Digital marketing: Is it time we grew up?

June 12, 2017

It’s pervasive. It’s everywhere. We live our lives in a digitally connected world. Our screens talk to us and we talk back to them. User experience is not just an expectation, it’s our right. We need our systems to be as intuitive as riding a bike or throwing a ball. This expectation in our consumer lives has diffused through to our business' as well. We need technology to not just be effective but natural, accessible and engaging.

Easier said than done right? In a world where our fridges are connected to the internet, and we speak to Alexa more than we speak to our mothers (sorry mum!), it can sometimes seem as if our businesses are lagging quite badly behind the innovation curve. This poses a serious problem for marketers as we try to connect dots, tie up technological loose ends and piece together customer interactions that actually drive business results.

Only 26% of marketers believe their data quality is a competitive advantage or strategic asset. - The State of Salesforce Report 2017

Through our 16 years of working with businesses at various stages of digital marketing maturity, we know there is hope for organisations at all levels of the marketing development curve. The first step to change is to identify where you are in your businesses marketing maturity.

marketing maturity curve

These steps can be identified as:

Manual: Just get it done…did it happen? At this stage of development, systems are disparate. Data is likely to be stored in spreadsheets rather than in a CRM (or if there is a CRM, it isn’t being used effectively). Campaigns are only being run on a single channel and do not leverage data across multiple channels to improve optimisation. Personalisation is usually minimal in the messaging or segmentation of data.

Automated: At this stage, CRM is used more intelligently with marketing automation aligning to the systems. Data segmentation is used to deliver targeted messaging. A/B testing and posting to social media is likely to be highly automated.

Integrated: Omni-channel customer journeys are prevalent at this stage. Data starts to drive informed decisions for marketing growth. Cross-channel testing is used to increase optimisation and structured data governance is in place.

Predictive/Cognitive: This is the highest level of marketing maturity. Systems are interconnected and use APIs to leverage 3rd party data. Personalisation improves to allow for more relevant content to reach target audiences. Campaign optimisation is no longer retrospective, as real-time campaign improvements are possible with predictive analytics.

Only 3% of marketers say their CRM anticipates which leads to market to. - Te State of Salesforce Report 2017

An example of a company who is working in the cognitive area of digital marketing is GM Onstar. For GM Onstar, incorporating these tactics came from the vision to deliver personalised experiences completely centered around their customers. Onstar is one of the first connected cars (with 4G LTE built in). Bluewolf worked with Salesforce Marketing Cloud and different communities to leverage augmented intelligence and bring personalised offers to customers mobile devices (discount codes delivered for local petrol stations via SMS if car petrol levels are low or coffee vouchers to your mobile device for beverages at your nearest Starbucks). This level of relevant personalisation has proved invaluable because it allows GM Onstar to personalise different touchpoints of a customer's journey.

Customers who are fully engaged represent a 23% premium in share of wallet, profitability, revenue, and relationship growth. - GALLUP

Improving marketing maturity is one of the best ways companies can outperform their competition in 2017. Marketing sophistication has a direct impact on customer engagement because it allows for more impactful and meaningful interactions with customers. Connecting technologies across your organisation allows marketers to spend more time developing personal messages that move your business closer to 1:1 customer journeys.

Some of the keys to improving an organisation's marketing maturity are:

  • Having the right vision (How are we going to interact with our customers?)
  • How are we going to track and engage along the customer journey?
  • How are different parts of the organisation going to interact and align?
  • Having the right technology to execute that vision (marketing cloud, social studio, service cloud) and having the right people to implement and - optimise the technology.

With 16 years of demonstrable experience, Bluewolf has helped companies at every stage of digital marketing maturity; using great people and technological expertise to get the best results.

To learn more how we can elevate your business, Connect with an expert, now.  

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