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Digital Marketing 101: What's your level of digital marketing maturity?

By

Louie Pitlo

|

March 9, 2017

Marketers were among the first to embrace emerging digital technologies. They risked, learned and adapted as their responsibilities evolve in a world of changing consumer behaviours. Yet many marketers continue to operate under strategies that are already passé. Now we wonder, what’s the average digital marketer’s level of digital marketing maturity? What’s holding them back in their progress? How can you disrupt fast emerging markets and obtain more market share?

Digital marketing is evolving in new decisive ways. Because of this implementing a strong digital vision and strategy is ever increasingly important especially for small companies. Organisations have to realise that they need to better understand targeted internet marketing and the full range of customer experiences instead of only maximising the performance of a few channels or platforms.

Has the role of marketers changed?

Even through radical changes in the digital marketing sphere, the goals haven’t changed – that is to win, serve and retain customers. Although the strategy in providing customer value as well as building trust in companies had drastically changed. This is critical because businesses can greatly improve the chances of making sales over the course of the relationship.

Currently, online marketing agents must understand the technical aspects of digital marketing such as analytics, data mining and storage. This is in addition to a strong understanding of traditional, current and evolving marketing strategies.

What's the latest online marketers' digital marketing maturity?

What we mean by digital marketing maturity is using a combination of digital and non-digital channels to interact with customers. But there’s more here. So as to fully capitalise on digital opportunities, marketers must develop capabilities in:

>  Marketing operations for customer-centric strategies

>  Be able to gain insights from data and analytics

>  Optimise omnichannel interactions

> Understand and even predict – the customer's digital experience even in their industry

These are four critical areas for digital marketing that a prolific digital marketer should be able to cover.

What are the barriers some marketers face that block them into fully diving into digital?

Experience based, it invariably boils down to culture, organisation, technology as well as the operational process. As applied to marketing, culture is about how a company’s digital marketing vision is defined and even embedded in the organisation when it comes to the breadth of strategy, ownership, investments in skill sets, among others.

When it comes to organisational, digital marketing considerations include how collaboration takes place, how they are governed, what are the appropriate metrics, among others.

Also, in marketing, technology is the key enabler in digital marketing strategy. There are still some marketers who are not using marketing automation and optimisation software. And one can see inadequate technology investments in data management and analytics especially real-time and predictive capabilities. These are the hindrance to digital marketing efforts.

Solution? Companies need to design their marketing operational processes that make use of data and analytics to their insights, decisions and actions. To overcome being perplexed with seemingly complex cross-functional workflows and systems, and to be able to coordinate all the customer-facing touch points, marketers should upgrade their skills by cross-training, such as taking courses in marketing analytics, spending time with data scientists, IT pros, etc.

Then there are vendors and consultancies that can provide valuable resources through training programs, setting up centres of excellence, and more.

Suffice it to say, the use of a combination of technologies – marketing automation, real-time analytics and customer intelligence – to understand and personalise interactions will greatly benefit your company. Consider this as a challenge.

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