In Data Quality Management, Digital Marketing

Software systems are the backbone of sales and marketing departments. CRM, marketing automation, email marketing … do you really need all these kinds of software systems? One such question involves marketing database software versus CRM software. What are the differences? How are they alike? Most importantly, which do you really need?

While there is a little overlap in these two systems, they really are completely different types of software and have totally separate purposes. Here’s what you need to know, and how to choose whether you need one, the other, or both.

Marketing Database Software is for the Marketing Folks

Marketing database software collects information on your leads before they even convert to become customers. Marketing database software collects information on their search activities and social activities, including the lead’s contact information and how they came to be a qualified lead. If you would like to track how potential leads pass through your content, stumble across your landing pages, engage with your brand on social, and related activities, marketing database software is what you need. This software, as the name would indicate, is geared toward the marketing department.

CRM is for the Sales Folks

CRM, or customer relationship management software, is geared instead toward the sales staff. This software collects information and tracks them once they have converted to paying customers. CRM is designed to track communications between your company and your customers and to keep up with the history of the customer in relation to your brand. The CRM software collects and tracks things like how the customer prefers to pay, how much they spend within a given period of time, and how much each customer is worth over a lifetime.

Which Do You Need?

Marketing database software

Businesses need both marketing database software and CRM, and ideally these systems will be integrated so that sales and marketing can both see how their efforts pan out and what goes into good lead and customer nurturing.

Most businesses need both. Marketing database software is ideal for tracking leads, whereas CRM is best for customer management. In fact, the best solution is to integrate these software systems so that you can easily load and track information from your marketing database in your CRM. That lets you know where the best qualified leads come from and where more like them can be targeted. Similarly, the information fed from the marketing database to the CRM lets you know things like what content is best used to reach customers with higher lifetime values.

When combined with other systems, such as A/B testing, integrating your marketing database and CRM gives you deeper insight into who your customers are, where they come from, and what keeps them connected with your brand. To learn more about how ReachForce SmartForms can help you optimize lead generation and improve your impact on revenue, sign up for a free trial and get a demo today.