Guest Column | January 6, 2022

Next-Level Personalization: Connecting CRM To CMS

By Optimist

WAN Network Office Person

For modern businesses, it's easier than ever to orchestrate next-level personalization and seamless customer journeys. The key is to connect your customer relationship management (CRM) software to your content management system (CMS).

In this article, we'll look into exactly how this works, what business owners need to know, and what kind of personalization you can achieve if you implement this integration.

A Quick Reminder

Before we go any further, let’s take a quick look at the details and differences between your CRM software and CMS platform.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Your CRM allows a business to track all customers—including potential leads—by tracking their interactions on your website. You can then use this data to create reports, segment your audience, discover trends, and help your sales team track their results.

Some key features of CRM software include:

  • Content management tools
  • Automated data capture
  • Deal tracking
  • Content repository
  • Reporting

Content Management System (CMS)

Your CMS is used to build and manage your website, giving you the ability to distribute content in all your customers’ channels.

Some key features of a CRM platform include:

  • Content management tools
  • Publishing tools
  • Themes and templates
  • Analytics
  • SEO tools
  • Blogging tools
  • Extensions

While many businesses have both CRM software and a CMS platform—these aren’t always integrated. You may have an excellent CMS platform, but if your CRM software isn’t working just as hard, you’ll lose out on potential business as a result.

CRM And CMS: The Ultimate Combination

The answer, then, is to connect your CRM and CMS into one powerful solution that can help integrate how you track your customer activity with how you manage your website. You need to make sure these tools can effectively work together to provide additional insights and drive sales to get this right. The answer to achieving this comes down to choosing the right systems.

Choose The Right CRM

Once you’ve chosen the best CRM software, you can use it to nurture customer relationships by improving your connection and personalization effectively. Some high-performance CRM software allows you to access functionality like live chat, email list segmentation, sales pipeline reporting, and more. Most CRM software can integrate with almost any CMS platform, but make sure to research cost and functionality before signing up.

Choose The Right CMS

Not all CMS platforms will be able to integrate your CRM software successfully. So, if you want to go down this proven route, it’s essential to choose the right CM from the start. If your CMS doesn’t integrate with your preferred CRM, don’t be afraid to change providers. This might seem overwhelming, but the advantages will soon outweigh any concerns around the time or cost it takes to get this step right. Generally, a headless CMS will be the preferred option.

Headless CMS

If you’re wondering what a headless CMS is, it’s a system that allows you to create all your content in a back-end database, which then feeds through an application programming interface (API) which then distributes your content to any platform you like—from mobile apps and your website to your CRM.  

Integrating Your CRM And CMS

Some brands like HubSpot offer both CRM and CMS tools that can be seamlessly integrated into a single platform. This can be a great solution if you’re looking for a powerful yet straightforward option that, thanks to its simplicity, leaves you more time to focus on things like optimizing the customer journey and nurturing your existing leads.

Using a CMS like WordPress is as easy as installing a CRM plugin that can seamlessly collect the data you need. Many other CMS platforms, including Shopify, Joomla, and Wix, all offer CRM software, modules, or extensions that can integrate with your existing CRM.

Deciding to integrate your CRM and CMS allows for increased insights into your customer’s habits, helping you create more personalized content, which ultimately enables you to drive sales and increase brand loyalty.

Personalizing The Customer Journey 

Creating a customer journey map is an essential tool for defining any interaction touchpoints. This helps you meet — or even start to anticipate — your customer’s needs at specific stages along their journey. Choosing a powerful CRM and CMS combination allows you to create things like segmentation surveys, conversion rate reports, and call-to-action templates. Creating a truly personalized website like this helps you tailor the customer experience. When businesses personalize their data in this way, 63% say that their conversion rates increase as a result.

Your CRM and CMS can work together to collect both behavioral data and information provided by customers in the form of location settings, quizzes, or survey results. Use your CMS to create a survey and then feed the results into your CRM to segment your audience and provide tailored content. Personalization like this relies on the customer journey map we’ve already mentioned to help you create different, highly personalized journeys for specific buyer personas.

Bear in mind, though — that superficial personalization can do more harm than good. Personalization fails like addressing an email to the wrong customer’s name or sending a targeted offer that someone turns out to be ineligible for can leave customers feeling frustrated rather than inspired.

Market Targeting Strategies

While some huge retailers (like IKEA) tend to use undifferentiated or mass marketing strategies with considerable success, most retail businesses find that differentiated or concentrated market targeting strategies are more effective.

Using a powerful CRM software linked to your CMS platform is the best way first to identify your separate target audiences. Once you’ve completed that step, you can create individual targeting strategies for each market. Marketing strategies like micro marketing take personalization even further, allowing you to develop strategies tailored not just to a single segment of your audience but a single user.

The Ultimate Power Couple

It’s time to stop thinking about your CMS platform and CRM tools as separate entities. It can feel overwhelming when choosing the software and platforms you’ll use to grow your business but taking the time to get this step right can make a big difference.

Integrating how you create an experience for your customers through your CMS and how you subsequently track their experience with your CRM makes excellent business sense. Leverage the data you’ve collected to create tailored content, understand your audience better, and transform your retail business as a result.