The Digital Maturity Model: How Does Marketing Score?


Before moving forward in your digital transformation journey, it’s essential to understand where you stand.

It’s not uncommon to have buzzwords flying in the real or virtual meeting room. Some marketing teams are guilty of overusing terms like personalisation, customer experience, Net Promoter Score and data analytics without having the inherent capabilities to action these concepts. But can these companies walk the talk?

According to a study by BCG that tracked various companies across a Digital Acceleration Index, higher levels of digital maturity are a direct predictor of business growth. They experience success, particularly in revenue growth, cost-efficiency, quality of product and customer satisfaction. 

Businesses with low levels of digital maturity struggle. Given the current pace of digital transformation, accelerated by the pandemic, the gap between digital leaders and laggards is likely to grow.

A Digital maturity model aims to measure an organisation’s ability to create value through digital. It allows you to:

  • Where are we today in terms of our digital marketing maturity?
  • How do we want our digital marketing to mature in the future?
  • What changes to our digital marketing activities will be implemented next?

In any maturity model, the path of progression is not linear, and the stages can hold different meanings to each business organisation.

Google and Boston Consulting Group Model

Companies tend to fall into one of the four maturity levels;

Nascent: Marketing campaigns mainly use external data and direct buys with limited linkages to sales. 

Emerging: Marketers make some use of owned data I automated buying with single-channel optimisation and testing. 

Connected: Marketers rely on integrated and activated data across channels with demonstrated link to ROI or sales proxies. 

Multi-moment: The organisation optimises dynamic execution across channels towards single customer business outcomes. 

Google assigns this Digital Maturity Benchmark based on a 30-minute assessment. 

Also Read: Top 5 Emerging Machine Learning Use Cases with Customer Data

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Model 

Through this assessment, companies can identify which areas of their digital marketing are at a mature level, and which areas may need further focus and refinement. The score is based on an evaluation of these parameters. 

Digital Identity 

Measures the strength of your organisation’s web and social presence. This pillar includes an assessment of the lead generation capabilities present on your website as well as the effectiveness of your social media activity.

Organisational Commitment 

Assess how integrated your digital marketing strategy is with your overall business strategy, and if there are adequately skilled marketing resources in place. This pillar includes an evaluation of your digital marketing strategy and planning, management support towards digital and the depth of the digital culture across your organisation.

Analytical Framework 

Measures how well you use metrics and analytics to improve results from your digital marketing activities further. This pillar includes an evaluation of the campaign metrics in use, how effectively your organisation is able to take advantage of analytics and if marketing automation and rules-based scoring is used.

Customer Relationship Management 

Reviews and measures your CRM strategy, practices and processes, including the presence and use of a stable CRM platform, your lead qualification and nurturing processes, the status of your marketing database and how pipeline progression is managed.

Campaign Planning & Execution Measures 

Assesses how effectively you plan and execute your digital marketing campaigns and how aligned they are to your business priorities, including the degree of targeting and segmentation used during the campaign planning process and the overall level of investment you are making into digital.

The assessment report provides a score between 0 and 100. This plots a maturity level across four progressive stages.  

Stage 1: Pre-Digital—your organisation has a general lack of focus on digital marketing, and may not believe in the value of digital marketing practices or platforms. 

Stage 2: React Digital—your organisation exhibits adhoc digital marketing strategies, mostly tactical in nature and not lending themselves to a long-range campaign calendar. 

Stage 3: Planned Digital—your organisation has a medium- to long-range commitment to digital marketing initiatives, and some business outcomes will be driven by digital marketing. 

Stage 4: Optimised Digital—your organisation is driving effective digital marketing strategies and campaigns that increase pipeline, grow revenue, and build business. 

Also Read: Digital Transformation – Ready to Take Your First Step?

Deloitte’s Digital Maturity Model 

Deloitte’s model takes a pan-organisation snapshot of the as-is digital capability of an organisation. Instead of looking at marketing as a separate entity, it considers it a fundamental part of the larger business goal. It looks at scoring how any digital integration impacts business outcomes. These are the five business dimensions to create a holistic view of digital maturity across the organisation: 

Customer: Providing an experience where customers view the organisation as their digital partner using their preferred channels of interaction to control their connected future on and offline. 

Strategy: Focuses on how the business transforms or operates to increase its competitive advantage through its digital initiatives; it is embedded within the overall business strategy.

Technology: Underpins the success of digital strategy by helping to create, process, store, secure and exchange data to meet the needs of customers at low cost and low overheads.

Operations: Executing and evolving processes and tasks by utilising digital technologies to drive strategic management and enhance business efficiency and effectiveness

Organisation & Culture: Defining and developing an organisational culture with governance and talent processes to support progress along the digital maturity curve, and the flexibility to achieve growth and innovation objectives.   

What’s next?

In 2020, we saw more companies accelerate their investments in digital infrastructure than ever before. Regardless of which model one chooses, the exercise aims to map where the company is and chalk a path for where it wants to go. Establishing where you rank in the maturity index is simply a starting point to then identify the gaps. The hard part for companies is to ensure that the workforce is skilled to handle the new technologies, alignment in strategy, measurement of execution activities and maintaining agility to revisit this loop ever so often.