Where should you store your website data?

The noise around GDPR has done a good job of getting people to have a sensible conversation about data management. Lots of our clients face the same dilemma; if you are offering integrated digital services to customers where should the data reside?

This article explores 5 arguments put forward to website managers.

Argument 1: Store everything in your CMS

5 years ago lots of agencies were making this suggestion. More data in CMS = more opportunities to personalise and optimise customer experiences. A bit of a no-brainer.

website data
It’s been an interesting few years in the CMS world. There’s been movement to consumption-based pricing to compete with disruptive new SaaS products. From a technical perspective we’ve seen a move towards MVC and an increased focus on API integration.

Since then there has been a growing awareness of the fact that most end-customer or client engagement has touchpoints outside of the digital realm. Legal firms, for example, might offer whitepapers, webinars and even online services (E.G. will writing, online divorce, etc.) but they also have events and outbound contact centres who engage with the same potential customers to talk about the same things. The elusive 360’ view of the customer has moved from what they do on Google, your website and apps to what they do more generally. These offline insights can’t by their definition be captured in your CMS.

Verdict: Trying to store everything in your CMS is a bit of a non-starter for most companies. It limits customer experience improvements to just digital touchpoints.

Argument 2: Store everything in your CRM

Certainly, CRM agencies and consultants are peddling this message. On the surface, it seems logical to have a single point of user data but housing millions of digital interactions can be very difficult to do and extremely costly.

Our webinar on Single Point of User Data (SPUD) tackles the challenge of infobesity.

This webinar on CRM and CMS combinations looks at which systems link well.

Take the example of a website visitor in Kentico who is assigned to a specific persona, contact group and is part of a marketing campaign. If using an off the shelf CRM like Microsoft Dynamics a hefty amount of customisation is likely to be required to store this information effectively. There’s also a question of whether it is actually worth it. Lots of the time digital marketers use personalisation technology to nurture website visitors before they are sales-ready (and moved to CRM).

Verdict: This may be an expensive option but it’s not necessarily right in every situation.

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