What’s the Difference between Marketing Automation and a CRM?

December 08, 2015   /   by  Diane Callihan

Lead Nurturing vs. Relationship Management

Customer relationship management systems (CRMs), like SalesForce, are not marketing automation platforms. Marketing automation tools generate, qualify and nurture leads, while a CRM only tracks communications between a sales rep. and a prospect.

CRMs and marketing automation software can work well together, but they do not perform the same functions. CRM is like the friend who invites you to a great party, but Marketing Automation is the friend who introduces you around and gives you the inside scoop on everyone in the room.

Robust marketing automation tools use forms, behavior tracking, dynamic lists, email automation and analytics to actually generate and qualify new leads. So you know more about who they are and what they are interested in.

Additionally, unlike a CRM, a marketing automation tool can help identify anonymous visitors on your website, tell you when they’ve visited high-value pages, and trigger targeted responses.

And get this: Triggered email messages average 70.5% higher open rates and 152% higher click-through rates than “business as usual” marketing messages. For more eye-opening stats, see our infographic.

If you want to know more about the differences between marketing automation and CRM, download our handy comparison chart.

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Interested in learning more about marketing automation and how it can help your business? Let’s talk.

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Diane Callihan

Diane Callihan

With more than 20 years of experience writing for some of the country’s top brands, Diane helped to shape Roger West’s content strategy, lead generation, and PR efforts as Director of Marketing. She currently serves as President of Callihan Content Creation.