Driving Forward > Digital Marketing Blog

Why Do Marketers Always Need to Be Asking “And Then What?”


Overdrive Interactive CEO Harry J. Gold explores the power of one simple question – “And Then What?”

Learn how this one question – ‘And Then What’- drives digital marketers to think beyond the form completion and follow the customer journey from impression to sale. Today’s great marketers are digital marketing engineers who use these three magic words to integrate everything they do.


Video Transcript 

“‘And Then what?’ is kind of my catchphrase. You know, I’m always thinking about what’s a tactic or a strategy that I can arm Overdrive employees with that if they put this into practice every day, it’s really going to help them in their professional lives. It’s a repeatable, usable strategy that is easy to remember. So, let’s talk about the power of ‘And Then What.’ And I even have some slides on this, but basically, you know, the key to thinking about digital marketing and becoming a digital marketing engineer is to think about everything in digital in chronological order because that’s how the customer thinks or customer experience works. They don’t just see a big glob of ads and pages and apps. They’re experiencing things in a sequence. So as a digital marketer, you always want to be asking, and then what, right? 

To become a marketing engineer, you have to be thinking, ‘And Then What? I’ll give you an example. I have clients all over the place, and sometimes I’d say to a client, ‘Hey, we’re generating all these leads. What are you doing with the leads? Where do they go? What nurture campaigns are they triggering? And the contact might say, ‘I don’t really know. That’s not my area.’ Well, guess what? That’s a marketer who’s not asking. ‘And Then What?’ They’re not looking at what happens with their leads. They’re not thinking about how they’re converting those leads into MQLs or sales opportunities. Let me share a couple of slides here, and we’ll get into the power of ‘And Then What?’

So, first of all, I’ve sort of taken the concept of “And Then What? And I’ve turned it into part of my curriculum on mapping, crafting, and optimizing the customer journey. One of the things about standing up a customer journey is you want to do it all at once in one shot, right? You don’t want to fragment it into a bunch of different products. You want to look at the entire customer journey from start, from the persona to the dashboard. And the way you do that is by asking, ‘And Then What?’

So, if I were teaching a seminar or I was training our employees, I’d say, ‘I’m going to turn you all into marketing professionals right now, okay?’ And then they say, ‘well, how’s he going to turn me into a marketing professional right now?’  Well, I say ‘the key to becoming a marketing professional is to evolve into a marketing engineer. And if you want to be a marketing engineer, the key thing is to always ask this one question – ‘And Then What?” 

What is the next step in escalating a prospect through the sales process? I don’t care if you’re escalating them to go into a retail store, or you’re escalating them to go online and fill out a lead gen form, or whatever it is, you always have to ask. ‘And Then What?’

If you’re always asking, ‘And Then What?’, what you will create is what we call in Overdrive, a journey narrative. Let me show you ‘And Then What?’ in action. 

Here’s a journey narrative that any modern marketer should be able to do off the top of their head, right? So, let’s start with a user seeing an ad for one of our campaign offers on LinkedIn or Google and clicks. Okay, great. ‘And Then What? Well, then they land on a conversion-oriented landing page. Okay? Now, I know this is very parochial, but this is what you must do – we are plotting out each step in the customer today. They hit a conversion-oriented landing page. It’s got prominent forms and a call to action (CTA). And then what happens? Okay? This is where you put your marketing engineer’s hat on because, at that point, we land on a landing page; it’s a sacred and special moment where our website is meeting a consumer for the first time.

So, you got to think,

‘If I’m getting someone to my website for the first time, what is the marketing stack or the MarTech stack integrated here? What cookies do I need to set for retargeting, for tracking for all that good stuff?’

So, remember, the first time someone lands on your site, think, what cookies am I setting? What tracking cookies, what CRM cookies? The user lands on the site, MarTech stack is going to set all these cookies. Okay? ‘And Then What?’ Well, then the user completes the form. Yay. We got to a lead. And this is where people’s brains usually stop, but now we know this is just the beginning, right? 

The user completes the form, and the data is poured into Marketo if that’s your marketing automation platform and Salesforce. And the conversion is recorded in Google Campaign Manager (previously DoubleClick). Now, Google Campaign Manager, Google Ads (previously AdWords), and Google Analytics. The user completed the form. ‘And Then What?’ Well, now the user hits a high engagement thank you page, right? How many times have you filled out a form and you just get this white block of copy that says, ‘Thank you, we’ll get back to you shortly.’  That’s like saying thank you; you can go now; why don’t you go back to Google and now engage with our competitor? Instead, what you want to do is give a thank you page that says, ‘here’s the white paper, or we’ll get back to you shortly. By the way, here’s more stuff to do. Here are some videos to watch. Here’s some relevant navigation, and here are some materials you can download’. So just because they filled out the form, that does not mean you should send them away. Now you have a great engaging thank you page.

‘And Then What?’ Now you have their email address. So instead of waiting three weeks to send them an email, have an auto-reply immediately triggered saying, ‘Hey, thanks for filling out our form. If you want to talk, here’s my contact information.’ Whatever it is, trigger a timely email right there on the spot. Okay? And then, of course, let sales know that they got a lead. So, you can either send sales on alert or, of course, in Salesforce, they can get a little alert saying they have a new lead or whatever that they have to triage and look at and segment and all that good stuff. 

So now what happens? Sales got an alert, they reach out to the prospect, but they can’t reach the prospect. Now the MarTech stack comes in and triggers a nurture campaign. And you don’t just do a nurture campaign; it’s a nurture campaign with retargeting because I’ve set a cookie on their browser, and I’ve got their email addresses so I can do custom audiences and things like that. So, I’m nurturing the prospect with both email and display and sequence with the various content and offers that are part of my nurture campaign. And then eventually, the user clicks on a LinkedIn ad to get a ‘demo.’ 

The user lands on a demo landing page, fills out the form they’re and is presented with the thank you page. Sales escalate the opportunity and set up the demo, and then the deal gets closed, and the sale is entered and recognized in Salesforce. 

 So that was very long-winded, right? But that was ‘And Then What’ in action. That is a marketer, myself walking through every step I have to create. And I did that by asking, ‘And Then What?’, ‘And Then What?’, ‘And then what?’ And that’s all you have to do to map a customer journey. And once you do that, then you can do a customer journey wireframe. 

Here is Susan, our Supply Chain Leader, and we are advertising to her. The second, you know, we’re getting her to fill out a form, then we’re doing the nurture and email retargeting to escalate her to the point where she requests a demo. We have the meeting, we close the deal, and we put it in a dashboard. 

That is the power of ‘And Then What?’ If you are always asking, ‘And Then What?’, ‘And Then What?’, ‘And Then What?’ It will enable you to create journey narratives and craft customer journey wireframes that you can use to bring your whole team together so that you can stand up a customer journey in one shot. Okay, I’ll leave it there.”


To learn how to implement the “And Then What?” methodology to craft and optimize an end-to-end customer journey, watch the full recorded Crafting the Demand Gen Customer Journey webinar and get the slides.

Are you interested in leveraging our expertise? Visit our services page or schedule a call to discuss what we can do for you and your organization.


Dev Tool:

Request: blog/why-do-marketers-always-need-to-be-asking-and-then-what
Matched Rewrite Rule: blog/([^/]+)/?$
Matched Rewrite Query: post_type=post&name=why-do-marketers-always-need-to-be-asking-and-then-what
Loaded Template: single.php