Magazine article CRM Magazine

Marketing Automation: Fueling CRM Success: Integrating Marketing Tools with CRM Keeps Everyone in the Loop

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Marketing Automation: Fueling CRM Success: Integrating Marketing Tools with CRM Keeps Everyone in the Loop

Article excerpt

WE'VE COME a long way since the days of trying to promote CRM and explain why it was important. CRM software has moved into an evolutionary phase where companies are trying to better utilize their human assets. In this climate, marketing automation has seemingly exploded overnight; countless companies big and small are assessing how these tools can help power their business.

To understand why marketing automation is essential to business development and customer service is to grasp how consumer buying patterns have changed with the onset of the Internet of Things (IoT): In today's mobile, hyper-digital world, we're always connected. Marketing automation consolidates the tools needed to handle all the communications and interactions that make up a person's digital footprint. Marketing teams use these tools to understand the data trail created by all of us, with our daily searches and clicks, and what that data means to their marketing goals.


As an example, some folks today may use Google Analytics, then a separate tool for email marketing and surveys, and then another for webinars and event management--and possibly a few others to handle social media or social listening. Marketing automation gives marketing teams a better handle on how all of this information is related, as well as more granular capabilities to see patterns more clearly and reach their target audience more effectively.

What marketing automation cannot do on its own is provide feedback or generate information based on what happens when reps interact with customers or prospects; that can only be accomplished when the tools are connected to a CRM platform. The components of marketing automation that deal with lead flow and what we call the top of the funnel cannot fully be optimized without this integration, and for many companies, this factor is critical to pulling their marketing and sales or service teams together.

From a CRM point of view, marketing automation has a more practical implication. If your organization has a good marketing plan, you'll reach targets and raise interest. But to go from interest to on-boarding a customer or solving someone's challenges with your goods or services, you need to know what marketing automation can tell you: who is engaging, why they're engaging, when they're engaging, and where their information is coming from. …

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