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Marketing Automation vs. CRM

Marketing Automation vs CRM. Distinguishing between the two can be challenging. On the surface, they appear to have very similar purposes.why-you-need-a-crm-for-your-sales-team-1

Marketing Automation and CRM focus on different parts of a customer’s journey. The lines have become blurred because many platforms offer a combination of marketing automation and CRM within one system. To find out what you’re getting from a platform, you must understand the differences between Marketing Automation and CRM.

What is the difference?

Marketing Automation focuses on the marketing side of your business (as the name suggests), whereas CRM focuses more on sales and customer retention.

Marketing Automation

A good piece of Marketing Automation software will allow you to produce marketing campaigns and track leads’ interactions with your business. This can include monitoring website visitors, email opens, or form fills.

It will help you monitor your leads and use analytics to make the best decisions for lead nurturing. Marketing automation can be an extensive ‘prepping’ process before passing leads to the sales team.


For Customer Relationship Management, a CRM system stores all the critical information you might need about your customers. It includes basic contact details such as names, phone numbers and email addresses, and more detailed information on customers’ interactions with your business.

For example, a CRM system may record information on a customer’s purchase history and contact your business regarding phone calls and emails.

Do they overlap?

Marketing Automation and CRM focus on different things. But you may have noticed one common feature: customers. Some are prospective, and some are closed deals, but they are all customers.

Indeed, it makes sense to keep all customer records in one place, regardless of whether they are related to marketing or sales. This is not a new idea. Many companies and platforms incorporate Marketing Automation and CRM features into their systems. So, the answer to the question is yes, they do overlap.

Do I need both?

Marketing Automation vs. CRM: Can you choose just one? It depends on your business's needs, but we recommend using both in most cases.

Remembering that customers are the key to your business is always essential. Customers are your business. Igniting customers’ interest in your products and services is equally essential as closing sales. As discussed above, marketing automation and CRM focus on different aspects of the customer journey.

The weighting of resources between the two can vary depending on your business's needs. However, most successful companies will utilise both Marketing Automation and CRM.

The Marketing Automation Vs. CRM predicament is not a new one. If you want to learn more about what automation and CRM can do for your business, contact Flowbird today.