation software has made market strategies accessible and affordable for smaller organizations.
A typical marketing automation campaign starts with some form of off-line or on-line marketing stimuli, inviting the target customer to click on a link or visit a webpage that encourages the visitor to leave their details. These details are then captured into a contact database which is made available for future marketing.
Difference between CRM and Marketing Automation?
One of the significant difference is who they target. Primarily, CRM software is sales-focused, while marketing automation software is (aptly) marketing-focused. CRM is a strategy for managing all your company’s interactions with current and prospective customers. A CRM system saves information such as a customer’s addresses, names, phone numbers, and interactions with the company.
On the flip side, marketing automation software as a system that allows companies to streamline, automate, and measure marketing tasks and workflows. While marketing automation stores similar information as a CRM, such as your leads’ contact details (email, address, phone number, company name, job title, etc.), that’s about all they typically share.
Marketing automation allows you to follow a prospect’s top-of-funnel activities, such as when they visit your website, open an email, read your blog, or fill out a form. Marketers commonly use marketing automation software to schedule and track marketing campaigns, especially email campaigns and mass business to customer communications.
Benefits of combining CRM and marketing automation
Fully packaged CRM
Having a CRM integrated with Marketing Automation will provide the benefit of consistent messaging. For instance, if you deploy both the software separately, the chances of having a barrier in your messaging are high. This is as for result of the need to look into two different platforms to know if the interaction with a particular customer is constant. Nevertheless, with integration, you can have stable messaging without any disruption in the communication. Another benefit of having a fully packed CRM is that you maintain data hygiene and control data leaks.
Incorporated Approach to Data Management
Different software means two different systems to trail and analyze data. This makes the whole process of data management a painstaking one and any new data can get lost or fall through the cracks. A single platform that has CRM and market automation integrated can help curtail this major data management issue. Furthermore, through integration, you can have a unified approach to data management as all the contact, communication and other informational data is saved on one single platform. The data is organized, easy to view and edit, and faster to analyze. Also, a centralized data system means that new data is accessible to input and arrange, and tracking and reporting of data becomes effective.
Improved Customer Relationship
Another purpose of integrating CRM and marketing automation is to approach both potential and old customers and build better relationships. However, two separate software equal to tracking two different conversations would be confusing, and won’t add any value when interacting with customers. With integration, you can understand and analyze customer behavior efficiently. This will ensure you base your interactions on the insights in view, which will, in turn, help you provide better service to your customers. This integration also helps you in optimizing your customer relationship by offering you a centralized platform with better customer data.
Harmonization of Sales & Service Teams
Most times, the marketing and sales teams share the same goal, i.e., to achieve sale target and gain a customer. After this, all the three teams – marketing, sales, and service – are expected to retain that customer and help him/her to continue with the purchase. Achieving this with different software may be difficult to attain this parity as easily as when you have an integrated platform.
Tailor marketing initiatives easily.
Combining CRM with marketing automation allows businesses to control all connections they have any with customers from a single platform. A simple drag-and-drop user interface allows easy management of newsletters, targeted email campaigns, and other communications. Automation of routine or repetitive tasks also liberates employee time, thereby giving them the opportunity to pursue more significant objectives. For instance, Email responses can BE automatically set to send at a given time based on actions of the intended recipient.
Present a consistent image.
Consistency is essential when a company offers sales and other limited offers. It’s never a good idea to confuse your customers. This can diminish their interest in your product or service and also create false expectations. One of the most significant advantages of a combined CRM and marketing platform is the ability to deliver a consistent message across various platforms. An overwhelming majority of consumers expect to see steady information on different contact channels.
Integrate contact channels.
Another significant advantage of combining CRM and marketing automation software is the connection of all points of contact to one platform. These solutions allow the user to access information from emails, social media, and other online sources, as well as telephony integration for phone calls and recordings. The platform can also integrate SMS and billing plug-ins, like FreshBooks or Stripe. This is also easy to update, so new capabilities can be added in the future to accommodate new contact technology and channels.
CRM and marketing automation together provide a unified platform for all the teams to track and analyze customer activities and behaviour. Accordingly, having discussions and strategies to turn a prospect into a customer and ensure customer purchase cycle will be continuous. Furthermore, the same software also allows for the perfect balance required between the teams, continuous workflows and instills accountability. With so many vendors in the marketplace, it’s essential to understand what’s out there and how it matches up with your business needs before investing in a platform.