How to Determine the Next Best Action to Inform Your Marketing Plan

Did you know marketers with a proactive marketing plan are as much as three times more likely to report success than those without? This is because an informed marketing strategy gives your team a clear and thorough action plan. In turn, this sets everyone up for success by laying out marketing objectives, the best tactics for achieving those objectives, everyone’s responsibility in reaching those goals, foreseen results versus actual results, and more. Now you can not only gauge how well you are doing currently, but you can make more informed decisions on future marketing plans based on the results of this one. 

But then the question is: how do you determine the next best action for your marketing plan as you move forward? First and foremost, you’ll need to leverage advanced technology to better understand your customers and where they are in their buying journey so you can determine the next best course of action to move them down the funnel faster. Here are our top tips for finding the right technology for you and your marketing goals. 

Disconnected Systems and Data Are Marketing’s and Sales’ Worst Enemies

Many of your revenue applications across sales, marketing and customer experience are disconnected. You may have tried to connect them using the app’s native integrations but have run into some challenges. Most notably, there are critical business systems your app won’t integrate with, at least not without months of coding that still may not result in seamless integration. The other issue is that with native integrations, you are likely limited in what you can do with the data—which data you can move, where you can move it, and how it can be formatted.

These challenges leave many organizations making do with what they have, which isn’t much when it comes to gleaning as many customer data insights as possible to determine what sales and marketing actions to take next. The result? Marketing and sales teams are as disconnected as their systems and data. Teams are working in silos without much collaboration, which means duplicative efforts and inefficiencies.

Any team that drives revenue needs to be on the same page, and that means integrating systems the way your organization operates. You shouldn’t be limited to native integrations or have to rely on custom coding that isn’t scalable or sustainable. Many organizations are recognizing the value of automating integrations via an app-agnostic solution that can integrate any two or more apps and give you complete control over the data.

How to Determine Next Best Action to Inform Your Marketing Plan

With the right integration solution, sales and marketing have the data they need to be effective. But now what? You’ve gathered the data and have what you think you need, but now you’re wondering what to do with all this data. How do you effectively determine the next best action and successfully move your buyer down the funnel? How do you decide what your customer wants and needs at any moment?

You need to automate the data integration and transformation to do this effectively. You need to be able to move not just your department’s data but all the data from individual department silos to a single, streamlined location. This data must be clean and complete. Only once you’ve really gathered all your data–from all different sources–can your sales, marketing, and customer success teams accurately determine what to do next. That one needs a phone call. This one needs an email with educational material sent their way, etc.

Regardless of the next step—as it will differ from business to business and from lead to lead—a platform specializing in the integration of information from multiple platforms, translating all of that unified data into one common language and transforming that data to move in real-time to all of your revenue apps, is essential to determine an accurate, meaningful, and effective next best action.

Related: Sales & Marketing Alignment Playbook

Tips for Determining Next Best Action

Having siloed software for different departments, collecting different kinds of data but never connecting it all, isn’t enough to ensure success. You need all your data clean and integrated to inform you of what is going well, as well as what isn’t going so well. These insights will enable you to direct your attention to the highest-potential marketing efforts and save time otherwise spent on activities that don’t impact your revenue. 

Some essential features to consider that will help identify what is and is not working to determine what to do next include the following. 

Data Diagnostics 

You need Data Diagnostics because insufficient data can be the ‘end all’ for brands trying to reach and market to their customers effectively. Forbes reports poor data quality costs businesses on average $15 million a year in losses, with Gartner research adding that more than half (60%) of respondents in their survey weren’t even aware of these costs because they didn’t measure it. 

High-quality data must support the foundation of an informed and successful marketing plan. Without accurate insights, you risk wasted effort spent on the wrong audience, ineffective timing, inaccurately wording your messages, or otherwise missing the mark. After all, “Quality data does not guarantee quality information, but quality information is impossible without quality data” (Peter Benson, Project Leader of ISO 8000, at the Data Quality Pro Webinar). 

How does Data Diagnostics guide you on how to determine the next best action?

The right data integration platform will help you determine where you’re missing lead source data and how to fix it. Whether the data is incomplete, inaccurate, inconsistent, duplicated, or missing, identifying and addressing it is crucial before you can use it. This way, you can confidently trust the information on which you’re basing all of your marketing plan actions.

Related: What is the Customer Journey in Marketing?

Informed Analytics

Now that you can rest assured that your data is clean and complete, you must also be able to see the entire funnel of every buyer’s first touchpoint with your brand to their most recent. The right platform will pull data from any other platform and automate your data connection so you can manipulate the data to give you the insights you and other revenue teams require. 

While executing your marketing plan, you must be able to identify any potential problems and take action immediately to correct them. After all, you need to know how you’re performing right away to determine your current efforts and what should be done next – whether that means adjusting your messaging or continuing to do what you already are doing.

How should your analytics guide you on how to determine the next best action?

Your analytics should provide visual insights into:

  • A full-funnel outlook of your lead sources at each buyer journey stage.
  • Real-time results of your marketing initiatives and how they’re impacting your revenue.
  • How your marketing and sales teams align, and where improvements need to be made to strengthen that alignment.

Automated Data That Leads to Informed Marketing Insights

The right platform will transform your data into actionable insights you can use to understand the customer journey. You’ll be able to identify what areas are underperforming or outperforming expectations and respond appropriately. Insights derived from complete information will give you the unique opportunity to better understand your customers as they navigate their first touchpoint with your brand, to making a purchase, to, in best-case scenarios, becoming loyal advocates. 

According to GBSN Research, more than 300 emotional motivators have been identified throughout the buyer journey that brands must appeal to reach and resonate with the right consumers effectively. Marketing Insights give you the knowledge and understanding you need to respond immediately to actions that are either working or not working in your marketing plan. 

How do Marketing Insights guide you on how to determine the next best action?

Some of the essential uses for marketing insights from automated data include:

  • Discovering new revenue sources in your buyer journey
  • Tracking your current performance against the market potential 
  • Ensuring your brand messages are tailored to the right customers, at the right time, with the correct wording/language
  • Identifying and evaluating previous buyer behaviors and patterns to predict actions that will be taken in the future (and how you can get ahead of the competition to appeal to those future actions)
  • Assessing your performance and reach as it compares to the competition’s for further insight into changes that you should make to improve 

Actionable Recommendations

A platform that provides you access to high-quality data is essential to your marketing success. Your revenue platforms have all of this data, but unless they are connected and speaking the same language, it’s hard, if not impossible, to really leverage them to drive marketing and sales strategies. 

Crafting actionable recommendations from complete, thorough data—meaning clear actions that you can take right now—can accelerate your response to results quicker and easier. This is significant because your customers are moving through the buyer journey in real-time, so responding to results efficiently and effectively is key to guiding each buyer through their journey and into the purchasing stage. 

How do Actionable Recommendations guide you to determine the next best action?

Arguably the most obvious answer, actionable recommendations help determine your next step by defining next best action based on the data and results provided. Although you may come to your own conclusions in many cases to inform your next action, there are several occasions where a piece of data that you may have otherwise missed could make all the difference in guiding you in the right direction. 

Start with Fully Integrated, Complete Data

Before you can accurately decide the next best action, you must have the full picture. You need to ensure that all the data pulled from your sales, marketing, and revenue platforms are:

  • Correct
  • Usable
  • Consistent
  • Complete

Although it would be great if all the data you gathered were automatically perfect, it’s likely not ideal. It will be tainted by incorrect or incomplete data that needs to be identified, modified, and removed. 

With Vertify, you can connect and integrate your data to fine-tune your marketing efforts. With deeper insights, you can prioritize opportunities, identify the most effective actions for moving your buyers through the funnel quicker, find areas that need adjustments to fit your budget and discover new ways to add value to your outreach. 

Contact Vertify and request a demo to see how our platform can change the game for your data and make it easy to determine your next best action.

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Author: Wayne Lopez | CPO | Vertify



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