Measuring digital maturity provides a clearer picture

The importance of having an online presence to help customers as much as possible has taken on a whole new meaning in recent times. Even before COVID-19, however, marketers were going through one of the most revolutionary periods in the industry in the last 25 years: the most digitally savvy marketers were already indicating that data and technology were enabling them to make a generational leap from the era of precision to the era of prediction. The pandemic only changed the conception of digital marketing from a strategy for the future to one of survival.

Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, many marketers were already working in a sort of “emergency response mode,” for example, when dealing with existing or anticipated regulatory changes, or trying to keep up with ongoing technological changes. However, most of them focused on short-term positioning and gaps, rather than on ways to accelerate the long-term strategy by developing durable infrastructures that would anticipate the changes expected in the next two to five years. Suddenly, COVID-19 was added to this situation, and we now know that consumers have accelerated digital habits and will maintain many of these new online behaviorsbeyond the pandemic.

To attract the attention of these new customers, brands must move from a digital response to a digital transformation, with a unified, data-driven strategy that fully embraces their community, platforms and processes. Marketing managers can be responsible for driving this digital transformation.

It is important for marketing managers to put aside the crisis for a moment and analyze how to measure their digital maturity in order to create a data-driven marketing strategy that provides metrics for the next 24 months. They must also consider whether such a strategy is durable and adequate for the industry challenges that may arise or whether it entails the risk of the company falling behind more digitally mature competitors.

How digital maturity is measured

A marketer’s digital maturity is measured by his or her ability to use technology and data to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time. The digital maturity framework developed by Google and BCG helps brands“firm up their technical and organizational resources” and guides companies on their journey to data-driven attribution and marketing.

Before the pandemic, few brands realized the full potential of data-driven marketing. However, according to a study by Google and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 60% of marketers said that data-driven attribution is critical to understanding valuable customer journeys.1 Marketers can help companies work collaboratively across teams to generate better data, use this information to understand audiences in detail, reach these users across multiple channels, and apply agile processes to quickly change strategies when necessary.

To measure digital maturity, the company’s approach to six key areas is examined:

  1. Organization: digital maturity starts with the organization and requires a multidisciplinary approach, as well as collaboration and buy-in from all teams involved. The most digitally mature companies are those where the use of digital media is promoted from the CEO function downwards and not just upwards.
  2. Attribution: digital tagging and tracking tools enable teams to accurately measure and assess customer touch points. These statistics are then used to support strategies and allow marketers to make data-driven decisions regarding campaigns.
  3. Elements and ads: data and statistics are key to creating intuitive and relevant experiences that drive attention to the desired content across different digital touchpoints. Digital ads also allow marketers to quickly test what works and what doesn’t, and then make appropriate changes based on emerging events and consumer trends around the world.
  4. Audience: thanks to all these platform and digital campaign statistics, digitally mature companies can leverage source and third-party data to clearly understand audience segments and their needs throughout the funnel.
  5. Access: Digital media allows marketers to expand reach and target key audiences across different channels and types of ad inventory, all with appropriate levels of control.
  6. Automation: companies with greater digital maturity can quickly adjust campaigns and creative without overloading their teams, as they use machine learning to automate processes and detect new trends and opportunities.

Measuring digital maturity provides a clearer picture

Each company’s digital transformation is unique and can be at different stages. Some marketers may focus on certain aspects and overlook others. In order to prioritize, it is necessary to identify the areas where the greatest impact can be achieved. This process takes years and will yield some of the greatest benefits in a matter of months if a properly prioritized vision is in place.

Google’s Digital Maturity Benchmark tool allows you to identify strengths, weaknesses and gaps through a series of 50 specific questions to analyze where your company is on the digital maturity scale. In turn, it creates a customized report with suggestions for moving up the measurement scale.

Understanding where a company sits in this framework gives marketers a better picture of what needs to be done to accelerate that generational leap and capture the attention of new digital consumers.

Excerpted from: Connect Americas

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