As a Google Marketing Platform Partner, we understand that most agencies define performance in terms of leads & conversions, however, we believe that all digital advertising should deliver value. Our ethos is Performance in Partnership, and it’s those partnerships that allow us to unlock collective success.
It’s quite untraditional and we know that, however, with the world constantly changing we need to adapt as we go. Traditional marketing is no longer the only means to reach people and that’s why digital marketing is booming. Truth is, digital marketing is tough! Mainly because customers have much higher expectations of brands as well as little patience when it comes to interacting with them. This is why digital marketing needs to evolve to keep up with the pace of answering client needs, brands need to adapt to become customer-centric. Customers have gone from captive to empowered; businesses used to ask: “who can we sell to and how will we convince the customer to buy from us”, to asking “what problems do we solve and who has these problems so that we can help”.
Real digital marketing needs a new approach, a new way of working, and many skills, tools, and time. According to a study commissioned by Google and the Boston Consulting Group, just 2% of brands are best-in-class at data-driven marketing. This statistic proves the stark reality that brands are a long way away from showing up at the right time to the right person with the right message. This is where Digital Maturity comes in.
Google developed the Digital Marketing Transformation programme, which is a framework to guide businesses along the Digital Maturity curve. The maturity levels range from nascent to multi-moment and a brand’s maturity is determined by an extensive questionnaire. The tool analyses where your business sits on the path to full data-driven marketing and attribution. Then, it generates a personalised, consultative, interactive report. This benchmarks your organisation against others in your industry and makes both strategic and tactical recommendations to achieve specific goals.
Where to start:
To achieve this lofty goal of customer-centric marketing, agencies and organisations need to set themselves up for success by tackling data, tech and organizational hurdles.
Agencies need to adapt to the organizational challenges by structuring departments for cross-collaboration by having various teams play to their respective strengths. Practically this comes down to an effective organogram, knowledge sharing sessions and free flow communication structures.
Agencies need to hire the right skill-sets such as platform knowledge (eg, GMP or Business Manager), tech skills (eg. Big Query, GA & Data Studio) or in-depth channel understanding (Google, Facebook etc.). This, all underpinned by strong strategic partnerships with clients and suppliers alike and a strong internal culture that facilitates agility, innovation, and collaboration.
The technology enablers are considerably harder to achieve, which is why the organisational aspects need to be put in place first. At the heart of this is the demanding exercise of collecting and linking all data, syncing all tech pieces so that there’s seamless tracking of the customer journey, and ensuring there’s a robust measurement platform where there is a single source of truth.
As we continue to advance as a digital fraternity, the need for connected data becomes more and more important. Meaning, all data sources need to be linked to show the full extent of what digital marketing is bringing to the table. Connecting various data sources as well as combining offline to online data is crucial to understanding which audiences are working for various objectives.
The truth to all of this is that there are no hard and fast rules in climbing the digital maturity ladder, no set guidelines and check-boxes. One needs to own the assessment, break it down into projects, prioritise work and essentially draw up a growth plan based on the recommendations. By gradually climbing this ladder, everyone stands to benefit.