Marketing Automation vs. CRM: What’s the Best Technology for Marketers?


If you are a marketer in a sales organization, you likely have access to a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool to support the business development and account management divisions. And in the event that your organization doesn’t have a CRM tool, it’s highly likely that your marketing team is responsible for researching and implementing a technology that both sales and marketing will use.


But there’s one big problem. CRM tools are NOT built to support marketers. In fact, CRM technologies fail the marketing function for two reasons:


  1. CRM technologies are traditionally designed to help sales and account teams manage customer interactions and relationships.
  2. CRM technologies don’t provide marketers with an end-to-end solution for managing the entire customer lifecycle, from pre-purchase lead generation activity to post-sale customer experience (CX) measurement. 


Enter Marketing Automation Technology

The CRM/Marketing department relationship is confusing because CRM technology does provide value in terms of pipeline reporting and contact management. The only problem is that CRM data is dependent upon the accuracy of the information entered by the salesperson (or team) – and typically, the data entered isn’t necessarily driven off a particular marketing event/tactic deployed by the marketing department. Unless, of course, you have a marketing automation platform that integrates with your CRM tool.


Marketing automation technology, like Aimbase, gives your marketing department full control over your digital marketing strategy, allowing you to connect specific marketing initiatives to closed sales. From managing lead generation and email nurture campaigns to predictive analytics and CX measurement applications, marketing automation technology delivers on all levels for today’s modern marketer.


Think of marketing automation as your company’s digital brand manager. It captures data on “hand raisers” interested in your brand and automates communications that are tailored to the interests of each unique prospect. Marketing automation also tracks and scores each prospect based on content engagement and delivers sale-ready prospects to your sales channel directly or via CRM integration.


Integration is Key

Just as sales and marketing teams should work together, so should your marketing automation and CRM technologies. Each department has its own unique function, so there should be software designed to fit the needs and objectives of each functional area while integrating data and insights from platform to platform. However, the most common integration is to pull sales-qualified leads from marketing automation technology by entering their profiles into the brand’s CRM tool for one-to-one prospect/customer management.



It’s common for sales teams to generate their own leads through a gorilla sales strategy (networking events, cold calling, etc.). However, an organization’s primary lead source should be developed via the marketing channel. Marketing is responsible for creating visibility for the brand and casting a wide net that touches as many prospective customers as possible (one-to-many). If done correctly, marketing automation technology takes the one-to-many marketing concept a step further by segmenting your database and delivering customized content that is designed to push prospects further down the sales funnel. And once those prospects reach a certain scoring threshold, they’re primed and ready to be managed by your sales team.


If you’re investigating how to integrate your marketing and sales channel from a functional and technology standpoint, contact us today to learn how we integrate our marketing automation technology, Aimbase, with some of the world’s leading CRM providers.


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