Both Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and marketing automation software help businesses achieve their marketing goals through applying technology to streamline, integrate and manage marketing processes.
However, there are key differences in the two tools, and it's important to understand these before you invest in one or the other.
In this blog I will explore the key differences between CRM and marketing automation and explain how they can help your construction or building products company.
What Is CRM?
A Customer Relationship Management tool is a software which manages your contact database and uses the information it possesses on your customers to see how they interact with your company and your marketing.
A CRM system enables you to track your leads on your website, track your email interactions, monitor stages of your sales lifecycle and also automate actions depending on your customer’s behaviour.
That final part is where CRM and marketing automation software link together.
Both CRM and marketing automation software helps your business understand your customer's journey along the sales cycle, but they have separate focuses.
What is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation is mostly dedicated to lead generation and nurturing through streamlining your current lead management process with automation tools that reduce your need to oversee and manage the entire process by hand.
Marketing automation facilitates the process, saving you time and effort, but then allowing you to step in for the important one-to-one interactions with your (now) warm lead.
On the other hand, CRM’s key focus is to store, manage, and monitor the ways in which your prospects interact with your company. This is the same data the marketing automation software uses. It's a system that can trigger the automation to occur e.g. the follow up email to send or the thank you message to be shown.
Marketing automation is essentially a specialised system that can be considered a subsegment of CRM. However, each CRM and marketing automation platform is different, so the tools they offer can either vary dramatically between them or seem identical.
What Do They Each Offer?
Marketing automation software offers you the ability to automate your email marketing, social media management, workflow processes, lead nurturing and customer service all in one package. That’s what makes marketing automation so incredibly powerful and beneficial for your construction business.
If you are after software that will:
- Track and engage with your online visitors
- Automatically nurture leads through email marketing
- Be your 24/7 robot sales rep and customer service agent
- Highlight prospects with high engagement with your products and services, depending on their interaction with your marketing activities and website
And do all of this automatically, reporting it back to you in a cohesive package? If so, marketing automation is what you are needing for your construction business.
Now, onto CRM, if you are in need of a tool that will:
- Report how engaged your customers are
- Monitor how they interact with your marketing content
- Track how many visitors landed on each of your web pages over time
- Alert you when your prospect is currently on your website
A CRM will do all of this, and in a way that gives you an insight into your own customer behaviour and how then to best nurture each of these individual prospects.
The main difference between a CRM and a marketing automation software is its focus. They each have the ability to monitor your customers engagement with your company’s marketing and give you the tools to effectively implement campaigns that are driven by data and insight.
When integrated together in a centralised platform, this technology allows you to see your entire sales cycle and how each marketing activity builds off the last. It gives you the insight into how everything is working together, or if it’s not.
For small to medium sized businesses in the construction industry, you need software that will work as hard as your sales team does. Choosing the right solution to CRM and marketing automation is one that creates a return on its investment and grows your business in this competitive digital era.
If you would like to learn more of the tech packages you can choose from, take a look at our comprehensive blog posts:
- 5 CRM SYSTEMS BUILDING PRODUCT COMPANIES SHOULD CONSIDER
- WHAT IS THE GREATEST MARKETING AUTOMATION TOOL FOR YOUR CONSTRUCTION COMPANY?
Want to learn more about marketing automation for your building products or construction business? Read our BEGINNER'S GUIDE to Marketing Automation for Construction Companies.
As the only HubSpot certified agency to major on construction marketing, we bring together construction marketing strategy, digital strategy, website design, SEO, content marketing, email marketing, sales automation, marketing automation and HubSpot CRM implementation to produce successful campaigns and great results for our clients.