Majority Of Marketers Halfway To Digital Maturity: Report

Econsultancy and Adobe’s new Digital Intelligence Briefing, “The Pursuit of Data-Driven Maturity,” turns to the science of marketing.

Majority Of Marketers Halfway To Digital Maturity: Report

Marketers are a proud group. A smart group. We are the engines of growth within our organisations, practiced at the art of recognising and delivering not just what consumers need, but what they want.

But it’s not just an art, is it? Creativity is an essential part of the marketer makeup, yet the profession has long acknowledged that in order to gain organisational traction, a “big idea” must be grounded in quantifiable insight and return quantifiable results. After all, it was more than 50 years ago that David Ogilvy popularised the notion of continuous testing and optimisation of advertising.

Econsultancy and Adobe’s new Digital Intelligence Briefing, “The Pursuit of Data-Driven Maturity” (registration required), turns to the science of marketing, collating responses from more than 3,600 marketing professionals on the topic of data-driven maturity in a digital world. (Note: Adobe is’s parent company.) The good news is that the majority believe they have passed the halfway mark to “digital maturity”—in other words, they are well on their journeys to delivering to their consumers, regardless of channel or medium. In APAC, specifically, nearly all marketers are on their way.

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I was surprised, however, at the relatively low rates of adoption of some of the tools at marketers’ disposal. Only half of the respondents are automating email/marketing messages, and even fewer are tailoring content on their websites or employing real-time data segmentation for more personalized consumer experiences. Similarly, while delivering a “better customer experience” is the No. 1 data goal of marketing teams, only 20% have created an actionable single view of their customers. A larger proportion do not use mobile data in any meaningful way, even as mobile-first experiences disrupt established industries.

Why the disconnect between vision and action? While multiple factors are at play, the results of the survey indicate the largest obstacle to delivering these sorts of experiences is the inability to put data to work. Pulling data from a backroom function and putting it to work is hard. For example, getting to a single view of the customer involves a merging of technology, capability, and organisational willingness to break down the data silos. There will be bumps on the road to get there, but much like the journey of an individual to adulthood, the travails, delays, and disappointments are usually necessary education in order to reach the destination. Reassuringly, those respondents who have seen it through and implemented a single customer view have witnessed significant and positive returns.

The story is similar for predictive analysis. Mining multiple data sets for insights and recommendations in real time is seen as a key marketing capability of the future, but few surveyed marketers are currently implementing predictive platforms. Putting such a system in place seems a big ask for marketers who are embarking on their journeys, but the rewards are waiting. Of those who have put predictive technologies in place, nearly 90% report that they delivered effective insight into the future needs of prospects and customers.

So to come full circle, marketing has always been about the art and science of understanding consumers and predicting what they’ll respond to. If you’re in the midst of a rocky adolescence with data, take heart. Moving up the maturity curve begins with the first step.

Click here to download the report (registration required).