The Top 10 CRMs for Media & Entertainment Companies: Go Beyond Connecting the Dots

Elizabeth Lockwood

If there is one word that can be used to describe the entire media and entertainment industry in the past couple of decades, it would have to be “unpredictable”. As digital connectivity began to erode market share for paper newspapers and magazines, new media companies arose that focused exclusively on digital content. At the same time, other companies were learning to adapt their offerings for an increasingly online world. 

Then came the COVID-19 pandemic and all bets were off. Consumers, forced to stay at home and social distance, turned increasingly to media and entertainment companies of all stripes, from streaming services like Netflix and Hulu to newspapers like The Washington Post and The New York Times, magazines like Vox and National Geographic, to monolithic companies like Disney

Today, it’s a brave new world. Consumers are eager for new content, both digital and analog, and are happy to pay for it. However, they are also increasingly conscious of the ongoing fragmentation of the media and entertainment industry. It seems like every company wants its share of the pie, and what once took one or two subscriptions now requires 10 or 12 to ensure access to great entertainment and other content. 

For entertainment and media companies, it has now become more critical than ever to stand out for all the right reasons. It’s all about winning new customers and then keeping them over the long term. While that can be immensely challenging, the right tools will help – a customer relationship platform (CRM) provides the means to collect data about the interactions between a company and its customers via multiple channels, such as social media, customer support, reviews, the company’s official website, and more, and centralize it for further use.

With the right CRM, media and entertainment companies can learn what customers think of their content or programming, how it stacks up against competitors, whether customer service is solving audience problems. The information surfaced through a CRM allows entertainment/media companies to tweak services, pricing, content/programming, and address concerns to deliver a better overall customer experience and maximize retention.

One challenge is finding the right CRM. Dozens of options exist today and finding the right one can be time-consuming and challenging. We’ve assembled a list of the top 10 CRMs for media and entertainment companies that offer the ability to do more than just collect information. 

In addition, our live receptionist services integrate fully with most of the CRMs we’ve highlighted below, ensuring that you’re able to provide an even better customer experience with 24/7 live answering, live chat integration, and even Facebook Messenger services that allow you to capture every lead and never miss another message.

Sugar logo

1. SugarCRM

The first CRM on our list is Sugar, which promises to “empower your marketing, sales, and service teams to collaborate across the entire lifecycle for more meaningful, memorable experiences.” The platform does this by offering a broad range of solutions, including Sugar Market, Sugar Sell, and Sugar Serve. Each module ties into the wider CRM and delivers critical capabilities. 

For instance, Sugar Serve offers intuitive reporting and dashboards to empower customer service agents to meet your customers’ needs better and arm them with vital information. Sugar Sell offers no-touch data management, tracks and monitors customer activities, and helps you map the entire customer journey. Sugar Market helps you build successful campaigns, drive traffic where you want it, and capture and vet leads.

Some of the key factors to consider with SugarCRM include:

  • Free option? No, but there is a 7-day free trial.
  • Price: $52 per user per month for Sugar Professional
  • No-touch data management
  • Time-aware technology ensures speed and accuracy
  • Helps you create customers for life
  • Automate workflows
  • Lead capture and qualification
  • Track and map the customer journey
NetSuite logo

2. NetSuite

Oracle’s NetSuite is a powerful CRM that works well for both SMBs and enterprise-level organizations. It promises to allow you to “launch, run, and grow your organization” and provides advanced tools that allow you to focus on four primary areas, including best practices in the media industry, continuous lifecycle engagement, intelligent phased implementation, and business intelligence (BI). 

Within this tool, you will find several key components. These include customer service management, marketing automation, mobile, partner relationship management, and sales force automation. However, the platform also goes beyond those basic functions, offering sales forecasting, integrating eCommerce capabilities, providing order management solutions, and even delivering custom quotes to customers.

Key benefits to consider with Oracle’s NetSuite offering include:

  • Free option? No
  • Price: custom
  • Gain a 360-degree view of customers
  • Improve sales performance
  • Accurate sales forecasting
  • Commission management
  • Improve customer engagement across the entire lifecycle
  • Automate workflows
  • Powerful web to lead forms
Agile CRM logo

3. Agile CRM

Designed to level the playing field and help startups and SMBs sell and market like enterprise-level organizations, Agile CRM is a powerful tool that can drive success and improve customer retention across the board. It also provides plenty of useful features to help create a positive customer journey and to keep your brand front and center in your audience’s minds.

Agile CRM offers email tracking, custom deal milestones, lead scoring, custom form creation, website landing page creation tools, social media monitoring options, and workflow automation to name just a few of the features here. Other things to consider when it comes to Agile CRM include:

  • Free option? Yes
  • Price: $8.99
  • Email template builder
  • Mobile marketing capabilities
  • Social monitoring
  • Deep contact-level analytics
  • Email tracking
  • Deal conversion and tracking tools
  • 2-way email integration
Zoho logo

4. Zoho CRM

Chances are good that if you’ve spent more than a few minutes researching CRMs, you’ve encountered Zoho. It’s one of the best-known platforms and offers multichannel solutions suited to SMBs, but also for larger organizations. Plus, it’s cloud-based, which means you don’t need to worry about self-hosting your CRM.

There’s a lot to love with Zoho, although that might make it a bit more than some smaller companies really need. It aggregates customer information from email, social media, live chat, customer service logs, and many other channels. It also provides a central dashboard, deep customer service tools, sales process automation, and unique portal creation capabilities. Finally, the Zoho Marketplace hosts hundreds of extensions that allow you to build out the CRM as you see fit.

Features of note with Zoho CRM include the following:

  • Free option? Yes
  • Price: $12 per user per month
  • Sales force automation
  • Deal conversion and tracking
  • Sales forecasting
  • Hundreds of additional extensions to build unique functionality
  • Workflow automation
  • Lead conversion prediction
  • Custom reporting
  • Social media integration
HubSpot logo

5. HubSpot

HubSpot is one of the best-known CRMs out there, and for good reason: it delivers critical capabilities across a wide range of price points and configurations. This CRM is cloud-based, which ensures it’s always up to date with the latest features and functionalities, as well.

There’s a lot to love with HubSpot. For instance, it offers an accurate view of your entire sales funnel from a central dashboard. It also logs all customer interactions across multiple channels, including social media, email, and even phone calls. It syncs with both Outlook and Gmail and provides a timeline view that helps you track leads. Finally, you’ll discover numerous “hubs” that allow you to add more functionality, such as email marketing, SEO measurement, optimized landing page creation, and more.

Factors to consider with HubSpot include the following:

  • Free option? Yes
  • Price: $45 per month
  • Ad management capabilities
  • List segmentation 
  • Email marketing and email health insights
  • Marketing automation tools
  • Conversion rate optimization capabilities
  • Custom reporting
Pipedrive logo

6. Pipedrive

While it might not be custom-designed for the media and entertainment industry, there’s a lot to recommend Pipedrive as your CRM of choice. It’s a sales-focused system and it primarily focuses on your pipelines, to help ensure that you’re able to stay on top of complex sales (and today’s media/entertainment industry is nothing if not complex). 

Other features that make Pipedrive a stand-out option include the ability to surface personalized sales analyses, drag and drop statistics tools, email integration, customizable email templates, in-depth communication tracking, activity reminders, and so much more. The API is also open, which means that organizations that want to can create custom features and integrate them directly rather than relying on third parties.

Features of note with Pipedrive include:

  • Free option? No, but there is a free trial.
  • Price: $12.50 per user per month
  • Lead generation tools
  • Deal management
  • Customizable pipelines
  • Email integration and communication tracking
  • Two-way email sync
  • Customizable forms and templates
  • Integration with Drive and OneDrive
  • Workflow automation
  • Mobile app
Streak logo

7. Streak for Gmail

Looking for something lean and dead-simple to learn? Consider Streak CRM for Gmail. The value of this CRM is right there in the name. Streak integrates directly with what is arguably the most widely used software in the world: Gmail

All you need to do to start using Streak is add the extension to Chrome. It’s that simple (it’s also free). However, Streak doesn’t lack when it comes to features and capabilities. In fact, it delivers comparable options to some of the better-known CRMs out there, including helping manage customer service, project management capabilities, tracking leads and managing deals, managing relationships not just with customers but also with business partners, and more. 

Features you’ll want to know about with Streak include:

  • Free option? Yes
  • Price: $15 per user per month
  • Private pipelines
  • Shared pipelines (higher tiers only)
  • Mail merge
  • G Suite integration
  • Mobile access
  • Auto categorization of email 
  • Automatic tasks and reminders
  • Enriched contacts
  • Deep reporting
Salesforce logo

8. Salesforce

If there is one CRM that’s as well-known as HubSpot, it’s Salesforce. This is the single-largest CRM platform in the world. It’s also among the most expensive, but you get plenty of bang for your buck. 

Salesforce offers virtually every tool a business could ever need, which is one reason so many media and entertainment companies use this platform. Cloud-based and accessible, it also provides a wide range of systems and add-ons that help you customize your experience. From lead and deal management to sales forecasting, deep analytics to contact management, automated reminders and notifications to automated workflows, Salesforce delivers powerful performance and deep insights that allow you to manage and grow customer relationships.

Key features of Salesforce include the following:

  • Free option? No, but there is a 30-day free trial.
  • Price: Custom
  • Customer 360 offers a full view of your customers
  • Cloud-based and agile
  • Unites sales, service, marketing, and analytics in a single interface
  • Track and manage leads and deals
  • Get to know your customers’ history, experiences, challenges, and even interests
Insightly

9. Insightly

Looking for an affordable CRM that doesn’t skimp when it comes to capabilities? Insightly might be just the thing. It promises to help you align project, marketing, and sales teams around a centralized view of your customers. That helps ensure a positive customer experience at every touchpoint.

You can send up to 2,500 emails per day, set activities, create custom pipelines, sync with Google and other software, and so much more. Insightly also allows you to centralize customer data, convert deals into projects, and more. 

Important features to consider when it comes to Insightly include:

  • Free option? Yes
  • Price: $29 per user per month
  • Find and manage leads
  • Build relationships by managing every touchpoint
  • Surface deep insights into customer behavior and preferences
  • Automate processes and workflows
  • Collaborate across the company
  • Built-in business intelligence dashboards
  • Real-time “insight cards” 
Daylite logo

10. Daylite

Lightweight yet powerful, Daylite offers plenty of benefits and might just be the best CRM you’ve never heard of before. Designed primarily for Mac/Apple users, this CRM nevertheless delivers important features, capabilities, and integrations. Plus there’s a free trial that lets you put it through its paces before you decide whether to keep it.

In addition to full Apple ecosystem integration, Daylite also offers other important features. Those include full contact management, including capture, search, and contact detail storage. Email integration, calendaring, and email marketing are also high on the list. This CRM also delivers project management features, as well as an offline mode so you can work anywhere, anytime.

Features to consider with Daylite:

  • Free option? No, but there is a 30-day free trial.
  • Price: $24 per user per month
  • In-depth reporting across projects, tasks, sales, and more
  • Interaction tracking across all channels
  • Full Apple/Mac integration
  • Referral tracking and lead scoring
  • Quotes and estimates
  • Full contact management capabilities
  • Email marketing and list management

Accelerate your growth with Smith.ai

Regardless of your niche within the media and entertainment industry, there is a CRM that will tick all the boxes. From lead and deal tracking to in-depth customer journey management and team empowerment, you have no shortage of options. However, it can still be challenging to accelerate business growth. Go beyond the capabilities offered by a CRM with Smith.ai’s powerful capabilities.

If you’re ready to kick up growth and really engage your leads and customers, let’s talk about Live Receptionist's features and integrations. Or, if you’ve already made up your mind, schedule a free Live Chat consultation. Of course, you can also get in touch with us by email at hello@smith.ai, or you can call us directly at (650) 727-6484.

Elizabeth Lockwood

Elizabeth Lockwood is the content marketing associate at Smith.ai. She focuses specifically on writing and editing engaging articles, blog posts, and other forms of publication.

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