Customer journeys. Omnichannel interactions. Programmatic. Personalization. The buzzwords of digital marketing fly around corporate meeting rooms, C-suites, conference calls, and webinars these days, often at dizzying velocity.
Customer journeys. Omnichannel interactions. Programmatic. Personalization. The buzzwords of digital marketing fly around corporate meeting rooms, C-suites, conference calls, and webinars these days, often at dizzying velocity. But while just about every company talks the digital talk, relatively few walk an actual data-driven digital walk. The promise of digital marketing is great, but the practice is extremely hard.
Many issues contribute to the difficulty, starting with technical ones. Most marketers are not mathematicians, much less data scientists. They don’t have technology in place to collect and use data, and they don’t know how to ensure that the technology they do have is properly wired together and capable of measuring impact (online and offline), preferably by demonstrating causality. The organizational challenges are just as daunting. Agile is easier to talk about than to implement. Cross-functional collaboration does not come readily to most organizations. Digital marketing involves new ways of working, and these ways affect every staff member personally, from job description to office location to compensation. People and organizations tend to resist this kind of change, especially when it impacts their own future.
BCG and Google have collaborated multiple times over the past few years to study various aspects of digital marketing.
1 Most recently, we teamed up to look at three issues related to digital marketing maturity:
What does best practice look like?
What is the road map to best practice?
What value does improving your capabilities drive?
We conducted a study consisting of three phases: a series of workshops and interviews to define a digital marketing maturity framework, “belief audits” with about 40 experts to test the framework and the enablers that support it, and a survey of senior marketers from more than 40 brands in eight industries across Europe who quantified the importance of the enablers and the levels of maturity of the participating companies. We identified six enablers that companies need to acquire or develop if they are to track customer journeys, engage customers through multiple channels at opportune times, and develop personalized relationships and interactions. We used the results to develop a road map to guide marketers along the digital marketing maturity curve.
Wide Disparities and High Barriers
Consumers today expect digital engagement. Sophisticated digital marketers, such as Amazon, Netflix, and Starbucks, have trained them to anticipate outreach, interaction, and even personalized offers, online and offline, from brands and retailers. For many marketers, however, using data for end-to-end tracking and targeting remains an unfulfilled promise. They lack in-depth understanding of end-to-end customer journeys, and they struggle with decisions about how and where to coordinate and focus their engagement efforts.[…]