Marketing Maturity Models: A Guide for Improving Your Marketing Analytics
Marketing maturity models are a helpful tool for organizations that are looking to improve their marketing analytics capabilities. These models provide a framework for assessing current maturity and identifying areas for improvement. They also offer guidance on how to develop a plan for improvement.
There are several different marketing maturity models available, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Two of the most well-known models are the Forrester Marketing Performance Measurement Maturity Assessment and the Gartner Maturity Model for Marketing Analytics.
The Forrester model is more focused on measuring marketing performance, while the Gartner model is more focused on the overall maturity of an organization's marketing analytics capabilities.
My approach to marketing maturity models is similar to the Gartner model in that it also describes the stages that organizations go through as they develop their ability to use data and analytics to drive business decisions. However, rather than address overall marketing maturity, my approach looks specifically at competencies tied to marketing analytics -- strategy, insights, governance, complexity, and technology -- and how they progress as organizations mature.
The Five Competencies of Marketing Analytics Maturity
The measurement framework becomes more complete. Strategic imperatives trickle down and marketing impact bubbles up. The ability to plan for outcomes becomes stronger and the team can project impact into the future. The progression here moves from local tactics to organizational ones.
Executional --> Channel --> Digital --> Organizational
The team becomes enabled to track performance, plan for outcomes and interpret the results, act on findings, and recognize improvements over time. Progress here looks at how well a team is able to leverage the data they collect.
Descriptive --> Diagnostic --> Predictive --> Prescriptive
Marketing operations become more planful and consistent, which allows for more reliable data and regulatory compliance. Improvements in governance build consistency across the organization with wide-ranging impacts.
Individual --> Team --> Regional --> Global
Advanced data management becomes more important as more data sources are included allowing for new metrics and deeper insights. Progression involves leveraging data systems in increasingly integrated ways. This sits at the crossroads of Technology and Insights.
Silos --> Comparisons --> Integrations --> Single Source of Truth
As the dataset and questions become larger and more complex, machine processing and AI start to uncover more opportunities for optimization. This technology progression focuses on the availability of tools that increase the insights and communication capabilities of a team over time, not backend data systems.
Reporting --> Dashboards --> Forecasting --> AI/ML
As we increase maturity, not only does the value increase through specific phases, but overall strategy, insights, governance, complexity and technology increase too. Scoring in these areas is possible also. In this way, we can identify the areas of most need and develop priorities while recognizing inter-dependencies.
Which Analytics Maturity Approach is Right for You?
Ultimately, the best way to determine which marketing maturity model is right for you is to understand your current level of maturity and identify areas for improvement. Here are some tips for using a marketing maturity model:
Start by understanding the different levels of maturity. Each marketing maturity model will have a different set of levels. Take some time to understand what each level means and what it takes to achieve that level.
Understand where you sit on the curve. Once you understand the different levels of maturity, you can begin to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your current situation.
Identify areas for improvement. Once you have assessed your current level of maturity, you can identify areas for improvement. This can be done by comparing your current level of maturity to the desired level of maturity.
Develop a plan for improvement. Once you have identified areas for improvement, you can develop a plan for improvement. This plan should include specific goals, objectives, and action steps.
Track your progress over time. Once you have implemented your plan for improvement, it is important to track your progress over time. This will help you determine if you are on track to achieve your goals.
Using a marketing maturity model can be a helpful way to improve your marketing analytics capabilities. By understanding your current level of maturity and identifying areas for improvement, you can develop a plan to progress in meaningful ways and gain the benefits of being a data-driven organization.