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Marketing CRM vs Personal CRM: What’s the Difference?

Contacts+ Team | November 9, 2022

While the line between professional life and personal life is clearly drawn, sometimes our professional life feeds off what we accomplish on a personal level. Take relationship building, for example. 

An encounter in a personal realm, such as a connection during a wedding or day out, can potentially morph into a business opportunity. However, before such a connection can transform into a revenue opportunity, it goes from personal contact to lead and eventually into a customer.

If you were to manage such a relationship, would you be better off using personal CRM than marketing CRM or vice versa? In this guide, we’ll discuss these digital marketing tools and how a marketing CRM differs from a personal CRM, when to use each piece of software, or if you need both to manage your relationships. 

What is a Personal CRM?

Personal CRM software helps you keep track of your personal relationships with family, friends, service professionals, or any contact you want to stay connected with. Think of it as an address book, calendar, event manager, day planner with reminders, and notebook all rolled into one.  

A reliable personal CRM tool, such as Contacts+, comes with an array of features to streamline communications with your personal connections. Whether you’re a solopreneur, freelancer, passionate networker, or side hustler, a personal CRM will help you:

These features help you stay organized and ensure you’re keeping track of each interaction with your contacts. It helps keep tabs on when you spoke last, what you discussed, and where the discussion took place. Was it via email, phone, or social media? Every detail is tracked, and you can add anything in the notes feature, which is just another way Contacts+ makes your life (and contact management) easier

In addition, a personal CRM helps you keep track of important milestones. If you’re prone to forgetting people’s birthdays and other key details, a personal CRM is just what you need. The system sends timely reminders so you can reach out at important times. This can warm up a new contact and lay the foundation for a thriving relationship. 

Consider using a personal CRM if you:

  • Like collecting business cards when you attend expos, conferences, and networking events.
  • Are starting to build your network.
  • Tend to miss or arrive late to most of your scheduled events or need some help keeping track of your agenda.
  • Have a large family and/or tons of friends and contacts and want to keep track of their important life-related events.

What is a Marketing CRM?

Marketing CRM software helps teams manage relationships and interactions with customers from a centralized dashboard. With organized customer data in a single dashboard, it’s easier for sales and marketing departments to find the information they need and deliver personalized customer interactions that move their customers closer to making a decision.

An effective marketing CRM, such as BenchmarkONE, comes with additional automation features for an all-in-one CRM experience. These features eliminate repetitive tasks such as reporting and outreach, giving sales reps time to focus on other meaningful duties.

Marketing CRM is a must-have tool if you want to: 

  • Find and target qualified leads. A marketing CRM is a goldmine for customer information. It provides comprehensive information about each prospect who has interacted with your brand, and that can be helpful in determining which leads can become customers. 
  • Create hyper-personalized campaigns. Personalization is the name of the game in today’s marketing. With historical data about each customer, it’s easy to create content and targeted campaigns that resonate with each customer. 
  • Drive sales through upselling. Using the insights from your marketing CRM, you can analyze a customer’s purchase history. If you drop a new product, you can use this data to tell which existing client is best suited for the product based on their previous purchases. 

When Should You Move from a Personal CRM to a Marketing CRM?

Marketing CRMs and personal CRMs accomplish one major goal: they both help people manage their connections. However, a personal CRM is perfect for one-to-one communication. Small teams or teams of one may benefit from that sort of approach. Yet, teams can grow over time and eventually may need to move to a marketing CRM that’s a one-to-many form of communication.

As the adage goes, your network is your net worth. That means while the line between a personal CRM and a marketing CRM is clearly drawn, you can’t grow your business network without connecting with people on a personal level. 

This begs the question: when should you move from a personal CRM to a marketing CRM? Do you even need to ditch one in favor of the other? The straight answer is you don’t need to move from a personal CRM to a marketing CRM — your leads should. 

Your personal connections are part of you. The truth is that you’ll always have friends, family, and business associates in your circles. As days go by, friends and business associates will change (or change their information), and keeping your address book up to speed isn’t something you ought to stop. 

On the other hand, successful lead generation isn’t unidirectional. It taps into all channels at your disposal, and a personal CRM is one such channel. 

A personal CRM should be a brooding zone. You should use it to nurture your friends and family and warm them up to what you do on the professional side. Once they’re ready to become leads, you can take your relationship a notch higher and move the contact to your marketing CRM.

Build Thriving Relationships with Both a Personal and Marketing CRM 

Use a marketing CRM in conjunction with a personal CRM to help you get the best of both worlds. You can use your personal CRM as your digital assistant, helping you become more organized and nurture valuable relationships in life. Then, utilize a marketing CRM when you’re ready to expand your business and turn those relationships into qualified opportunities to move through your marketing funnel.