I have often found that many CRM (Customer Relationship Management) companies say they do marketing automation. While this may be true on some features, most come up short when you look at their out of the box capability. For example, Salesforce.com limits the amount of email sent to 500 per day per user. Just to set the record straight, here is a good definition of what is a CRM.
To me there is a symbiotic relationship between CRM and Marketing Automation. There are different types of marketing automation software that can be added to most CRM solutions. Most of these tools are designed to increase revenues and implement a more consistent marketing campaign for the business to promote its product or service. Here is SearchCRM’s definition of marketing automation.
Some things to consider when choosing a marketing automation tool is database design, campaign management, integration of analytics and reporting, email campaigns, and multi-channel support. Another key is the ability to perform batch (versus broadcast) sends and the deployment of real time view notifications.
A good marketing automation solution will integrate key analytics and reporting back into a CRM for a full picuture of the sales cycle.