Author: Melissa Day, Global Digital Marketing Leader at Chemours
How do you determine your martech maturity?
My thirteen and fifteen year old stepsons recently had an argument on a car ride home about who was more mature and asked me to intervene. I knew they wanted a clear-cut answer and were not asking for a life lesson, so I compromised and hit them with a thoughtful question: What does maturity look like to you?
They both had different answers, and each reflected their strengths. The younger one has a tidier room and of course said, “It’s mature when you keep your things neat!” The older one retorted “Well, it’s more mature when you help other people like bringing in groceries.” They went back and forth a few times and ultimately did not name a victor, as they ironically got distracted, laughing and making fart noises.
So what are the factors of maturity? Before the fart noises, we discussed homework, pet responsibilities, helping others, making the bed, even choosing to eat healthy foods. All of these factors can indicate mature choices, of course, but the combination of multiple factors better depicts overall maturity level.
When it comes to digital marketing, specifically marketing automation, measuring your maturity similarly comes down to your balance. I’ve seen martech stacks that involve AI-driven content based on predictive analytics… but are missing automated data cleansing programs to optimize their operations.
Leadous offers a comprehensive Marketing Automation Progression Model that outlines maturity factors to check off the list, some of my favorites including:
- Initial Target ABM Assessments
- Behavioral Segmentation
- Advanced Email Personalization
- Insights for Non-Marketing Teams
My boys were quick to point out each other’s flaws (“it’s not like you make your bed every day!”) but unsurprisingly had a more difficult time realizing their own.
In a similar way, leaders, strategists, and technicians in the digital marketing space can turn a blind eye to missing maturity factors. We are constantly moving towards the next technical advancement or preparing for the newest capability, and sometimes forget to account for those foundational factors. To determine your true level of maturity, it’s not enough to check the boxes of the areas your digital marketing operations model covers. You must also highlight the areas you are missing.
My eyes always run to the last “stage” of a maturity model to see how far away I am from being the most mature. Seldom do I focus on the first stages to ensure I have the foundational elements in place to start evaluating the next one!
Back to that Leadous model, some of the less-exciting factors, but arguably more important are these:
- Basic Segmentation
- Basic Scoring
- Preference Center
- Campaign Reporting
Advanced email personalization sounds glorious, but if my current martech is not supporting batch email programs to a segmented audience, I may have skipped a few steps, especially if I’m missing a solid preference center to ensure I’m emailing people who want to hear from us.
Back to my boys. The youngest claimed to be the most mature because he mows our lawn. The eldest was fast to point out the fact that his brother must be reminded (loudly and often) to brush his teeth. Thus, even though he had mastered a high maturity factor, he couldn’t possibly be the most mature because he didn’t have a handle on a more basic factor.
Growing in Maturity
While my car ride home ended in giggles and arm-pit sounds, most digital marketing maturity conversations end with a maturity goal in mind. The continued need for growth in the digital world is crucial to success in marketing, but equally important is the need to properly and honestly assess your current standing.
The art of digital transformation and onset of new technical capabilities are constantly promoted in forums, on LinkedIn, and sometimes from the mouths of our leaders in their expectations of us. In the last year I have personally felt that pressure to be delivering the next-best-digital-experience for our customers, and have to admit I’ve been momentarily caught up in the shiny glow of a new campaign instead of closing the loop on the basics.
What my boys (accidentally) reminded me was the right (and wrong) way to advance the maturity in my own marketing operations model. Before we can start leveraging behavioral segmentation in our Marketo instance, we are focusing on ensuring our lead scoring model is buttoned up.
When is the last time you audited your own maturity? Take a look at the progression model from Leadous to see where you land. Be honest! It’s the only way to grow in your maturity and beat your brother, or whatever your reasoning is for seeking victory.