Like any journey, bring a map to your digital transformation

We just completed a huge piece of work in the last quarter of 2018 where we mapped out what digital marketing transformation looks like across all key areas of marketing including paid media, content, creative, data, analytics, insights and CRM.

The purpose of the project was to develop a very clear map of digital maturity across all the key functional areas within marketing. We developed “Crawl, Walk, Run” scenarios for People, Process and Technology under all the key functional areas to create what is effectively a map that we use with clients to help them figure out where they are now in terms of digital maturity, and then determine where they want to aim to go next.

The key to an effective digital transformation is to bring both senior leadership and other members of the team along with you on the journey. Therefore it helps, especially when dealing with non-marketing senior executives or other functional areas such as analytics or IT, for them to also get a clear idea of what digital excellence looks like in the marketing function, one they may not be as familiar with.

Without knowing this sometimes we see organisations developing what can be quite a stressful way of trying to drive transformation, by forcing what might be very sophisticated techniques which are too early for an organisation to be testing, therefore increasing the likelihood of failure.

Alternatively, it can help to give a bit of a kick to those organisations or teams that are not aiming high enough with their change initiatives! If we can show them they’re at Crawl but they think they’re at Run then this can help to push the team along a little if that’s what senior leaders are looking for.

One of the interesting aspects that came out of the mapping process was the importance of the collaborative relationship between marketing teams and agencies. While building your capability in-house, the relationship with agencies and leveraging their knowledge from working across categories and other clients continues to remain a valuable part of an organisation’s own digital transformation.

So if you’re a client that’s thinking about in-housing, we suggest that you plan this out strategically depending on your priorities and continue some of your agency relationships. Even for those very sophisticated clients who are sitting at the Run stage, we see some areas where it continues to make sense to work with strong agency or consulting partners to provide fresh thinking and guidance.