Evaluation and development of the company’s marketing maturity

Maturity models, which assess the maturity of practices and processes in various areas of human activity, have traditionally been part of working procedures. We at Archetix have not been left out and for internal purposes we work with a maturity model that mainly evaluates the maturity of a company’s marketing organization as a whole and its work with digital analytics. It is important to note that this maturity model does not evaluate the performance of marketing itself or of individual channels, but evaluates the adaptation of individual processes and tools. It also looks at the organization’s planning and human resource capabilities.

We call this model the Marketing Meter and we use it in onboarding implementation projects and in evaluating long-term project development. We have already published part of the model in the article Marketing Meter – an indicator of a company’s marketing maturity and strategic marketing management and discussed it with experts at the MeasureCamp Czechia 2018 data conference. Subsequently, we further developed and refined the model based on our experience.

Other entities operating with us on the analytics and marketing market in the Czech Republic are also working on similar issues, and we are trying to work closely with them and enrich each other with the knowledge that we may have missed so far. (If you are dealing with a similar issue and are not mentioned here, be sure to get in touch, we will put our heads together). These are mainly projects:

  • Marketing maps – marketingovemaps.cz, which maintain maturity by means of sub-tasks and their groups compiled by experts, whose completion then represents the overall maturity of the project, also serves as a great work procedure (checklist) for junior and senior consultants, marketing directors and project owners
  • Analytixer – which looks at web analytics maturity by auditing Google Analytics measurement settings
  • ecommerce-academy.cz – Milan Merglevský and Marek Kobulský build on the model of Jiří Hornych from Cross Masters, after which they created their own model for attribution modeling maturity
  • Taste Medio – at Data Date #1, Honza Tichy and I started a discussion on the topic of maturity models in marketing, greetings to him, I am already looking forward to seeing what direction they will take

The foreign ones which are a good stepping stone for potential applicants are:

Our model does not aim to be an industry benchmark or standard, but it makes our daily work with clients easier. At the same time, we want it to make your daily work in marketing easier too, and to show you where long-term development can go. It is strongly qualitative and really evaluates the marketing of a company with a focus on team and experience, planning and goals, processes, customer and technology. For us, these are the most important attributes regularly evaluated by a panel of experts.

What is the maturity model supposed to help with? It can help you evaluate the state of different parts of your marketing and advise you on where to focus. It also helps you discover how the different attributes relate to each other and whether they are in balance. Often we come across companies that are highly advanced in technology, for example: they have purchased and partially use a number of marketing and collaboration tools, but only have, say, one part-time person working with them. It’s important to realize that moving to higher maturity without moving all parts (attributes) of marketing together is simply not possible. The model helps us determine the direction of implementation projects and outline where the company may be in six months or a year. 

If we look at the individual levels of maturity used in the model, we get a scale of 0 – 5. For now, we are looking for suitable names for them, because as the research that one of our founders, Marek Čech, has been conducting at the Faculty of Economics of the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen has shown, even inappropriate names and poorly chosen scales can limit the practical use of the model, which then becomes a burden instead of an aid. Do you have any tips for suitable names? Drop us a line.

A rough verbal description of the situation of a company at different levels of maturity:

Level 0

Here, the company / start-up / project is at the very beginning of its existence, no one cares about marketing and analytics, and business goals don’t exist (unless some technique like Lean Canvas, Value Proposition Canva GrowthWheel, STDC framework, Business Canvas or other tool has been appropriately used to clarify the very basic cornerstone of the entire effort. In marketing, improvisation is done without a specific methodology and a clear process. Marketing is not thought of as an investment and there is little visibility. No one realizes the difference of expenses and time spent on preparing marketing activities, and it is not evaluated anywhere. Competition is not dealt with and marketing and business data is non-existent. Products and services are developed with no regard to the customer, and prototyping and user testing tend not to be used. In terms of technology, the company has a web presentation and a profile on the main social networks without a clear purpose. Other technologies are used in a haphazard way and without a long-term goal. Measurement tools are not implemented.

In order to move to level 1, it is necessary to get a firm grip on all activities and start planning and implementing them.

Level 1

Here the owner (or the father of the idea if you will) is more concerned with the direction of his efforts and the whole project. Due to the lack of funds or unclear plan, which cannot be handed over to anyone, he solves all the marketing and its evaluation by himself. He works on the basis of tasks that he either makes up himself or they come from the investor. The direction of marketing often changes overnight, and due to information overload, completely ineffective but trendy activities are often tried. Activities that are generally agreed to work fine are repeated without much analysis and development. Costs are approved by the owner. There is awareness of local competition but not much work with data. Sales and marketing data existing mostly in physical or electronic form without clear structure and possibility of quantitative analysis. Only customer complaints and claims are dealt with. Social networks are joined by advertising systems and a website with the possibility of management, often set up in a basic form (embedded code) and measurement tools, access to individual systems is chaotic, the settings are decided at will.

To move to level 2, it is necessary to start creating structures and delegating individual tasks, while also delegating responsibilities and the ability to decide on sub-activities to specific people who are assigned a budget in advance.

Level 2

The owner creates structures for the proper functioning of marketing. Invests in part-time and then full-time marketers and analysts (varies by industry), sets short-term priorities and business goals, and implements isolated marketing activities without further follow-up and evaluation. The responsible person makes decisions according to their experience and delegated authority. Budgets are allocated to specific marketing activities and campaigns. There is an awareness of competition which is monitored from time to time. Marketing and business data are stored in disconnected systems, creating an Excel hell or very fragile tailor-made spreadsheet systems. Customer satisfaction is surveyed on a random basis. Technologically, the company has identified a few main marketing channels that are partly in someone’s charge, but these are still unclear as to how they will be used. New practices are being experimented with. There is an effort to report and review conversions on a regular basis.

To move to level three, processes and procedures need to be developed and anchored to facilitate the involvement of other staff and specialists. These will then enable the creation of data-driven marketing in the future, full of synergies and positive effects through omnichannel and multichannel marketing.

Level 3

Marketing is already a common part of a company’s operation. It is fully prepared for the data that will seal its anchoring in the strategic management of the company. There is a small marketing team that shares marketing activities. Analytics is handled by each department on its own. There is annual business and marketing planning, along with shorter-term priority planning. At least one marketing channel is targeted, and it’s evaluated and optimised on a long-term basis. The company uses its own, partially documented methodology for selecting appropriate marketing activities and their testing (guidelines, procedures, templates, checklists). The marketing department has its own annual budget, which it manages. There is regular monitoring of competitors, benchmarking on price and quality, and the company is actively involved in industry events and the community. Data still exists in linked systems, analysis and reporting is done on an ad hoc basis with high demands on staff time. Targeted feedback is collected from customers and there are regular surveys used to develop products and services. From a technology perspective, the company already has a wide range of tools that have their assigned administrators. Customer segmentation and optimization of campaigns against KPI’s are ongoing.

To move to the next level, the company needs to start unifying data from marketing, sales and accounting to create a comprehensive data complex that allows for quick and predictive analytics.

Level 4

There is a fully functioning marketing team made up of both juniors and seniors. There is an analytics team that brings together the analysts from each department created in the previous level to educate them and create synergies. Goals and processes are thus optimized based on data. Marketing is handled comprehensively as a system to maximize positive synergies, and the company is moving towards the desired omnichannel and multichannel marketing. The company adopts a proven and recognized methodology. The budget is set with regard to performance, based on plan and data. The company regularly analyzes industry trends and purchases overview reports and market and population analysis. It determines the direction of its industry and takes an active role in it. There are functional linkages between the various data systems. The customer care system speeds up the company’s response, and optimization is done on long-term customer value. Technologically, the company is an advanced user of advertising systems, social networks and other marketing tools, and it is also involved in their development.

To move to the next level, the company needs to track customer behavior on individual channels and touchpoints and form comprehensive customer journeys from them, focusing on information that can be gleaned from data that has been collected over the months and years of its existence. It needs to connect the different departments and focus on optimizing long-term customer value. Marketing thus becomes the center of a functioning company.

Level 5

There is a sophisticated marketing department structure that meets the needs of the company and forms its most important department. Analytics becomes the business intelligence department. Every employee in the company has access to personalized data for their needs. Based on the data and meeting goals, the company thinks about and redefines the cornerstones of its industry. It becomes one of the industry leaders. It purposefully optimizes both online and offline marketing activities based on data. Business goals are fully intertwined with marketing goals and the interdependence of online and offline activities is addressed. Regularly refines its marketing methodology. It is completely familiar with marketing attribution, ROI and PNO calculations, these along with other performance indicators are included in all reports. The company has sophisticated procedures for monitoring its competitors, and regularly analyses and evaluates both its products and practices but also its competitors (mystery shopping, benchmarking, etc.). Data systems are linked to a single point and are automatically analyzed. The customer is part of the team, modern product and service design methods such as design thinking are used. The company is a leader in product innovation. Technologically, the company uses the most sophisticated systems, from which it gets the most out of. Common terms used in meetings are predictive analytics and activity-based costing.

So much so far for the model we use on a daily basis at Archetix. For those who haven’t given much thought to a strategic view of marketing, hopefully it has shown the way to think about developing a company’s marketing capability. We wish you much strength in building this tough task and we hope you find the right partners to help you.

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