It might come as a surprise to you to know that both Marketing Automation and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) are different ! They are the pieces of same cloth. But, different clothes. According to Salesforce, a leading CRM provider: “Customer relationship management (CRM) is a technology for managing all your company’s relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers. The goal is simple: Improve business relationships.”
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The other side of the coin:
Hubspot, a leading Marketing Automation provider has to say: “Marketing automation refers to the software that exists with the goal of automating marketing actions. Many marketing departments have to automate repetitive tasks such as emails, social media, and other website actions. The technology of marketing automation makes these tasks easier.”
See, same cloth; different pieces !
Marketing Automation is a marketing focused Software targeting a large audience.
CRM is a sales focused Software targeting human interaction for customers.
From the above image, it becomes clear that integrating CRM and Marketing Automation will streamline both Marketing and Sales profile. The integration provides better alignment between marketing and sales, and this in turn improves the effectiveness of campaigns. It also promotes a stronger return on software and marketing investments. With this, effective Sales and Services can also be achieved.
Nothing beats perfection.
So, here is a guide to help you achieve perfection:
- Decide the type of integration you are looking for: bidirectional or unidirectional. If it is unidirectional then decide the information access points. (can CRM look into Marketing Automation or vice-versa) Better Choice: Bidirectional
- Select the fields for mapping of CRM with Marketing Automation. Mapping can be carried out automatically or manually. Better Choice: Automatically
- Set a data synchronization frequency. This will be the time taken for data synchronization between the two platforms in real time. Better Choice: Real-time
- Decide the technology for Integration: API or File Imports. (APIs provide a stable experience rather than file imports which are not effective for real time data synchronization) Some Marketing Automation tools provide inbuilt API integration also known as Native Integration. Better Choice: APIs
- Transparency is the by-product of bidirectional communication. Notifications and Alerts to both Marketing and Sales forces are essential to keep them updated.
- Automation of the complete cycle. Make sure that Marketing Automation can directly assign and transfer new leads to the sales team according to some predefined criteria.
- Synchronize complete details of both CRM and Marketing Automation; this keeps the users informed about ROI of each lead.
- With Integration, make sure that Campaign Generation facilities are provided. Campaigns can be initiated according to the requirements (or the lack of it) using the integration itself.
- Updates about behavioural activity. The Integrated system should be able to keep tabs on various behavioural activity of leads and process it accordingly.
- Data transfer should be easy. Importing or exporting flat files should be quick and simple.
Every Integration of CRM and Marketing Automation is different and unique for each firm. The demands and facilities vary across all platforms, but the need to simplify selling and smooth data access for better communication remains as the priority.
I am currently advising clients how to create and manage effective advertising campaigns in accordance with the principles of Inbound Marketing. I offer Inbound Marketing auditing services, which are a great way of determining what your company’s strong and weak points are. I also provide Inbound Marketing training and consultation sessions via callhippo Marketing Sessions. In Free time I research about CRM and Marketing management services.
Why do we need to Integrate both ?