Using CRM to improve content and boost readership

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Q: Our firm's online financial advisor forum is in a readership slump. What can we do, beyond polling users, to improve program content and boost readership?

A: Like most web users, your partners expect you to know their collective surfing habits well enough to gauge content. By tracking their surfing behavior with either simple analytics or a CMS or CRM system in conjunction with your site's analytics package, you'll gain their trust — and clicks — while also creating the feel of customized content.

Data-driven profiles can also fortify integrated marketing efforts. Done in conjunction with your CRM, such profiling will reveal what moves an individual down the sales conversion funnel. This is great strategy-building fodder for your marketing and sales teams.

Take small steps toward integrating these segmentation activities into your basic web infrastructure­, particularly your CMS and web analytics package. In time, you can forge a connection with your CRM system, closing the loop between user behavior, sales intelligence and content distribution channels.

Heather McKim is SVP for strategy and interactive at HNW

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