The ques­tion posed above refers to your dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing matu­rity score, which mea­sures, in an inte­grated way, how heav­ily your orga­ni­za­tion is invested in its dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing prac­tices with peo­ple, process, and prod­ucts (tech­nol­ogy). As men­tioned in part 1 and part 2 of this blog series, Adobe has devel­oped a free self-assessment tool that assigns a matu­rity score to your enter­prise and com­pares that score with indus­try bench­mark data. The assess­ment tool essen­tially asks, “How effec­tively have you invested cap­i­tal and resources across three busi­ness pil­lars: prod­uct, process, and peo­ple?”

In part 2, we talked about the prod­uct pil­lar, about the tech­nol­ogy dri­ving dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing prac­tices. As we pre­pare for our Adobe Sum­mit 2014 in Salt Lake City later this month, I encour­age you to con­sider where your orga­ni­za­tion sits on the mar­ket­ing matu­rity scale in rela­tion to process.

Sun Tzu, in his essen­tial Art of War, writes “vic­to­ri­ous war­riors win first then go to war, while defeated war­riors go to war first then seek to win.” How do you “win first” in dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing? By invest­ing in busi­ness processes that sup­port, sus­tain, and drive cus­tomer data analy­sis, cam­paign devel­op­ment, and ulti­mately the deci­sion mak­ing to sup­port dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing best prac­tices. Cer­tainly, tools such as those found in the Adobe Mar­ket­ing Cloud enable mar­keters to auto­mate cam­paigns and aggre­gate touch­points, but I’m not refer­ring to tech­nol­ogy (although I’ve been hear­ing a robot will be tak­ing over my job for the past 15 years!). We want to look at how effec­tively we drive per­for­mance through orga­ni­za­tional processes, includ­ing strat­egy devel­op­ment and exe­cu­tion, enter­prise struc­ture, and data management.

Strat­egy

What do a robust data ana­lyt­ics solu­tion, a ded­i­cated, expe­ri­enced dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing team, and real-time behav­ioral cus­tomer data have in com­mon? Nothing—without an inte­grated, respon­sive, and effi­cient strat­egy to deploy those assets. Do we have the right processes that opti­mizes ana­lyt­ics prac­tices lead­ing to key insights, for exam­ple? Do we have a strate­gic plan for deliv­er­ing per­son­al­ized con­sumer expe­ri­ences dri­ven by data? We might have 40 dif­fer­ent mar­ket­ing prac­tices, each with dis­tinct processes. A mature strat­egy con­nects those processes and builds a work­flow archi­tec­ture that max­i­mizes per­for­mance and, equally impor­tant, achieves exec­u­tive spon­sor­ship to enable the right deci­sion making.

Mature mar­ket­ing orga­ni­za­tions develop cus­tomer–cen­tric, not channel-centric or product-centric, strate­gies when orga­niz­ing cam­paigns. This audience-driven approach ensures our enter­prise builds its busi­ness processes around max­i­mum cus­tomer engage­ment, achiev­ing brand loy­alty and con­tex­tu­al­ized con­tent. Equally impor­tant is align­ing our dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing strate­gic goals and KPIs to over­all busi­ness strat­egy and pri­or­i­ties. Once that align­ment takes place, the mature enter­prise allo­cates resources effec­tively to exe­cute each leg of the organization’s strategy.

Struc­ture

A mature struc­ture dri­ves effi­cient processes. Have we aligned all phases of our mar­ket­ing ecosys­tem in an opti­mized struc­ture? Cross-team account­abil­ity, for exam­ple, can be sup­ported by an orga­ni­za­tional struc­ture that enables nearly imme­di­ate feed­back and response processes. In some cases, a service-level agree­ment pro­vides com­mit­ment to process struc­ture. Ulti­mately, our enter­prise must be struc­tured effec­tively to nav­i­gate devel­op­ing markets.

In mature orga­ni­za­tions, mar­keters man­age ana­lyt­ics, data dis­tri­b­u­tion, and con­tent cre­ation to sup­port a well-defined mar­ket­ing cal­en­dar. That cal­en­dar guides resources for cam­paign strat­egy, plan­ning, exe­cu­tion, mea­sure­ment, and analy­sis. Process—with its sup­port­ing struc­ture and workflows—must drive one mar­ket­ing phase into the next with­out disruption.

Struc­ture should be evi­dent across the seven dimen­sions addressed in the Adobe self-assessment tool. For exam­ple, when con­sid­er­ing chan­nel man­age­ment, is there struc­ture that sup­ports real-time com­mu­ni­ca­tion and inter­ac­tion with cus­tomers across chan­nels and/or devices? Are we able to track, ana­lyze, and com­mu­ni­cate con­tent per­for­mance then improve future dig­i­tal assets within a few sprints? Our struc­ture has to inte­grate IT, ana­lyt­ics, cre­ative, and Web devel­op­ment teams in a way that allows us to exe­cute a strat­egy that moves indi­vid­u­als from unknown vis­i­tors to known cus­tomers engag­ing our prod­ucts and services.

Data Man­age­ment

How do we col­lect, store, orga­nize, and dis­trib­ute data through­out the enter­prise? Ana­lyt­ics and report­ing does not oper­ate in a vac­uum. The data we col­lect enables mar­ket­ing, sales, IT, finance, and other busi­ness func­tion teams to drive bet­ter results. Data is ana­lyzed to ful­fill mul­ti­ple objec­tives; there­fore, it must be pre­sented in var­i­ous for­mats across an inte­grated plat­form that sup­ports processes exe­cuted by each busi­ness unit.

Not only should our ana­lyt­ics data be read­ily avail­able within the orga­ni­za­tion, the data should be trusted through­out the enter­prise. QC is a vital com­po­nent to ana­lyt­ics dis­tri­b­u­tion; data con­t­a­m­i­na­tion can sig­nif­i­cantly alter the per­for­mance of the most well-developed cam­paigns. What steps have we taken to ensure data integrity and accuracy?

In the dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing, data man­age­ment allows audi­ence seg­men­ta­tion, attri­bu­tion mod­el­ing, con­tent per­son­al­iza­tion, cam­paign devel­op­ment, and many other tasks. Our view of the cus­tomer is shaped by the data we’ve accu­mu­lated, so it’s crit­i­cal that we have processes in place that enable a closed-loop cycle among the analy­sis team, devel­op­ment team, and cam­paign management.

Although process matu­rity is a crit­i­cal achieve­ment, with­out a sturdy pil­lar of peo­ple, our enter­prise processes can die on the vine. In my next post, we’ll take a look at how peo­ple drive our mar­ket­ing matu­rity. In the mean­time, try our self-assessment tool to cal­cu­late your dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing matu­rity for your enterprise!