CRM + Marketing Automation = Best Friends Jessica Lunk How well do you coordinate your company’s customer relationship management (CRM) and marketing automation? Are these two related processes managed separately? Or do they work together? These are all questions you should ask yourself when you look for ways to improve your overall marketing and sales ROI, sales funnels and ongoing customer relationships. What is the Difference between CRM and Marketing? While CRM and marketing are related, they are not the same thing. Marketing is the process by which your company invites prospects to try your products or services and raises awareness of your brand. Marketing can be divided into two main categories, outbound and inbound. Outbound marketing consists of traditional commercials and advertising that broadcasts your brand message to prospects. Inbound marketing is the process of creating content to attract customers to your brand by answering their questions before they are ready to buy. Inbound marketing focuses on starting prospects down the sales funnel by offering free information in return for a conversion with a lead magnet. While some of the methods of reaching customers during marketing campaigns are same ones used for CRM, the focus of marketing and CRM are different. These methods may consist of email marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, PPC ads or broadcast ads. CRM is the process by which your company manages and interacts with prospects and clients. In most cases, you have received the contact information for your CRM from your marketing campaigns. CRM manages the methods and scheduling of client interactions. Through the use of CRM, you can determine which clients are the highest priority and how and when to approach them. The CRM system will prevent prospects from slipping through the cracks and help cement your existing relationships. Methods used to interact with your clients may include email, social media, texting, phone calls or meetings. Why Coordinate CRM and Marketing Automation? While the goals for marketing and CRM are different, the relationships that begin with your marketing program continue with CRM. You can learn a lot about your prospect through their responses to marketing campaigns which can help you interact with them going forward. The information that you glean from your marketing campaigns about your customer can be applied to CRM. It is important to take what you have learned about your customer and apply it to ensure continual sales and build a long-lasting customer relationship. Ultimately, marketing and CRM work in partnership to build the foundation that you need to earn a customer’s trust. Automation with Personalization Using the tools available for CRM such as Hatchbuck, you can automate your CRM without the need to lose personalization. With each customer contact, you can add what you learn to your system to determine the best way to reach out to your customer. For instance, if your prospect responds to your email marketing campaign, it makes sense to continue contacting them via email as you build your relationship. You can use the feedback you obtain from the customer to flesh out their CRM profile for interaction and future sales. The tools are sophisticated allowing you to personalize your interactions with each customer without giving up the advantages of automation, spending less time on routine tasks and systematically prioritize customer interactions by readiness to buy. You get the best of both worlds, more conversions through marketing automation and better customer relationships through CRM.