By Marc Keating
Organizations today are embracing new technology to improve organizational efficiency and cost savings. AI, Machine Learningand Big data are the new innovations powering this tech-driven marketing revolution. Yet, Digital Marketing is still in its infancy – around 25 years since it began. However, organizations with the will and rigor to navigate digital transformation will increasingly leave the rest behind. So, how can organizations reach advanced levels of marketing maturity?
The Barriers Preventing Digital Marketing Transformation
The hard fact is, when it comes to digital marketing transformation, most organizations have barely scratched the surface. There are many reasons why including the complexities of technology, organizational structure, and requisite skill sets; the extent of the foundational shift in how people work and collaborate; failure to adequately align technology with business goals; the quality of an organization’s data; and the most human of inhibitors – resistance to change.
I also believe that marketing technology usage is still random and is still lacking a clear strategy in terms of how technology aligns to the marketing plan and ultimately the business plan. In a lot of cases, we find skeletons in the closet, such as technology being underutilized, or not being used at all.
Those skeletons are the result of an internal culture that often sees responsibility for managing a tech stack devolved to individual departments. While that allows for the smooth running of that one particular tool, frequently it leads to the technology getting ‘hidden’ within a single silo and prevented from conferring its benefits to the wider organization.
What the Stats Say
A recent global study by Stein IAS of senior B2B marketers revealed the strength of the demand for digital marketing transformation. Of the 450 marketers, we surveyed, 82% state that digital marketing transformation is important/very important. For marketers at larger enterprises ($1 billion in annual revenue or greater), the percentage jumps to 91%.
My point being, we’re still relatively in the early days of digital marketing transformation. In other words, there’s a whole lot of transforming yet to be done.
The Endgame: How Brands Can Realize Their Digital Marketing Transformation Vision
The road towards advanced marketing maturity requires constant evolution from enterprises. According to our research, almost three-quarters of companies estimate that a digital marketing transformation strategy will take one to three years to successfully implement. Though, its pace depends on the commitment to transform, processes, tools, and tactics to maximize business benefits.
Without a transformation vision and roadmap aligned against marketing priorities, a plan becomes a set of tactics not aligned to a measurable and KPI driven set of outcomes.
The Launch of the Digital Marketing Transformation Framework
To help brands realize their vision of digital marketing transformation, we have developed the Digital Marketing Transformation Framework (DMTF). This resource is a unique strategic planning system that is designed to recalibrate the power of digital strategy and technology and to accelerate the path to marketing and revenue performance and ROI.
With the research we have gathered, we can better understand how global organizations are approaching their digital marketing transformation initiatives. At the core of the initiative and process is a collaborative workshop facilitated by Stein IAS, which is structured to ensure alignment of digital marketing priorities and optimizations with the overall business and marketing strategy and utilizes a customer experience framework we call the four tenets of post-modern marketing.
The framework consists of:
- A collaborative planning methodology
- A marketing maturity measurement structure
- 5-stage strategic marketing and CX planning framework
- A library of over 100 strategic marketing use cases to help identify strategic priorities
- Research insights into use cases to help with roadmap selection
- A template for building a three-year digital marketing transformation roadmap and related actions plans
Working with your key marketing stakeholders and using your strategic business and marketing objectives as a validation platform, we review a number of use cases that act as a framework for discussion and ideation, and to assess current marketing maturity levels and alignment with your business and marketing strategy. Each use case represents a key strategy and/or tactic we believe is critical for realizing advanced marketing maturity and transformation realization. The combination of this discussion and analysis assists in the prioritization and development of a three-year roadmap. For each prioritized use case, we further explore the activation strategy for the use case, defining the goals, tactics, resources, technology requirements, dependencies and timings to enable effective development and deployment by the business. With the three-year roadmap in place, all stakeholders can rally behind an agreed and collaborative vision.
The DMTF Benefits:
- Aligns the transformation roadmap with business and marketing priorities/goals
- Guarantees all teams and stakeholders are aligned with one central vision and roadmap
- Ensures tech stack selection and investment are aligned with defined use cases and value creation
- Provides clear focus on priorities/use cases required to deliver strategic and optimization goals achieved through annual planning cycles
- Provides a platform to deliver enhanced campaign/revenue performance and ROI
- Measures current levels of marketing maturity to identify performance and optimization quick wins
- Provides the foundations for building an integrated demand engine
What Can Marketers Realize From Digital Transformation?
Marketers have the ability to understand their customers better than ever before, craft and tweak personalized creative content quicker and more efficiently, and reach consumers in the ideal place, time, and context to drive engagement and, ultimately, sales.
Start to Build Your Transformation Roadmap
Post Modernizer, an online version of Stein IAS’ DMTF can be found at PostModernizer.com. This is a unique web-based application which enables marketers to assess their current maturity level and build their transformation roadmap and action plans.