Modern marketing assessments come in lots of varieties. There are many angles to take when reviewing your marketing efforts, especially within the digital marketing world. However, one thing that is universal is the approach. Typically, you’ll evaluate your business across different categories, which culminates in a score that is meant to provide a snapshot of your current maturity as well as a baseline for future growth. Conducting one of these in-depth maturity assessments is certainly worthwhile and can often be eye-opening for an organization. I have often seen great projects kick-start after completing a thorough assessment and analysis of findings.
With that said, not everyone has the time or budget to conduct a deep dive into their business on a grand scale, but still needs to identify top priorities in order to enhance their digital marketing efforts. If you fall into this category, below are eight key areas you should quickly assess in order to identify the ones which may require a deeper review. Spending ten minutes thinking about each area, jotting down a couple of bullets on what’s working and what needs improvement, and making a list of your top three pain points will empower your thinking. In less than an hour and a half, you’ll have a nice guidepost for developing more in-depth plans.
How are you currently targeting your audience? Are your lists all-inclusive or are you choosing your audience based on specific criteria? Targeting is at the forefront of lead nurturing and engagement, and how you target your audience will ultimately impact engagement. Really consider how well you are segmenting your audience today, be it demographically, behaviorally, or in real-time. Marketing automation gives you the ability to get extremely narrow in your segmenting which empowers your marketing to be very focused and in-tune with customer needs and wants. How well are you utilizing this functionality today?
Customer engagement goes hand-in-hand with targeting but it is slightly different. You can be very selective with your targeting, but not very personalized and specific with your engagement activities. Are you sending “one-size-fits-all” messages and newsletters, or are you providing rich content specific to the needs and interests of your audience? How well are you utilizing dynamic and personalized content to really speak to your audience? Your customer engagement efforts should always be striving for a continuous conversation that sends the right message to the right person at the right time. How close are you?
How did you feel after reading “sales/marketing alignment?” Did you think, “what alignment?” or did you think “we are a well-oiled machine!”? Most likely, you are somewhere in the middle. One of the greatest benefits of marketing automation is its ability to bring sales and marketing together (or at least force the conversations that bring it together). Thanks to advanced features with lead generation, lead nurturing, lead scoring, and lead flow management, marketing automation gives marketers the ability to truly drive revenue. How far have you developed your lead flow models? How in-tune is your lead scoring? Are marketing metrics tied to the funnel? How well is your lead management documented and shared? Really think about your lead flow and alignment to uncover opportunities for growth and development.
How do you measure the effectiveness of your campaigns today? Are you reviewing engagement or impact or both? By engagement, I mean things like opens, clicks, form submissions, digital activity, etc. By impact, I mean leads generated, funnel velocity, opportunities, and revenue? It’s certainly important to know your campaigns’ and programs’ engagement, but it’s even more critical to know the impact of your efforts. Likewise, analytics also refers to in-depth data analysis around your audience and their behaviors, expected behaviors, and purchase intent. How much data analysis have you done on your audience? There are many more ways to analyze your marketing efforts, but these are some good places to start when reviewing your maturity in this space.
Data is at the core of everything we do in marketing, and it typically requires a lot of maintenance and management. How is your data structured? Are your various data sources inaccessible or difficult? Is your marketing automation platform integrated with your main data source, or are you manually uploading data? Are you able to be agile and fluid with your audience creation and data analysis, or is it a chore? Another aspect of your data that is critical is overall cleanliness. How well is your data standardized across platforms? Do you have ongoing cleansing programs and maintenance processes in place? Are you thinking about ways to augment your data? Spend time thinking about your current data structure, cleanliness, and flow in order to find areas to improve.
Successful modern marketing requires a lot more than just marketing automation. To fully capitalize on your digital marketing efforts, you need to review your greater marketing technology stack. This often includes a plethora of various technologies including marketing automation, CRM, content management, lead management, web management, etc. Take some time to review your current marketing stack and document the technologies in your business. What automations are in place or could be in place? Where can you improve connectivity, integration, and scalability? Is there redundancy in capabilities or, conversely, technologies that are not used to their full capacity? Are your various technologies unified or disconnected? Understanding your current technology stack is the baseline for crafting a roadmap for future development and optimization.
Often an afterthought, governance is crucial to the success of your marketing automation and digital marketing efforts. Are your processes and systems well defined and documented? Are your various teams/regions/business units following the same requirements? How are they managed and enforced? Organizational structure becomes an important aspect of governance since it greatly impacts adherence. In some cases, developing a strong Center of Excellence (CoE) can be extremely beneficial for a number of reasons including ongoing training, management, and best practice dissemination.
Last, but certainly not least, you should evaluate organizational support of marketing automation and digital marketing efforts. Is there corporate support of processes, systems, and governance protocol or does it vary by region or team? Is everyone utilizing the same technologies and data, or are these items disconnected across the organization? How well does your organization adapt to change? Most importantly, who is leading your various marketing automation efforts and enhancement? Everything needs a champion and your modern marketing maturity is no different. Without a strong leader and executive support, moving the needle and striking success becomes more and more difficult.
You now have a good number of criteria to evaluate when evaluating your organization’s marketing maturity. This list is certainly not all-inclusive, but does provide a nice starting point. What else would you add?