One of the best ways that an organization can gain a competitive advantage on its competition today is through the use of software. For those that are looking to improve their use of software, there are two main types of software that should be considered. Two of the most common types of software that can provide benefits to organizations is CRM software and marketing automation software. While many people believe that these two software programs are very similar, there are actually many differences that should be understood.

1. Focus

The main difference between a CRM program and marketing automation tools is what the focus of the program is. A CRM software program is focused on helping you to improve your sales approach. However, when you use a marketing automation program, it can be used to focus on improving your marketing efforts. Both of these programs have a variety of services and functions that can help a company be better at both sales and marketing.

2. Types of Analytics


One of the main benefits of both CRM software and marketing automation tools today is that they produce analytics. However, the analytics that are produced are much different. When you use CRM software, you will be able to receive analytics on how your sales attempts and records have been. When you have a marketing automation program in place, it will be used to analyze how well your marketing campaigns have gone.

3. Outbound vs Inbound

One of the main services that a marketing automation program can have is that it can produce outbound content. When you use a marketing automation software program, you can use it to generate a variety of different types of marketing materials. This can include emails, marketing posts on social media, and other marketing efforts. When you use a CRM program, much of the materials that are produced are inbound. A CRM program will normally be used to create reports that are designed to help analyze internal sales results.

4. Industry Specific Programs

When you are shopping for marketing automation programs, you will find that many of the programs are more general and can be used for any industry or type of business. However, when you are looking for a new CRM program, you will soon find that they are often designed for industry specific purposes. For example, there are CRM for real estate agents that are designed to meet the unique needs that come with being a real estate progressional.

5. Use by Employees

Another major difference between CRM and marketing automation is who will use the programs and have access to them. CRM programs today are often based on the cloud and are available for anyone to access. This helps to ensure that anyone in the company can access any time to any report that the CRM can generate. On the other hand, a marketing automation program is normally only used by people that are in the marketing department. However, they may still generate reports that have a wider viewership internally.

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