“What is Marketing Automation?”
Before you say, “It’s kind of like the CRM we have in the office,” allow us to stop you right there. A lot of marketers think a CRM system — even the ones with marketing components — overlaps with their marketing office and therefore expect their CRM tool to deliver both sales and marketing ROI. But after much disappointment, marketing teams find out that this is not true. While it is true that the two technologies can both collect information and share several features, their rationale and functions are different.
Marketing Automation, according to Hubspot , refers to any software that aims to automate marketing activities. This software’s main audience is your marketing team, as it works to make tasks like lead nurturing, lead management, and campaign management easier for them. Any automated top-of-funnel activities that work to nurture a prospect’s interest is part of the Marketing Automation’s job. But once Marketing Qualified Leads turn into Sales Accepted Leads, the hand-off begins. CRM software, by definition, focuses on serving your sales team and covers bottom-funnel stages. It helps manage your brand’s interactions with sales-ready prospects and customers through customer profiling, targeted campaigns, and scheduling and alerts.
So, while you have CRM software tools that take care of your clients and your warmest leads, don’t forget that your marketing efforts helped attract those leads and drive them down the funnel. Those hundreds of big and small efforts that you count on can use some boost from Marketing Automation solutions, if you want them to be efficient, measurable, and scalable.
Top Marketing Automation Features
One way to further explore this technology is to do some window shopping and take a peek into the capabilities that you can leverage to maximize for your business. We’ve listed for you some of the features that Marketing Automation users love and why your CRM strategy can definitely benefit from them.
Which of these features got you the most excited? Which ones do you think can definitely complement your CRM efforts?
Many Marketing Automation vendors offer a longer list of features and you should definitely try those out when you can (hint: free trials!). Bottomline: Marketing Automation may just be the most important piece in your sales and marketing puzzle that you never knew you needed — and it can’t hurt to think of marketing beyond the confines of your CRM strategy.
Want to learn more about what Marketing Automation can do for your business? Download our buyers’ guide!