What’s the Difference Between Marketing Automation and CRM?

Living in a competitive, data-driven world means your business has to do more in order to keep up with ever-changing customer preferences. Fortunately, there are now tools designed to boost your sales and attract more clients to your business. Two of the most popular ones are CRM and marketing automation.

So what is the main difference between CRM and marketing automation? Each system has its own goals. Marketing automation software focuses on lead nurturing, while customer relationship management (CRM) software nudges customers through the sales pipeline. Another difference is the sales pipeline stage they work on: Marketing automation generates the leads, and these leads are converted into buyers using CRM. Together, these two programs perform hand-in-hand to deliver results.

What Is CRM?

CRM stands for customer relationship management. It’s a technology that allows you to keep track of interactions with potential customers and handle relationships with existing customers. Generally, CRM solutions help your organization improve by finding new customers, getting in touch with them, and organizing their information so that you can win their business.

CRM is mostly used by sales teams and customer service teams, although marketing, recruitment, business development and even upper management benefit from CRM. This is because CRM gives everyone a clear picture of what is going on with the company’s external relations.

How Does CRM System Work?

Fundamentally, CRM systems serve as a centralized storage space for prospect and customer data. Colleagues in an organization can track how each other are doing, because every interaction with a customer is recorded by the CRM. You will also have access to customer history, which serves as a reference to consult with in case issues arise.

More sophisticated CRM software can even collect data from leads and customers through various touchpoints: social media, websites, email, and so on. Other CRM systems also offer analytic capabilities, synthesizing data into a report ready to be used by an organization. An effective CRM database can also be used for filing important notes, scheduling follow-ups, and organizing sales team processes.

What Are The Benefits of CRM?

For a small business with few customers, CRM may not be a “must-have” yet. But if you want to grow your business and engage with more people, it definitely pays to invest in a CRM system as early as possible. Here are some benefits of getting CRM:

  • Central, organized database: Your sales team can easily share documents with each other, so you won’t spend time looking for files or encounter difficulties in case someone leaves.
  • Fewer administrative tasks: You won’t have to waste valuable time doing manual tasks such as data entry, since those processes are automated under CRM.
  • Smarter decision-making: CRM can assist you in analyzing customer information, forecasting sales, and evaluating sales performances – allowing you to make better decisions for your company.

What Is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation is a technological feature that allows businesses to manage marketing campaigns and processes across multiple channels even without hands-on intervention. Using marketing automation software, businesses can send customers targeted, automated messages through text, email, web, and social media.

With automation software, your marketing team can improve how it generates, nurtures and scores leads. Not only that, but they can also measure the overall ROI for campaigns. Marketing automation is a tool that will save you a lot of time and money, because it lets you put a finger on your market’s pulse.

How Does Marketing Automation Software Work?

Marketing automation is effective for streamlining the responsibilities of a marketing team. The process begins as you collect customer data through interactions on various digital platforms. The data you collect create an in-depth view of each customer. From there, you can program the software to respond automatically to leads and customers.

Good automation will identify your audience, design appropriate content, and trigger actions or messages based on a schedule or specific customer behavior. For example, a lead who viewed your website makes an inquiry through email. With email marketing automation, the right series of messages or helpful articles can be sent to that lead – ensuring that they aren’t ignored or receive a late reply.

Aside from this basic function, marketing automation can also automate segmentation and lead qualification based on customer profiles. This helps your team create relevant content and messages for their target audience.

What Are The Benefits of Marketing Automation?

Your marketing efforts don’t have to be a hit-or-miss situation. Marketing automation is the solution for managing a cohesive, streamlined campaign every time. Here are some of the benefits in implementing marketing automation:

  • Efficient lead nurturing: Turning leads into potential buyers is the goal of marketing, which is why marketing automation pays a lot of attention to lead nurturing. From lead scoring to email marketing, marketing automation software ensures that your company consistently reaches out to potential clients – without exhausting your staff.
  • Detailed customer profile creation: Marketing automation captures information about your customers through their web behavior, email open rates, and other responses. This attention to detail creates more specific audience profiles.
  • Personalized messaging: Personalised content lends a human touch to marketing, which is why it’s an effective way of nurturing leads. Email marketing or targeted ad campaigns would translate to better sales if buyers received unique content tailored to them. – Read more

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Unbounce vs Clickfunnels – Which Is Best For Your Business

Unbounce Vs Clickfunnels – Which One Is Better For Your Business?

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The 5 Most Commonly Asked Questions About Cloud Solutions

We believe there are many reasons to migrate your organisation’s applications to the cloud, not least of which are cost savings, streamlined operations, redeployment of resources, reskilling of your internal teams and talent retention.  

In this blog, I answer the five most common questions I get asked about moving applications to the cloud, so you can make an informed decision about whether it’s the right thing for your organisation.  

1. Is it secure and where is my data? 

“Is it secure?”  is one of the most commonly asked questions about the cloud. But as the cloud has become universal in organisations, the nature of the question has changed. 

Every year, major cloud providers like Amazon and Microsoft spend billions to make their cloud services stable, robust and secure. Security measures and compliance certifications are available for all to see, and Microsoft’s cloud offering is as secure as it gets in terms of compliance, governance and physical security.  

The result? Today, almost everyone accepts that the cloud is secure. The conversation now is less around how secure it is and more around data control. It’s essential that organisations understand where their data lives, where it may go and who can access it in order to feel comfortable with moving to the cloud. 

A lack of understanding around how the cloud works is a barrier to adoption for many organisations. In the UK, law firms are amongst some of the most cautious adopters of cloud solutions, largely because of questions about where confidential client data will reside and who can access it.  

There needs to be an understanding that, by its very nature, the cloud exists in multiple locations – and your data can too. Azure, for example, for resilience can have multiple copies of data in multiple locations. And this conversation isn’t always an IT-led discussion; it needs the business to decide in which country their data should be reside, and whether they are comfortable with it potentially leaving UK soil. The cloud gives customers choice here, different services having different options about where data is stored, but it’s important that well informed decisions are made in this regard. 

Organisations need to know what they are letting themselves in for and understand how data will be stored and accessed which needs a complex, but not impossible, discussion about trust and understanding. In our experience, anyone who truly understands the options and how the cloud works has been confident in making an informed decision based on facts not fear.  

2.  Will all my IT staff be out of work/redundant? 

Generally, there isn’t a direct correlation between adopting cloud services and IT staff being let go.  We prefer to see this as freeing up IT staff to focus on more strategic tasks. 

Whether they’re in retail, manufacturing, healthcare or any other sector, businesses are trying to be ‘the best’ and provide the best service to their customers. IT should enable them to do that. It should be a supporter and enabler for a business to do its job and operate at its highest level. And for organisations that are held back by inefficient, outdated IT systems, embracing the cloud is one way to make improvements. 

Few organisations today choose to use physical servers; they are costly, require office space and need people to maintain and manage them. Solutions like O365 and Exchange Online are making delivery of common IT services easier, better and lower cost, and like it or not, the requirement for on-premise skills will reduce as cloud adoption becomes the new norm. As IT evolves, the skillset of IT teams needs to evolve with it, or face being left behind.  – Read more