In part one of this blog post series, I asked “when it comes to engaging customers with digital marketing, how would you rate the ‘maturity’ of your business today?” Well, Adobe wants to help you evaluate your enterprise’s digital marketing maturity. We’ve developed a self-assessment tool—by the way, free to all—that assigns a score to your enterprise and compares that score with industry benchmark data. The tool allows you to score your maturity level across three business pillars: product, process, and people. As we prepare for our Adobe Summit 2014 in Salt Lake City on March 24–28, I encourage you to consider where your organization sits on the marketing maturity scale by examining those three pillars. In this post we’ll look at how the product pillar supports organizational marketing maturity.

Product refers to the tools, specifically the digital marketing technology, that enable marketers to target audiences, aggregate and analyze data, optimize digital content, and a host of other practices. When considering our maturity, we must ask ourselves: Do we have the necessary tools to execute a digital marketing strategy that returns maximum results? Are these tools being used optimally? The tools we deploy should enable marketers to fully manage three fundamental marketing dimensions: channels, audience, and data.

Channels

Do the tools at our disposal capture, store, and allow analysis of all the touch points on the customer journey? Today’s customer requires a cross-channel strategy, folks. Our tools must enable social engagement, paid and organic search visibility, email deliverability, and site optimization, among other functions. For instance, are we able to we listen to, track, and react to social engagements in real time? Can we analyze and track mobile interactions as part of our analytics strategy? Maturity is measured by the effective deployment of channel management tools that maximize cross-channel performance.

Audience

It’s no longer competitively viable to create messaging for broad audiences; we must leverage technology to contextualize messaging and reach segments through statistical modeling and data mining (which allow us to identify and refine targeting based upon customer touch points). Mature marketing organizations are able to construct 360⁰ customer views that reveal progressive messaging opportunities during the customer journey. Once a 360⁰ view has been developed, which content is shared with which audience segments? We have to deliver contextualized experiences that can be digested via desktop PCs and mobile devices to customers throughout the world. To be considered mature, we should have a searchable central repository that catalogues current and historical assets, one that enables marketers to match assets to audiences in delivering these experiences.

Data

Effective data management leads marketing best practices. That’s been my credo since the early days of digital marketing. Do the tools we have aggregate, organize, and distribute data according to campaigns and audiences? Are we able to deliver data to distinct operational business teams in a way that maximizes performance? We cannot deliver meaningful marketing messages without the data that underpins our strategies, and that data has to be readily available, easily retrievable, and organized effectively within our data management system. As a mature organization, we should have (and be fully deploying) capabilities that allow our marketers to be creative and respond to the volume, velocity, and variety of Big Data that shape our markets.

Current technology may enable channel, audience, and data management, but the mere existence of marketing products within your enterprise doesn’t indicate organizational maturity. The pillars of process and people contribute significantly to your overall digital marketing maturity. In my next post, we’ll take a look at how process can elevate your enterprise into the acclaimed status of a mature organization. In the meantime, check out the self-assessment tool!