CRM vs Marketing Automation: What’s the Difference and How to Use Them Together

CRM and marketing automation are two powerful and effective digital marketing strategies that can help you grow your business and achieve your goals. What are they, and what are the distinctions between them? Which one is better for your business needs and goals? In this piece, we’ll examine the distinctions between CRM and marketing automation, aiding you in determining their collaborative utilization.

What is CRM?

CRM means customer relationship management. It’s about managing and improving relationships with your customers and potential customers using software or systems that organize their information. With CRM, you can:

– Understand your customers’ needs and preferences better.
– Communicate with customers more effectively and personally.
– Make customers happier and more loyal.
– Keep your current customers and make them more valuable.
– Sell more of your products or services to your customers.
– Spend less on getting new customers and serving existing ones.
– Work better together as a team.


CRM is a key marketing strategy that can help you create lasting and profitable relationships with your customers. According to Salesforce, using CRM can boost your sales revenue by 29%, increase sales productivity by 34%, and raise customer satisfaction by 45%.

But it also has some downsides, like:

– High costs to start and keep up.
– Concerns about the quality and security of data.
– Challenges in getting people to use it and training them.
– Trouble measuring how much you’re gaining from it.

What is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation means using software to do marketing tasks automatically. It helps in:

– Getting more good leads
– Organizing and aiming at your audience based on who they are and what they do
– Sending personalized messages on different platforms
– Guiding leads through buying process
– Boosting sales and income
– Checking and improving marketing results


It automates repetitive jobs saves time and effort. Providing helpful content improves customer satisfaction. Identifying potential leads is easier. Plus, it offers plenty of data for analysis.

But, there are some problems with it too:

– It’s hard to learn and complicated
– There are technical issues
– It lacks personal touch and creativity
– Sometimes, it might send too many messages and become spam.

How to Use CRM and Marketing Automation Together

As you can see, these two powerful tools have their own advantages and disadvantages, and they are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they can work together and complement each other, as email marketing is a part of marketing automation. However, depending on your business goals and needs, you may prefer one over the other, or use both in combination. Here are some benefits of using CRM and marketing automation together:

Align your sales and marketing teams and goals:

CRM and marketing automation can help you create a seamless and consistent communication and collaboration between your sales and marketing teams, and align their goals and strategies. This can help you avoid conflicts and confusion, and increase your efficiency and effectiveness.

Create and execute more effective and consistent marketing campaigns:

Utilizing CRM and automation in marketing enhances campaign effectiveness by leveraging CRM data to enhance automation processes. Additionally, automation tools can enhance CRM functionality, facilitating targeted messaging delivery, which in turn enhances engagement and conversion rates.

Nurture and move your leads through the sales funnel:

CRM and marketing automation can assist you in guiding your potential customers through the sales process. You can gather leads and input them into your CRM using marketing automation. Then, you can use the CRM’s tools to evaluate and nurture these leads, which can help your marketing automation efforts. Additionally, you can utilize marketing automation for email and social media marketing to stay in touch with leads, while employing CRM features like cross-selling and up-selling to finalize sales. This approach can enhance lead quality, increase conversions, and ultimately boost sales and revenue.


Here are some tips and best practices to help you use CRM and marketing automation together:

– Select the correct CRM and marketing automation software that fits your business goals and works well with your other platforms. Not all software options are a good match for your business, so research and compare them before deciding. Look for options with free trials or demos to try before purchasing.

– Understand who your customers are and how they move through your business. Then, make stuff they’ll like for each step they take. Before you start using CRM and marketing tools, know your customers well and match your offers to their needs. This way, you can make sure your messages are on point and you’re getting the most out of your efforts.

– Automate your email, social media, webinars, pages, forms, and other marketing stuff, and connect them to your CRM and automation tool. When you’ve got your CRM, automation tool, customer journey, segments, content, and offers ready, start automating your marketing tasks. This will make your marketing campaigns better and save you time and effort.

– Track and check how well your marketing is doing, then use that info to make it better. Software like CRM and marketing automation can help you keep an eye on your marketing performance, giving you stats like open rates and conversion rates. Make sure to use this data to improve your campaigns and strategies. Doing this will help you reach your goals more effectively.


CRM and marketing automation are both strong digital marketing methods. They can boost your business and help you reach your objectives. But remember, they aren’t perfect for every situation. You should pick the one that fits your business goals best, or use them both together to get the most out of them.

If you want extra assistance with CRM or marketing automation, you can reach out to us at OnextDigital. We’re a digital marketing company that focuses on implementing CRM and auto marketing services. We can assist you in making and running personalized CRM and marketing automation plans for your business and customers. Contact us now to boost your business with our expertise.