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Every online enterprise in today’s ecosystem wants to evolve or accelerate from its current state, and a small % of these enterprises have a clear path or roadmap in place with measurable checkponts. This gives them a confidence and opportunity to benchmark against their immediate competitors in the same vertical, and get the feeling of being matured and evolved in this ecosystem. However, a large % of enterprises are still trapped in their maturity journey and don’t have a clear direction in terms of, where they are heading, what they should be striving for, and what kind of tactical roadmap they need to put in place to make their maturity journey comfortable, consistently moving and measurable.
In this post, we are going to discuss on the framework of Digital Maturity Curve, its importance for an online enterprise, the various milestones an enterprise needs to achieve, and how to go about achieving them with confidence?
FRAMEWORK OF THE DIGITAL MATURITY CURVE
The concept of Digital Maturity Curve is not new in our industry – it’s been there for than a decade now but, it has been marketed quite well in last 5 years by both Digital Analytics Agencies and Digital Analytics Solution Providers. It’s a wonderful door-opener framework, which allows both agencies and solution providers to gauge the current maturity state of an online enterprise on the basis of few open-ended and close-ended questions, and smartly structure their service or solution offering that not only caters their ongoing operational challenges but their long term vision too.
Some of the solution providers and agencies who have marketed it quite well in last 5 years include: ADOBE, IBM, ERNST & YOUNG, CARDINAL PATH etc.
STAGE 1: Laying down the Digital Infrastructure
The bottom end of the maturity curve talks about setting up the digital infrastructure for the online enterprises, which requires a strong collaboration among the enterprise, agency and solution provider.
This is the most critical stage of the maturity curve and requires the significant amount of resources (time, dollars and skills) from the enterprise towards the cloud-based digital analytics platform, and the agency who plays the role of a Solution Implementation Partner and provide both Strategic and Technical consulting to the enterprise analytics, marketing, content, merchandising and engineering teams.
The amount of time an organization spends at this stage can range anywhere from minimum 3 months to maximum 18 months. Being the most critical and foundation stage of the digital maturity curve, it requires strong data governance around it in order to maintain the quality and integrity of data because, all further stages in the maturity curve leverage this data and it has to be in a better quality before any decision making is done.
In order to lay down the proper governance at the enterprise end, the agency plays a significant role in collaboration with enterprise analytics and engineering team. In order to lay down the digital infrastructure, every enterprise needs to put together a tactical roadmap to achieve their first milestone of the maturity curve, and their should be a clear distribution of roles and responsibilities among enterprise team, agency team and solution provider team.
STAGE 2: Enable Data-Driven Decision Making
This is the second stage of the maturity curve which empowers the in-house analysts and enable the decision makers. Under this stage, a lot of initiatives are taken place at the enterprise end in collaboration with the agency and here are some of the key activities:
- Setting up Weekly & Monthly Dashboards/Scorecards for the executives and key decision makers
- Setting up Alerts to detect anomalies
- Cross-Channel Data Aggregation and Preparation for Visualization using tools like Tableau, Qlikview etc.
- Customized Reports for deep-dive analysis
- Ad-hoc Analysis and Data Troubleshooting
- Descripive/Explorative Analysis using tools like R/Python.
- Finding Testable Opportunities & Building Test Hypothesis
NOTE – This is not a time-bound one-off stage. It’s a continuous activity and requires a consistent collaboration between agency and enterprise teams.
STAGE 3: Learn & Optimize
This is the learn and action stage of the maturity curve where, the emphasis is on learning and influencing the behavior of your target audience across multiple channels and devices. Under this stage, the enterprises leverage their investment in the testing and target platform, and execute series of tests every month to learn more about their target audience behavior and their conversion patterns.
As an outcome of this continuous exercise, they plan out their targeting strategy and optimize the behavior of those interesting audience segments who have a potential to significantly impact the online conversion.
NOTE – This is not a time-bound one-off stage. It’s an iterative activity and requires a consistent collaboration between optimization agency and enterprise teams.
STAGE 4: Personalization
This stage is an evolution from the testing & targeting stage where, you start profiling the behavior of each and every individual visiting your website across multiple devices using a Data Management Platform (DMPs). With the help of DMPs, you can stitch the cross-device behavior of an individual by syncing their cookies and identify those interesting traits and badges which can be leveraged for building smart and highly targeted segments. Once these segments are defined, they can be shared with the enterprise personalization platforms like Optimizely and Adobe Target or, they can be shared with the Demand Side Platforms like Doubleclick for re-targeting.
Based on our experience, most of the enterprises don’t invest in a DMP and Personalization platforms during their foundational stage of the maturity curve as, it requires lot of maturity from the enterprises.
This is not a time-bound one-off stage.
It’s an iterative activity and requires a consistent collaboration
between an optimization agency and enterprise teams.
WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF THE DIGITAL MATURITY CURVE?
It’s a wonderful framework through which an enterprise can gauge its current digital maturity and plan out their digital roadmap for the coming years. This helps them move up in the maturity journey. The framework provides a pretty high-level and abstract roadmap, which needs to be further translated in to a much tactical and measurable roadmap so that; it could be easy to roll-out and get an acceptance from a larger audience.
WHY DO MOST ENTERPRISES GET TRAPPED INSTEAD OF MOVING UP IN THE VALUE CHAIN?
There is no one line answer for this question because, there are multiple contributing factors behind this:
- First and foremost, most of the enterprises get lost while setting up their digital infrastructure because, they make a huge upfront investment in the cloud-based digital analytics platform without focusing on the availability of in-house skills, resource bandwidth and most importantly, the absence of a core center of excellence team who could drive it with passion, evangelize the business stakeholders and operational teams, and on top of all, could fight the political battles with other departments.
- Secondly, the in-house analysts and decision makers get trapped in the day to day operational issues, mundane reporting and data troubleshooting instead of spending time identifying opportunities for optimization at the channel, campaign, content and conversion workflow levels.
- Thirdly, their is a lack of vision around, how to look at the data at a holistic level, and stitch the cross-channel and cross-device behavior of the consumers, and articulate the data in such a fashion that; it gives an end-to-end view of the consumer journey.
- Fourthly, how to clean and prepare the data for deep-dive analysis and facilitate to the respective teams in the organization who could act on the data.
- Lastly, their is an absence of commitment and support from the senior management and ongoing inter-departmental issues.
At Nabler, we work with enterprises of all sizes and collaborate with them throughout their digital maturity journey.
To learn more about us, please visit our website at www.nabler.com
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