To Navigate the “Great Marketing Adaptation,” Embrace your Next Best Action

Originally published on Digiday

With inflation, deceleration and an economic recession already impacting the tech industry, the start of Q3 is making leaders scramble and tighten their budgets. For marketing teams already under pressure in a world of variables outside their control, it may be difficult to remember they’re hardwired to do more with less. However, adaptability is part of the marketer’s DNA. 

Not long ago, marketing teams had to pivot to survive a global pandemic. The industry endured by eliminating old processes and tactics that didn’t support long-term growth and adopting adaptable real-time strategies they could control. In the process, marketing teams saw that they had more ability to weather the storm than they realized.

As the industry works to deliver high-impact results effectively, navigating the next significant phase of adaptation will take the relentless pursuit of efficiency. 

Focus on the right buyers

Now is the time to remain focused on generating the highest-quality opportunities for revenue teams, as vanity drops of high-volume, low-quality leads won’t drive the outcomes advertisers expect. Marketers can’t afford to sit on capturing demand, and if buyers are in-market and the marketing team isn’t acting on them, they’ll go to a competitor.

As marketers rethink their audiences, either by adjusting their ideal customer profile or rebooting their target account list, they’ll need to move away from stakeholders who’ve slashed their budget and yet remain vigilant on delivering higher-value actions to further established companies —  i.e., Series B, Series C, etc.

Marketers must also embrace critical metrics, such as the targeting trifecta of fit, intent and engagement, meticulously tracking customized campaigns and conversations with prospects based on interactions, web searches and competitor considerations. 

Identify strategies that are adaptable now

Discarding strategies that don’t deliver focused ROI helps marketing teams fully embrace ones that do, prioritizing budget toward the platforms that produce (such as account-based marketing). 

ABM is an outbound strategy that complements inbound and traditional lead-based models. ABM helps marketing teams amplify the effectiveness of their one-to-many channels, such as email, display, content syndication and more, simply by targeting the correct accounts — versus everyone in their total addressable market. Marketers can also consider layering an ABM approach on top of their inbound one to accelerate it.

ABM is widely recognized as a reliable approach for marketing teams looking to drive business results. About one-third of marketers who had never used this tactic told HubSpot they’re planning to invest in it for the first time in 2022.

Lean into data for better visualization of the next steps

Marketing is already embracing a transition toward measuring accounts as they move through custom-defined buying stages. Long gone are the days of one-and-done buyers. Establishing data for each account is essential from start to finish, which is where ABM is especially effective.

Visualizing all accounts progressing from the unaware phase to post-sale steps gives marketers the power to make trend-based decisions and take the next best action that directly impacts the ultimate KPI — revenue. If an account remains stagnant in one stage for too long, it could be a sign that the marketing team needs to pull out their last stop for the account or deprioritize it. 

As marketers continue preparing for the next shift within the industry, they must focus on the right buyers while identifying what strategies they can work on adapting now. Leaning into data that allows marketing teams to have a better view of the following steps they can and should take will help them have a clear direction for the future.

Marketing can’t control the market, but teams can optimize to endure and thrive during volatile times. By focusing on taking the next best action, the industry will prime itself to emerge even stronger on the other side. 

About the Author

Jodi Cerretani, Sr. Director of Demand Gen

Director of Demand Gen

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