Opinion

Three digital marketing maturity measurement methods

5 min read

30 November 2016

The customer has never been more empowered than they are today. With so much choice and so many means of sharing good or bad experiences, businesses have to be able to handle digital marketing and capable of creating, coordinating and refining a range of experiences in the moment, across multiple touchpoints.

Yet many digital marketing professionals marketers continue to operate under outdated strategies that inhibit them in their journey towards connecting customer data and using the insights to deliver more targeted, effective campaigns. The extent to which this might be true of your business is down to your team’s digital marketing maturity in marketing.

Knowing what a seasoned marketing department looks like also helps you analyse you and your team’s expertise and, for managers, hire the right individuals. Looking out for tell-tale signs can go a long way towards revealing whether digital marketing is or isn’t on the path to success.

Metrics vs objectives

Marketers were among the first to embrace emerging digital technologies to help perform their task, learning and adapting as their responsibilities evolved with changing consumer behaviours. As a result, marketing effectively means exerting more control over technology budgets and resources. You have to know how to wear an analyst hat and pick the data that will help enrich the customer journey.

At first, tracking the right data might be difficult because not everyone defines key metrics in the same way. An email marketer might, for instance, be tracking click-to-open rates and bounce rates, while a digital marketer might care more about cost-per-click, and both might be interested in click-through rates.

The key is to understand your team’s business objectives and what results will drive those outcomes. Then, pinpoint the right set of metrics to track and agree on the definitions of them. Seasoned marketing teams set definitions early and review them often to ensure consistency across the divisions.

Keeping a clean sheet

Blacklists are the most challenging issue for email marketers. Finding yourself on one of these suspected spammers list is a heart-pounding sensation. Too many blacklist warnings and your email service provider (ESP) or marketing automation platform may be restricted or even terminated.

It’s mandatory that you monitor your bounce and unsubscribe emails and delete them from your list after each campaign but if you find yourself in an office that has a “blacklist whiteboard,” listing the number of the days you’ve stayed off a blacklist, then you most likely have a battle-tested marketing team.

Marketers who keep track of this data are fluent in email deliverability. They proactively take steps towards ensuring that every send is something that your subscribers want to hear about. This is key to your marketing success, especially when you consider that one in every five emails is blocked from ever reaching your subscribers’ inboxes, according to Return Path.

Leadership in the loop

Implementing a strong digital vision and strategy is increasingly important for the C-suite; it affects the entire business. With the digital landscape becoming ever more complex, understanding the full range of customer experiences rather than the performance of a few channels is imperative to making the right decisions.

Reports on key performance indicators are the driving force behind seasoned marketing teams. It’s how they can share measurable results from all of their hard work. At Marketo, we have a dedicated monitor in the middle of the marketing floor that shows a dashboard of our marketing campaign performance.

By tracking and sharing metrics with the right stakeholders, marketing teams and executives can get a visual pulse check of how each campaign is doing, staying aligned with other cross-functional teams (e.g. customer support, sales, service). Whether you use television monitors, send reports or create metric summaries, all options keep everyone on task.

Knowing the tell-tale signs of marketing maturity can be used as a benchmarking tool to measure how far you’ve come and can help steer you on the path to success. It also helps you to understand the steps you should take to run your marketing initiatives successfully and hire stellar marketing professionals that understand these signs of excellence.

Conor Shaw is EMEA MD at Marketo

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