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CRM vs Marketing Automation: What is the difference between the two?

Updated: May 16, 2020

CRM vs Marketing Automation: What is the difference between the two?

Customer relationship management tools or CRM tools and marketing automation tools are quite different. These tools might come off as the same thing at first, but in reality, they serve two very different purposes.

To select the best system for your teams and improve company processes. Marketing and sales team leaders are required to understand the differences between a Customer Relationship Management tools and a Marketing Automation tool.

First, let’s start by addressing what CRM and Marketing Automation tools are and explain their advantages.

Customer Relationship Management

Customer Relationship Management tools or CRM tools are a combination of systems, plans and technologies that businesses use for collecting and managing the data and interactions that their business has with their clients, potential clients, purveyors or other businesses identifying and following up on prospective customers.

Customer Relationship Management tools enable a business to develop relationships with clients, co-workers, associates and vendors. Shaping good relationships and keeping track of prospects and customers is crucial for customer procurement and preservation, which is at

the heart of a Customer Relationship Management tools function.

With a Customer Relationship Management tool, you can see everything in one place, a dashboard that tells you a client’s history with your business, the status of their orders, any unfinished customer service issues, and more.

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation is about using software and computers to automate marketing activities. Marketing teams computerise repetitive chores such as email marketing, social media posting, and even ad campaigns — not just for productivity, but so they can provide a more customized experience for their customers. The technology of marketing automation makes this job simpler.

Marketing Automation is a set of tools intended to streamline and simplify some of the most exhausting responsibilities of contemporary marketing. From automating the lead process to creating a centre for online campaign creation, automation is all about streamlining a business world that is growing far too complex, much too quickly.

Marketing automation lets you carry out a digital marketing plan without having to press “send” manually on every message, e-mail, campaign, newsletter or post you create. Automation tools help you distinguish your following, create relevant content and automatically initiate actions based on schedules and client response. Once your campaign rolls out, you can concentrate on other responsibilities, then examine and fine-tune your plan as results start coming in.

Now, Let’s come on to the primary differences between the two tools.


While these tools might come off as the same thing at first, but in reality, they serve two very different purposes. These differences are what makes these tools more valuable to the particular teams they were designed to serve.

The main differences between a CRM and a Marketing Automation tool are

Type of User

As the names suggest Marketing Automation tools are to be used by marketers and CRM has to be used by people in the sales teams. Both of these tools offer analytics, automation and reporting features to simplify daily tasks and provide consumers with relevant metrics and insights on the progress, performance and competence of marketing campaigns as well as sales activities and efforts. As said earlier, they may handle the same customer information but employ it for different activities and operations.

Key Function

The purpose of Marketing Automation is to produce leads from marketing drives. A lead can be a person or a business that shows interest in your merchandise or service and may come as a result of a referral or through a direct reply to your drives such as promotion, publicity, or advertising.

While CRM supports the sales team to sustain those contacts from information collected in the contact or lead database. Customer Relationship Management tools enable a business to develop relationships with clients, co-workers, associates and vendors.CRM helps to analyze the information gathered, sort and qualify contacts, and follow through with offers or discounts and other similar drives, all aimed at transforming leads into buying customers.

To sum it up Marketing Automation tools help the marketing team in generating leads, which are potential customers. Whereas CRM is used by the sales team for retaining existing clients. The software has tools to gather data and feedback from various client channels and interpret said information to provide the sales team with clients behaviour, interaction history with your corporation, and purchasing trends, and much more.

End Goals

Marketing automation is designed to help generate marketing qualified leads to be handed over to sales. Meanwhile, CRM’s goal is to convert marketing qualified leads to sales qualified leads and ultimately to boost sales. Marketing qualified leads pertains to involved leads while sales qualified leads refers to vetted prospects. Although the respective goals are different Marketing Automation and CRM have complementary roles in the effort to transform leads into customers.

Does your business need separate CRM and marketing automation solutions?

If you’re aiming to decide if your company needs a Marketing Automation software, CRM or both, look at your sales segment to see where your biggest hurdles are to help guide your decision.The differences between the two tools make them more useful to the unique teams they serve.

Usually, companies start by adopting a Customer relationship management tool to optimize sales and land more deals. As they develop and put in marketing efforts, these companies then select a marketing automation tool that has integrations with their existing CRM software for better results.

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