Most advisors have a Client Relationship Management (CRM) tool, but not all use automation software. Too often, advisors assume the two are the same. While it is important the two technologies work in tandem, CRMs are actually very different than Automated Marketing Platforms (AMP). Here’s a quick overview of what each tool does and why both are important for managing your client relationships and streamlining your marketing.

AMPs Are For Filling Your Prospect Pool. CRMs Are For Managing Your Sales Pipeline

In order to keep your business strong, you must always be bringing in new people . That is why when sales and marketing people talk about the intake of new prospects and leads they tend to use water metaphors. You want a consistent flow to help grow your business as you would any plant that needs regular watering.

Like the water you put on your lawn (unless you live in California), water is collected first in a reservoir or a pool. That is what your automated marketing platform is for. After it is set up properly, it acts as the container where your content attracts viewers who are then inspired through your insights and invitations to become prospects.

This is where the CRM steps in. The CRM is like a system of pipes, leading the casual viewer/prospect through different levels of validation. It organizes personal information into segmentations and helps the account manager or salesperson track the prospects progress. It then follows them all the way through the process, from intake to processing to after-purchase service.

AMPs Are For Sharing Insight. CRMs Are For Gaining Insight

Your automated marketing platform is your launch pad for all of your content campaigns. By creating lead capture centers, automated triggers and drip campaigns, you can make sure that your message is not only delivered 24/7 but is available on demand for anyone who is interested. Automated Marketing Platforms work best with insight driven content that drives to a single call to action. The AMP Sequence: Teach, Inspire, Invite, Follow Up, Repeat.

CRMs on the other hand contain many tools that help you get inspired. One of the most important aspects of a CRM is its reporting functionality. Because a CRM is ostensibly a big database, with the right reports, you can actually learn incredible things about your audience, your own content marketing and how you are being perceived by your ideal clients. This capability becomes even more powerful when you begin to track not only which of your content marketing efforts is most successful, but what topics mattered most to your viewers, prospects and clients.

AMPs Are For Inspiring Engagement. CRMs Are For Tracking Action

One of the most powerful tools in Google’s analytic suite is something it calls Goals. A Google goal is simply a series of actions that you want a prospect to take, like reading a blog, clicking the call to action at the bottom and signing up for a broadcast (by the way, if you’d like to sign up for our next broadcast, please click here). It is the automated marketing platforms job to provide the content that makes the action seem worth while and in the best interest of the prospect. IBM Marketing refers to this as “Demand Generation”. We call it amazing marketing.

CRMs on the other hand are there to measure and track who took the actions. It can separate the different marketing efforts into campaigns and be used to track the return on the investment it took to launch the campaign in the first place. Once you get clear on your return your marketing efforts are bringing you, you can employ the 80/20 rule and focus your efforts on the top performing portion of your campaigns and marketing programs.

AMPs Are For Scaling Your 1:1 Marketing. CRMs Are About Looking at The Big Picture

In the days before the internet, marketing was trapped between two worlds — 1:1 Marketing that was effective but time consuming and costly, and mass marketing which was ineffective, less time-consuming but also costly. The advent of marketing automation has allowed service professionals to deliver personalized 1:1 marketing to their prospects and clients, but on a much larger scale. The danger is that if not managed properly Automated Marketing can start to look a lot like mass marketing.

CRMs help with this. By creating a standard operating procedure for each new prospect who enters the sales pipeline, CRMs help a service professional know the right time to reach out to a prospect to bridge the gap between automation and a personal relationship. By combining these two powerful technologies you can dramatically increase your revenue, your client base and your customer satisfaction levels.