Do You Know Your Digital Marketing Maturity?

We’ve all heard it every­where: mar­keters are over­whelmed by piles of data. Mas­tery of this data is a major mile­stone on the way to attain­ing dig­i­tal matu­ri­ty in mar­ket­ing. Our recent Quar­ter­ly Dig­i­tal Intel­li­gence Brief­ing, in asso­ci­a­tion with Econ­sul­tan­cy, reports on our glob­al sur­vey ask­ing mar­keters for their sta­tus on dig­i­tal data mar­ket­ing matu­ri­ty. Their respons­es and our analy­sis will help mar­keters eval­u­ate how far their com­pa­nies have come in this journey.

Over­all Dig­i­tal Data Mar­ket­ing Matu­ri­ty: the Foundation

Many orga­ni­za­tions are con­fus­ing the con­cepts of tech­ni­cal capac­i­ty and dig­i­tal matu­ri­ty. Matu­ri­ty is much more about the com­pa­ny struc­tures in deci­sion-mak­ing. How are deci­sions made and who is involved? Struc­tures and process­es must be estab­lished recog­nis­ing that social media, web 2.0 and the result­ing glob­al acces­si­bil­i­ty to prod­ucts and ser­vices have cre­at­ed a strong cus­tomer-cen­tric mar­ket­place. Team mem­bers with direct insight into the cus­tomer base must be involved in the deci­sions with strong con­sid­er­a­tion giv­en to their input. Some com­pa­nies still work by an over­all feel­ing about suc­cess­es in the pre­vi­ous year and then build­ing on them with­out much input from avail­able data. Dig­i­tal data mar­ket­ing must instead be seen as a strate­gic ini­tia­tive in the com­pa­ny. Despite this impor­tance, about a quar­ter of the respon­dents have no for­mal approach to dig­i­tal data mar­ket­ing, and anoth­er half are work­ing toward one, but do not have it complete.

It is impor­tant that deci­sion-mak­ers under­stand that matu­ri­ty is not only about hav­ing data, it is about under­stand­ing what you want to do with it. A data point tells you noth­ing if you aren’t clear about what you are look­ing for. How will you define suc­cess for a mar­ket­ing ini­tia­tive? Which of the many avail­able met­rics will you use? Estab­lish­ing how you will think about the data is just as impor­tant as the data itself. Once this mind­set is estab­lished in the com­pa­ny, mar­keters will be more effec­tive at col­lect­ing, analysing, and using data to dri­ve the business.

In this report we expand on this con­cept of dig­i­tal data mar­ket­ing matu­ri­ty and iden­ti­fy four pil­lars of activ­i­ty that can be built from this foundation.

Mea­sure the ROI of Mar­ket­ing Activities

When data is used from a base of matu­ri­ty, it is pos­si­ble to attribute mar­ket­ing activ­i­ties to key per­for­mance indi­ca­tors. The return on invest­ment (ROI) for any mar­ket­ing ini­tia­tive can be known in far more detail now than at any time in the past. Our sur­vey shows there is much room for improve­ment here, with 34 per­cent of com­pa­nies report­ing the use of only basic cri­te­ria and 18 per­cent not yet able to mea­sure mar­ket­ing ROI. Com­pa­nies may be falling prey to a vicious cir­cle here: they are reluc­tant to sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly col­lect data because they feel that they are not equipped to work with it yet, but they are not ready to work with data because they don’t have it yet. The impor­tance here is con­ti­nu­ity. One needs to have a sol­id data his­to­ry to work with, but it need not be com­plex as long as it pro­vides con­ti­nu­ity in view­ing the customer.

Build a Holis­tic View of the Customer

The top rea­son report­ed for using dig­i­tal data is to build a bet­ter cus­tomer expe­ri­ence. A sin­gle cus­tomer view (SCV), the abil­i­ty to con­nect a cus­tomer across all chan­nels, is a core com­pe­ten­cy in using data to devel­op action­able insights. Only a minor­i­ty of com­pa­nies have achieved this, with 13 per­cent report­ing an action­able SCV. Anoth­er 15 per­cent report this to be a bud­get­ed pri­or­i­ty. The pro­lif­er­a­tion of touch­points brings with it a dual-edged chal­lenge. There is a tech­ni­cal chal­lenge of gain­ing a uni­fied view of data that is com­ing in from mul­ti­ple, pos­si­bly dis­con­nect­ed, sys­tems. On the oth­er hand, it is vital that organ­i­sa­tion­al­ly, teams look­ing at the data are not iso­lat­ed in silos and are ready to share insights with each oth­er as well.

Audi­ence Amplification

Audi­ence ampli­fi­ca­tion is the process of gath­er­ing data about your most valu­able cus­tomers and using that data to find new cus­tomers with sim­i­lar pro­files. Almost two-thirds of com­pa­nies that engage in audi­ence ampli­fi­ca­tion have seen “very high” or strong ROI from dig­i­tal data mar­ket­ing ini­tia­tives. They are in the minor­i­ty of com­pa­nies, how­ev­er, as 80 per­cent of respond­ing com­pa­nies are either not focused on this or are still learn­ing about it – or even worse – are not even aware of the oppor­tu­ni­ties within.

Pre­dic­tive Analytics

The exis­tence of exten­sive data sets opens the pos­si­bil­i­ty of min­ing the data to pre­dict when a cus­tomer will be like­ly to buy a prod­uct or ser­vice and sur­fac­ing that cus­tomer as a lead. Respon­dents report­ed three lead­ing areas in which they would like to use this emerg­ing tech­nol­o­gy: near-term cus­tomer needs, mar­ket­ing chan­nel effi­cien­cy trends, and customer’s future needs. Many find their tech­nol­o­gy to be some­what or high­ly effec­tive in pro­vid­ing insight in these areas.

Putting it All Togeth­er: Out­pac­ing the Competition

The results sug­gest that only a minor­i­ty of com­pa­nies are well on their way to dig­i­tal data mar­ket­ing matu­ri­ty. Sur­pris­ing­ly, the use of exist­ing automa­tion tech­nolo­gies is not wide­spread, with just over half of report­ing com­pa­nies using auto­mat­ed email mar­ket­ing and 36 per­cent using dynam­ic media deliv­ery. This shows that data is not yet being used to its fullest capac­i­ty in many organ­i­sa­tions. Many com­pa­nies are chal­lenged to use this oppor­tu­ni­ty and are look­ing for a trust­ed part­ner to dis­cuss these chal­lenges with and are look­ing to learn from oth­er thought lead­ers from around the globe in order to achieve a com­pet­i­tive advantage.

The results point to sev­er­al areas where a fast-mov­ing com­pa­ny could gain an upper hand in the mar­ket­place. Get more details about these gaps and rec­om­men­da­tions on how to close them in the full report.

Quar­ter­ly Dig­i­tal Intel­li­gence Briefing