Data is a vital part of every business and is particularly critical in event and media companies. Managing your data and using it efficiently will help you to connect with your audience and maintain relationships.
However with websites, social media and other data collection tools, companies can easily lose control of their data – with small pockets of data being held in multiple locations.
The first park of any data management system design is deciding where the central data store is – e.g, the website, CRM or database system. Once this is decided, work needs to be done to integrate all your data entry sources with the central data store.
In this article we are looking at how your website data can be sent to the central data store.
At Miramedia, we use the leading WordPress form builder called Gravity Forms on our Mira.cx platform.
It is fantastically powerful, very flexible and you can easily create very sophisticated forms. Whilst it is possible to download entries as CSV or Excel files, and then uploaded them into a CRM, the best way is a full integration with your CRM. That way as soon as data is entered into the website it is sent across to the CRM. This ensures that your data is kept in one central point and removes duplication and version control issues.
There are 3 ways to integrate your CRM with your website:
- Most CRM systems allow you to create webpages with just the forms. You can embed these forms into the site using an iFrame. This is an easy and quick solution as the data is written to the CRM at the point the user enters. There is no delay in the data arriving in the CRM and you can add data integrity checking at source (e.g. mandatory field checking).
The downside to this method is that iFrames do not work that well on mobiles and they are not very good for SEO. In addition, user tracking on the form is lost and therefore, inbound marketing tracking is almost certainly lost.
- As above but add branding to the form and link to it directly from the website
This has the same advantages as above but works better on a mobile phone. You do lose the visitor once they visit the form however.
- We can add an additional Add-On to Gravity Forms to handle the migration of the data and synch with the CRM. You can then edit the data mapping for each form linking the CRM to the form on the website.
This means that data entered into a form on the website is automatically sent to your CRM.
The advantage of this is a form sitting and behaving like any other form on your site but with the data being held where you want it and not sitting separately on the website.