CRM vs marketing automation
While both marketing automation tools and CRM software help teams understand the movement of prospects along the sales and marketing funnels, the two tools have different focuses. Marketing automation tools help marketing tools nurture and capture leads across many channels and ready those leads for hand-off to sales. CRM, on the other hand, often picks up where marketing automation leaves off, storing and analyzing the historic data on a lead’s interactions with the company to facilitate the sales process. Most companies use a CRM that connects to a marketing automation tool to manage different parts of the lead-to-advocate funnel.
Email marketing vs. marketing automation
The difference between email marketing and marketing automation tools is a matter of scope. Most marketing automation systems include email marketing tools and combine them with the connected power of all of the other marketing automation features like customer analytics, automated workflows, and lead scoring. While email marketing will stop at the email campaign, a marketing automation tool can track a prospective customer across multiple channels and campaigns.
Social media automation vs. marketing automation
Most leading marketing automation solutions will include social media automation and monitoring tools, which means you can cancel your subscription to that best-of-breed social scheduling tool. A marketing automation tool will provide context to social media interactions by tracking potential customers to your website and will combine social media data with other touches like email campaigns, phone calls, or even events to better understand the effectiveness of your total campaigns.
Workflow automation vs marketing automation
While both these tools provide hands-off attention to repetitive tasks, workflow automation software has a different specialization. Marketing automation tools will automate important manual tasks in a nurture campaign like sending drip email campaigns, reminding agents to call prospects, or automatically publishing social media posts. Workflow automation tools like Zapier may include some marketing connections in their triggers and actions, but they often won’t give you the analytics and deep customer insight into campaign effectiveness that you’ll find in a marketing automation tool.
Project management vs marketing automation
Project management and marketing automation tools should be used in conjunction with one another. Marketing automation tools will help you implement a marketing strategy, but are not great at visualizing all the tasks necessary to implement a marketing campaign. A project management tool, on the other hand, can help your team lay out the step-by-step design of your campaign, pull the assets together in a centralized location, and collaborate on the desired outcome of that campaign. Once you’ve planned your campaign, build it out in the marketing automation tool where you can set it to run and then analyze your results.
BI vs marketing automation
Business intelligence and marketing automation software have some overlapping use cases when it comes to visualizing data and making it ready for analysis. However, the analytics in a marketing automation software will be focused only on marketing-specific behaviors. A good business intelligence software will allow you to consolidate all of your data from across your company’s tools to gain deeper insights into the effects they have on one another. For best results, marketing teams should use their marketing automation software to dive deep into marketing-specific analytics, but then export their data to the BI tool to better understand how marketing affects the company’s overall effectiveness.