Wednesday, November 13, 2019

 Digital Marketing Maturity Model

Would you say your company is leveraging at least 75% of the features and functionality that your martech stack provides? No? You’re not alone. Over the years I’ve noticed a pattern in adoption of digital marketing tools. Many companies get to a point where they’re using about 20% of the platform’s capabilities and then plateau. Why?

Reasons typically include:
·       Lack of skilled personnel to successfully guide maturity
·       Lack of time to focus on improvements
·       Process limitations that might prevent maturity
·       Data limitations/integrations that prevent maturity

Since digital marketing is typically a significant percentage of the Martech stack investment, it makes sense to work toward continual improvement, stretching, exploring and leveraging all the nooks and crannies digital platforms offer. But how? What should you focus on and how do you measure success?

To that end, I’ve created the following Digital MArketing Maturity model, which acts as a high-level GPS guide in quickly identifying where you currently are, what to focus on next and what success looks like at each stage. It is a compilation of existing maturity models, together with my own years of digital marketing consulting experience.


You’ll notice its broken down into 5 maturity levels, from Crawl all the way up to Best-in-Class, across 9 themes, including CX, Strategy, Targeting, Data, Analytics, Sales Alignment, Tech, People and Process.

It’s no accident that the very first theme is CX, since it is the end game and overarching cumulative goal of maturing the rest of the themes.

Where to Start

Obviously, there are many layers within each stage, but the best approach is to begin with a high-level assessment of where you are now, within each of the themes (columns). It’s important to get consensus on where you are now from all those who will ultimately contribute to marketing’s progression up the line. If the data team thinks you are at the RUN stage and you think you’re at the CRAWL stage, good luck making any progress. Misalignment is one reason companies get stuck in a stage to begin with.

Making Progress

It’s important to only focus on those activities that will pull you up to the next rung for any given theme. Don’t try and boil the ocean and go from crawl to BIC all at once. Take each rung one at a time. Once you’ve achieved it, focus on achieving the next rung, and so on. You’ll have a much better chance of success.

Invariably what prevents many from achieving higher levels of maturity is data. Missing, inconsistent and outright bad data will prevent most efforts to mature and certainly any effort to improve CX. So, when I have conducted maturity workshops I also invite data, CRM and IT stakeholders to the party, so they can collectively identify and discuss potential blockers and solutions on the fly. Another huge benefit is it also aligns support in understanding the impact of improving cross divisional challenges, from a maturity POV.

Action Plan:

Here’s are the recommended steps to pull this off:
1.     Schedule a Marketing Maturity Workshop (invite marketing, sales, CRM, data and IT)
2.     Agenda:
  • Introductions
  • Goal of Workshop (identify and improve marketing maturity across 9 key themes)
  • Review Maturity Model and get consensus on what level the marketing team is currently at across each of the 9 themes
  • Review the next rung up for each theme and begin to identify solutions to get you there
  • Create Project Plan and list of action items
  • Execute
  • Rinse and repeat
So how long does it take to go from zero to hero? Well, almost no one has the luxury of starting from scratch (bummer eh?). There are always legacy platforms, data silos and other integrations that slow the progress, so it really depends. A good general rule of thumb is one rung per year for enterprise and 2 rungs per year for SMBs. I’ve seen some companies go from crawl to BIC in less time, but the entire organization was fully committed and supported at the executive level.

Use this as a high-level roadmap in starting digital marketing maturity discussions. It should help keep the guard rails in place, funnel the collective focus, all while generating alignment and momentum.

Steven Kellogg
Crowds2Crowds

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