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All In One Marketing: CRM & Marketing Automation Platforms

CRM and marketing automation seem similar enough, don’t they? And you know they’re both essential tools for running your business, delivering top-notch customer service, snaring leads, and making sales. However, there are several key differences between the two

One of the main differences is that CRM software is primarily for sales purposes, whereas marketing automation does what it says on the tin: it’s for marketing.

But why keep the two separate when they are more effective when used together? Integrating both types of software means offering even better customer service and boosting your business’ capabilities.

But what exactly are CRM and marketing automation? How do the systems work? And why should your small business integrate these systems?

Flowbird takes a closer look…


What is CRM software?

Your CRM software is the tool that handles customer relationships and interactions across your entire sales funnel, from marketing to customer service interactions.

CRM will tell you everything you need to know about your customers: how long they’ve been with you, what they’ve bought from you and when, and notes on any phone conversations you’ve had with them. You can use this nifty piece of software to optimise customer interactions, increase sales, streamline processes, and boost customer satisfaction.

CRM software, such as that provided by Hubspot, will be invaluable to your business when tracking your customers' actions (and potential customers!). It does this by harnessing the power of your business social media accounts, email or website, helping to guide each customer in the direction you want - towards a sale - and alerting your team of a customer's interest.

Hubspot’s CRM tool provides real-time updates on your sales pipeline via a virtual dashboard. It supports up to 1 million contacts, tracks your deals, and provides fresh company insights.

There are several huge benefits of using CRM software:

  • The system automatically tracks and organises your contacts, even after putting in the most basic information like a phone number, name and email address. All your team members can access this central bank of data, allowing them to improve customer service and generate more leads.
  • Automating those pesky, time-consuming tasks saves you time on everyday responsibilities!
  • CRM makes it easier to send consistent, targeted messages, helping you to boost customer engagement.
  • Because it tracks the purchasing patterns of your existing customers, it will help you develop marketing and lead-generation strategies that are more likely to attract new leads and customers.
  • You can personalise your customer messages - a tactic proven to increase lead conversion.

So, what about marketing automation?

Marketing automation lets you streamline and automate your marketing tasks, such as customer retention and lead generation.

It’s mainly used to speed up your processes by eliminating time-wasting tasks and creating personalised and targeted marketing campaigns you can send to your customers.

Nurturing leads with targeted content will help you increase productivity, convert leads to customers, and run your business more efficiently.

Marketing automation software automates your critical marketing tasks, freeing up your business resources and saving time and money!

Four main components make marketing automation software:

  • A central marketing database where all of the info on your prospective leads and customer interactions and behaviour is stored.
  • An engagement marketing engine where you can create, manage and automate your marketing processes.
  • This is the analytics engine where you can measure, optimise, and test your marketing return on investment and identify those all-important areas for improvement.
  • Your ‘martech stack’ (marketing technology stack) holds all the apps you use to accomplish your marketing goals, such as your social media tools and content management systems.

A good marketing automation software will be hugely beneficial to your business. It will increase conversion rates, improve workflow, increase productivity, provide higher-quality leads, and help you personalise your customers' buying journeys.

Okay, so I think we can all agree that CRM and marketing automation software offer something very tasty. But how do they work together?

How do CRM and marketing automation work together?

Despite the different benefits that CRM and Marketing Automation offer, using them together will combine both strengths and maximise the benefits to your business.

Your marketing automation system will feed your CRM the information it needs to provide invaluable insight into your current and potential customers, what they want and don’t want, and how best to serve those needs.

CRM is your sales tool, and marketing automation is your lead generation and nurturing tool. By using them in tandem, you can:

  • Build excellent customer relationships before sending the lead to your sales department
  • Give your leads a seamless journey from a website or social media visitor to a paying customer.
  • Give those customers consistent messages and support
  • Assign lead scores
  • Give your sales reps the full picture when it comes to lead journeys

Hubspot offers a brilliant example of the best of both worlds - a system with CRM and marketing automation capabilities.

Their all-in-one platform is divided into four hubs: marketing, service, sales, and CMS. Using all four hubs together will maximise their benefits and allow your business to conduct all marketing tasks from one central location.

Integrating CRM and marketing automation software

The best results come from ensuring that both platforms are properly aligned and working together to achieve your business goals.

This can be done by:

1. Personalise your marketing and sales messaging to help you target your audience and ensure lead conversion. The CRM part of your system will transfer all of the info on your customers to your marketing automation tool. Your marketing team can use this to target their social media, email campaigns, and paid-for advertising.

2. The quicker your leads get a response, the more likely they are to become a paying customer. Lead scoring will make the process faster, and your CRM and marketing automation platforms can identify the users who are most likely to be converted and send them targeted marketing materials.

3. Using your CRM and marketing automation in conjunction centralises and makes your data easy to access. This means that the two software systems do not overlap on tasks, which could lead to annoyed customers! Ensure that your systems are monitored for duplicate information—such as entering a customer’s information twice, which can lead to false reporting.

If you want to know more about how Hubspot’s combined CRM and marketing automation software can benefit your business, contact the experts at Flowbird today. We can assemble a package to suit your company and offer all the help and support you need to make it work effectively for you, generate leads and boost those profits.