Next best action marketing: How to leverage consumer data to offer relevant products and services


Brands are quickly learning that next best action marketing is one of the most effective ways to leverage consumer data. Next best action marketing is the evaluation of a consumer’s past behavior, recent actions, interests, and needs to identify the most effective action in terms of marketing efforts. Gallup analysts found that companies which apply the principles of behavioral economics and leverage data outperform their peers by 85 percent in sales growth and 25 percent in gross profit margins.

In order to improve sales, brands must first understand what consumer data is necessary and how to solicit that information without infringing on their rights or being a hassle.

How Brands Can Benefit from Next Best Action Marketing

The next best action marketing strategy is integral to customer relationship management. Using data, a company learns more about each individual customer to identify what should be done next to encourage a sale and retain future business. Next best action marketing recognizes that each consumer follows a unique path-to-purchase that may fall outside demographic or market segment expectations.

Aside from the obvious benefit of sales growth, next best action marketing gives brands the opportunity to build affinity with customers. If a brand can provide a customer with suggestions on products to purchase based on their perceived needs, it’s likely that customer will return to that brand in the future. This type of relationship is very valuable for both brands and customers.

Next best action marketing enables brands to avoid pitfalls of the one-size-fits-all approach. For instance, a nondrinker checking into a hotel might be offended if the hotel concierge service aggressively pushes local wine tours on the itinerary. On the other hand, the hotel can win big if they’ve done their homework to look into the guest’s history of searches, bookings, and survey responses to devise a truly customized travel experience. Next best action marketing is a smart approach because it prevents brands from wasting budget on communications that are unlikely to make an impact on the consumer.

How to Obtain the Data You Need From Consumers

In today’s age of technology, consumers are more willing to provide companies with personal information if they feel they can gain something in return, and won’t be hassled by pop-ups or spam emails. Sources for consumer data extend far beyond in-house website analytics to social platforms, partnerships, and apps. To obtain insightful consumer data you should:

  • Ask questions. If you have a landing page, using opt-ins to check one or two boxes can help you get to know your prospective customers better. For instance, you might ask a consumer to select whether they have children at home or are expecting a baby, which might prompt you to send diaper coupons, house-cleaning services, or college savings plan information.
  • Make data collection fun. On a more formal business website, it’s customary to prompt consumers with phrases like “Fill out this form for access to our free download” or “Sign up for our newsletter here.” On social channels, you can get creative by offering games or contests in exchange for information.
  • Reward customers through third-party apps. Consumers are trained to understand the value exchange of personal information for a coupon, free item, or contest entry. A shopping app like Shopkick is a great place to start with rewarded data collection activities. Shopkick is a standalone app that engages consumers as they shop through digital scavenger hunts. Shopkick rewards consumers for seeking out branded items in store, scanning UPCs, and watching short promotional videos. For brands, rewards-based shopping is proven to build awareness, enhance in-store marketing, and lead individuals closer to a purchase. Data collected through the app can be used to further customize the shopping experience of individual participants to turn them into loyal brand ambassadors.

How Data Leads to Relevant Product and Service Offerings

Using the information provided in user profiles, Netflix—for example—offers its users viewing recommendations rather than pitching the same dashboard to everyone. Brands can use this same concept to offer products and services to their customers. By tracking which products are purchased and when they’re purchased, businesses get a better sense of what value means for a particular consumer. Promotional offers can then be tailored to bring customers in for replacement products after the lifespan of the product expires, notify them about newer models, or send a friendly reminder at the same time next year, which can translate to stronger brand affinity.

Next best action marketing powers many of the products and subscription services people use every day.

Next best action marketing powers many of the products and subscription services people use every day, from Netflix to Google. Now that marketers are tapping into their ability to enrich customer engagement, brands and retailers must leverage this data to remain competitive.

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