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!