SYDNEY—As consumers increasingly expect to be able to connect with brands 24/7, new research from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Google has found that while many businesses are investing in some form of digital marketing, some are failing to reap the full benefits.
The study, to be presented at the Advertising Week conference this week, also found that the most mature brands report significant benefits from data driven marketing, with an average incremental 15% revenue impact and 12% in cost efficiencies.
The team surveyed more than 40 brands from Australia and New Zealand, across 9 industries, and found only two per cent of organisations have developed digitally mature brands – that is, those that exceed consumer expectations by consistently delivering coordinated, relevant and sequenced experiences across a range of online and offline channels.
“While many companies see the value of digital marketing, most aren’t doing it as well as they could. Very few fall into the most mature category, where they are able to achieve meaningful connections with consumers, and realise a step-change in cost and revenue uplifts,” said Chris Mattey, a Partner and Managing Director in BCG’s Sydney office.
“We know that consumer expectations are rising. Consumers want fast, relevant, seamless experiences. This research sets out a clear path for brands to tap into this opportunity and keep pace with these rising expectations,” said Aisling Finch, Marketing Director, Google Australia and New Zealand.
The study identified three technical and three organisational factors common to digitally mature brands:
“Interestingly, brands that are more mature in the people and organisation dimensions report three times higher revenue uplifts than those that are less mature in these areas,” added Mattey.
“But it’s not just a matter of having a great digital marketing team. Digitally mature brands have buy-in from the highest C-Suite levels and cross-functional and empowered teams working on complex problems to drive business - not just marketing - outcomes. They don’t see this as a marketing problem, but a true collaboration with a program mindset.”
Through this research, BCG and Google have identified some clear steps on a path to digital maturity. The least mature brands can get started by setting the foundations, including identifying a senior sponsor, leveraging partners to fill capability gaps, understanding available data and building on that by implementing the back-end technology and analytics required to progress.
Then brands can build connections both in bringing cross-functional teams together and connecting data to drive automation - by breaking down barriers between 'traditional' and 'digital' marketing capabilities, embedding scarce skills such as data scientists, and using them to define common KPIs and a measurement framework that feeds into message delivery and optimisation.
To reach the highest level of maturity, brands can make every moment matter by identifying signals across online and offline data, understanding the value of each moment through sophisticated attribution, and measuring this against tangible business outcomes, and ad technology can help in facilitating this.
“Being honest about where brands sit on the curve of digital marketing maturity should provide a real focus on a small number of actions that will help take the leap to the next level,” said Mattey. “Moving up this curve shouldn’t be seen as a risk - instead it’s both a necessity and a huge opportunity.”
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