Since 73% of companies understand the business value of data and aspire to be data-driven, but just 29% confirm that they are actually turning data into action – it’s not a leap to suspect that organizations are at risk of collecting data without deploying them in ways that support deeper customer engagement.

This concept – linking insights to action – is an example of a mission-critical imperative that transcends client roles. Consider:

In Combine Systems Of Insights and Engagement For Contextual Marketing, Rusty Warner sets the stage for marketers that while systems of insight embed intelligence into contextual marketing, it’s systems of engagement that orchestrate customer experiences. In Digital Insights Are The New Currency Of Business, Brian Hopkins and Ted Schadler instruct CIOs to prioritize insights-driven actions as highly as data itself - and urge them to build systems of insight to turn data into action.

Mike Gualtieri and Rowan Curran explore the concept with even greater urgency in Perishable Insights — Stop Wasting Money On Unactionable Analytics – in which they call on application development and delivery professionals to understand that some activities require response times measured in seconds to impact engagement.

My colleagues have captured complex ideas in the reports I reference above, but if I had to summarize the overarching theme, it’s that insights don’t always translate to valuable action, decreasing their value to organizations that have invested in them.

In Balance Predictive Marketing Analytics With Engagement Mastery, I explore the same concept for B2B marketers, urging them to avoid adopting predictive marketing analytics only to see it rendered useless by poor engagement and action. Immature engagement capabilities will lead to B2B marketers uncovering data and insight that has no effect on pipeline or revenue because of inability to apply it to meaningful nurturing and cultivation of leads.

I call for marketers to marketers to assess their engagement readiness with rigor against a specific set of criteria – and to balance predictive marketing analytics with engagement strategies that tip the scale in their favors.

(About the author: Allison Snow is a senior analyst, B2B marketing, at Forrester Research. This post originally appeared on her Forrester blog, which can be viewed here)

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