In this blog series, we have been diving deep into the components that comprise “marketing maturity.” Part 1 provided an overview of Adobe’s free self-assessment tool, which allows you to score your maturity level across three business pillars: product, process, and people. Our tool provides a marketing maturity score based upon your responses and compares that score with industry benchmark data. Part 2 of the series focused on the tools we use to execute our marketing campaigns, and part 3 was a discussion on the business processes that support our efforts..

As we open our Adobe Summit 2014 in Salt Lake City on Monday, we’re examining how those three pillars contribute to organizational marketing maturity. This post wraps up our four-part series by looking at how the people pillar supports marketing maturity.

Digital marketers are evolving into some sort of Robocop hybrid of human creativity and instinct enabled by data aggregation and response technology. To be competitive in today’s digital world, marketing teams must excel in myriad capacities—data analysis, creative development, content management, cross-channel campaign execution—and be able to synthesize capabilities across these multifunctional roles. The people within our digital marketing teams must deliver successful business outcomes by consistently executing better than our competitors.

Marketing Leadership

Digital marketing maturity starts with leadership. Like guitar legends Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin or Angus Young of AC/DC, marketing leaders set the tone and direction for the “band.” Leaders within mature enterprises are embedded with strategic campaign development and delivery experience. While we direct our group’s marketing activities, we must also engage executives across business units and gain executive sponsorship for the campaigns, assets, and channels that are deployed.

Mature marketing team leaders execute strategies that optimize digital channels, audience segmentation, and campaigns. We acknowledge the impact of the data sets being analyzed and are responsible for the aggregation of team input. Do our team leads excel at data interpretation and development of appropriate responsive actions? Is our enterprise able to capitalize on market opportunities and deploy the most effective assets available? Mature leadership means we enable our teams to be capable of executing pinpoint audience targeting and delivering campaign management with data-response agility.

Team Composition

Next up: our marketing team. What is our team composition? What are the educational and experience backgrounds of our team members? The creative or technically minded resources that underpin the mature enterprise’s marketing matrix must be evaluated in accordance with the seven subdimensions highlighted in the self-assessment tool. Do we have people that excel at content management, message contextualization, data analysis, etc.? Is our analytics team, for example, sufficiently educated and trained to excel, and do members have the necessary skill sets to arrive at the insights needed by the business? Each analyst, content manager, social media strategist, and search optimization specialist delivers maximum value in a mature enterprise.

Not only is capability an indication of marketing maturity, but capacity is also a critical factor. Do we have adequate personnel resources to execute strategies relevant to drive these key areas?

  • Campaign execution, measurement, and analysis
  • Channel management
  • Audience segmentation
  • Asset personalization
  • Content delivery

We must be adequately staffed with exceptional marketers who are capable of driving results through their training, education, and digital marketing experience.

Enterprise Composition

Our impact extends throughout the enterprise, connected by our technical capabilities. Does our marketing group own and develop strategies around technology using a clearly defined technology road map that has evolved with assistance from IT? A mature global marketing team must integrate with functional business teams across product development, enterprise technology, Web strategy, and geocentric teams scattered across the world. The ability to execute our responsibilities with minimal disruption to company-wide directives is an indication of marketing maturity. Can our team maximize its performance using the technology that supports all business units?

So, my friends, you can see that people within the enterprise have an immediate and profound impact on our marketing maturity. The Adobe self-assessment tool helps to reveal enterprise strengths and organizational shortcomings relevant to the pillar of people. While we move toward an era where the new marketer is an amalgam of instinct, technology, and leadership, I encourage all of you to examine how you have invested in enterprise marketing resources and business processes, and what steps must be taken to evolve into a mature enterprise.

See you at Summit!