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.

Benefits and ROI of marketing automation

Back to top ↑


Automation takes repetitive manual tasks out of human hands and makes computers responsible for them. Computers complete triggered actions efficiently: they can send a set email in response to a form fill, alert a team member to a change in a lead status, or send social posts at a scheduled time. While your team will still need to do a little planning to set up automations, you’ll save time (and your concentration) later by not needing to complete tasks individually as they arise.

More data

Big Data’s usefulness as a business tool has made companies hungry for more data that they can use to better understand their customers, funnels, operations, and financials. Marketing automation systems produce granular, customer-focused data that can help your teams segment their customers, build better nurture campaigns, and close more sales. All of this new data can be analyzed right in the marketing automation tool, or it can be fed into a business intelligence (BI) tool to view its impact on the company’s overall ROI.

Analytics and reporting

The best marketing automation software includes analytics and reporting features that track and illuminate your campaigns. Using these features can help your team build better campaigns with more personalization and better customer targeting. While BI software brings together data from all across the company, marketing automation analytics focuses on marketing and sales campaigns.

Centralized marketing tool

It’s the dream: one marketing software to rule them all! Marketing automation software can come close to this dream, centralizing control over email, CMS, content marketing, contact forms and downloads, social media, and even direct mail and more traditional channels. This is, of course, depending on the size (and price) of the product, so check feature lists carefully before you buy to make sure you don’t pay for features you won’t use.

ROI calculation

ROI, to put it simply, is gain from investment minus your cost of investment divided by the cost of investment. Your cost of investment should include how much you spend on the software per month or year plus what you spend on training and implementation. You can find your gain from investment number by looking at overall revenue, revenue per opportunity, or cost of opportunity. However you calculate your ROI for marketing automation software, look for the software to make your team more efficient, bring in more marketing qualified leads, and target the right customers at the right time. All of these improvements should increase your overall revenue.

Typical marketing automation user types

Back to top ↑

  • CMO, Marketing Manager, Marketing Director: Decision-makers in the marketing team use marketing automation software primarily as a source of data for understanding how the team’s initiatives make an impact on overall revenue and where strategy changes could provide continued success.
  • Content manager, specialist: Content creators and managers use marketing automation systems as a means of publishing and promoting content to the right customers and prospects at the right time.
  • Social Media Manager or specialist: Social media managers and specialists use marketing automation tools to schedule posts to social media channels and monitor those channels for mentions and direct messages.
  • Email marketer: Email marketers use marketing automation software to set up, test, run, and automate email marketing campaigns to targeted customer lists.
  • Lead generation or demand generation manager or specialist: Lead and demand generation professionals use marketing automation to run email, PPC, and social campaigns as well as more traditional media campaigns that reach broad or targeted audiences. They can also refine the marketing funnel for those leads through detailed data and analytics.

Technology trends impacting marketing automation

Marketing automation systems often integrate new technologies—to the benefit of both the marketers who run campaigns and the individuals the marketing targets. The overall trends in MA software technology adoption have made communication with individual prospects and leads more personalized on a large scale.

Integrated behavior-based workflows

This trend has been used across technology areas including CRM, field service managementproject managementsupply chain management, and marketing automation tools to speed work handoffs automatically across different users and from one part of a project to another. Based on a series of triggers and actions, behavior-based workflows watch for a user or client behavior (the trigger) and reacts to that trigger with a specific automatic action.


  1. Hi, I’m speaking to your self towards inquire if on your own’re seeking for a much better connection indexer. We specifically comprise still left the beta try action (GSA discussion board) and the opinions is Terrific. As yourself comprehend the previous references within the sector are much less thriving considering that many Google upgrades. This is not our scenario.
    Our services is the easiest for Google nevertheless much too index Bing and Yandex. Our formulation are all countless, submissions AND range of URLs, which will make them the perfect husband or wife for Search engine marketing companies.

    We as a result offer you oneself 24 several hours of screening Whilst on your own need toward verify that we are the perfect: http://bestfatclips.com/cgi-bin/atx/out.cgi?id=28&trade=http://www.miniurlz.com/LP-IN2

    Password: G8D2EZ9P3

    Watch oneself shortly

  2. First of all I would like to say awesome blog! I had a quick question that I’d like to
    ask if you don’t mind. I was interested to know how you center yourself and clear your thoughts before writing.
    I’ve had a tough time clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas out
    there. I truly do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes
    are usually lost simply just trying to figure out how to begin.
    Any recommendations or tips? Kudos!

  3. Hi there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and found that it’s truly informative.
    I’m gonna watch out for brussels. I will appreciate if you continue this in future.
    Numerous people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

    Here is my homepage :: 롤경작

  4. Does your blog have a contact page? I’m having problems locating it but, I’d like
    to send you an email. I’ve got some suggestions for your blog you might be interested in hearing.
    Either way, great website and I look forward to seeing it expand over time.

  5. I’m not sure where you are getting your info, but
    good topic. I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more.
    Thanks for magnificent information I was looking for this info for my mission.

  6. It’s perfect time to make a few plans forr the long run and it is time
    to be happy. I’ve learn this submiot aand if I could I
    wish to suggest you some interesting things or tips. Perhaps you can write next articles relatkng to this article.
    I want to learn even more issues approxximately it!

  7. Doxycycline
    Side effects are quite possible if you are using Doxycycline. It is ideal to buy Doxycycline from trusted resources that sell good quality drug. However, even with most good quality drugs, you may find some common side effects such as nausea, diarrhea, indigestion, vomiting, allergy and appetite loss.
    information https://doxycycline2020.top/

  8. Great post. I used to be checking constantly this
    blog and I’m inspired! Extremely helpful info specifjcally
    the last phase 🙂 I deal with such information a lot.
    I used to bee looking for this particular info for a long time.

    Thank you and ood luck.

  9. I believe this is one of thhe most vitall information for me.

    And i am glad reading your article. However want to remark on some common things, The web site
    style is wonderful, the articles is in reality nice : D.
    Good activity, cheers

  10. Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before
    but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.

    Anyways, I’m definitely delighted I found it and I’ll be book-marking
    and checking back frequently!

  11. It is the best time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy.
    I have read this post and if I could I want to suggest you few interesting things or suggestions.

    Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article.
    I desire to read even more things about it!

  12. Howdy! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but after browsing through some of the posts
    I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m certainly delighted I found it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back frequently!

  13. Heya! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any issues
    with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked
    and I ended up losing many months of hard work due to no backup.

    Do you have any solutions to protect against hackers?

  14. I am often to blogging and that i truly appreciate your content regularly.
    This article has really peaks my interest.
    I will bookmark your internet site and keep checking achievable information.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here