The Digital Maturity Solution to Evolving Your Marketing Strategy

Neil Rodley

Digital Strategist

Digital Marketing Strategy

The gradual disappearance of cookies, the arrival of AI, and worldwide economic uncertainty have highlighted significant scope for improvement in the conventional approach to digital marketing strategies. Because of this, businesses are more likely to reach a plateau in performance than in previous years.

An overreliance on ROAS targets and limitations in traditional attribution models means siloed decision-making is more common and overlooks multiple critical touchpoints in the user journey. That’s why implementing a digital marketing maturity framework is now more critical than ever. It allows organizations to grow past the plateau, evolve their strategy, and achieve sustainable success.

Google’s digital maturity benchmark


For businesses to gain a vital understanding of digital maturity, the first thing organizations need to do is check their business against Google’s digital maturity benchmark. This report assesses a company’s maturity against various factors, including attribution, audience, and organization.

From here, the benchmark then places the business into one of four ranks based on where it falls against the criteria:

Low maturity

  • Nascent (fundamental)
  • Emerging (improving)

High maturity

  • Connected (established)
  • Multi-moment (mature)

These four stages of digital maturity allow companies to understand better where they sit against industry best practices. This knowledge enables marketing teams to assemble a roadmap to improve or sustain their rank in the framework.
For example, “nascent” companies often have a single-channel focus and depend highly on third-party data. Meanwhile, “connected” companies employ integrated multi-channel marketing and advanced use of owned first-party data.








Building your maturity framework


After discovering where your business sits on the digital maturity scale, the next step is turning these insights into actions. 

The maturity framework requires three strategic pillars:

  • Business objectives
  • Audience analysis
  • Customer journey

All three pillars can enhance the collection, analysis, and insights found in data, which, in turn, future-proof digital strategies and empower businesses to make smarter decisions on their road toward digital maturity. Taking an organization ranked “nascent” as an example, the first essential step toward maturity is building a data-driven strategy for collecting identifiable information.

This stage combines critical parts of the customer journey, leading the business closer to its core audience. Going directly to the audience at the point of interaction is vital when filling in gaps from lost third-party data and transforming it into usable data, which can improve your company’s strategy.

Whether it’s using online push notifications or in-person at the check-in of a hotel, there are multiple opportunities to prompt users to provide rich data that can build a greater understanding of an audience, generate leads, and evolve a digital strategy. This process also gathers essential data at every critical stage of the user journey: the start, middle, and end.

However, consumer privacy awareness movements mean businesses must provide value in exchange for identifiable information. 

Most importantly, once companies have that information, they must put it to use as effectively as possible. Making this a priority will naturally direct your organization toward digital maturity.

Watch Neil Rodley, Digital Strategist at Search Laboratory, discuss practical tips that future-proof your business through an eye on digital maturity.


Digital maturity lets you define value by product


Moving away from focusing on the number of leads, digital maturity is also about attributing to their quality -when and why they happened. Here, machine learning and artificial intelligence can make their mark.

Machine learning makes it possible to crunch the data of millions of users, capturing the performance over an extended timeline in your business. You can then estimate the likely future value of a user’s actions by modeling the historical data of all the users before them.

For example, one person calling in to request a change to a booking will not drive lifetime value. But a call to learn more about a potential booking may, and that will vary by the product or service. 

This visibility makes it possible to make informed changes to your digital marketing investments based on individual performance. Each product will have a different performance profile, and the heightened perspective gained from defining value-by-product creates opportunities for your organization to continue improving its digital maturity.

Achieving evolution through digital maturity


The digital landscape is evolving quicker than ever, with many new challenges emerging​. In our client work, we see businesses hitting a performance plateau and struggling to break through it by solely focusing on channel optimization. ​The key to unlocking the next phase of growth comes with digital maturity.

Harnessing customer data to decide the next beneficial move is the path your business needs to take​. Understanding where you rank in the digital maturity framework enables you to create a roadmap and connect more dots between your business, customers, and marketing efforts​.

But reaching the top rank of digital maturity isn’t the end of the story.

Reaching this point means your business will have potent knowledge of what’s working and what isn’t. But the focus here should be on agility and adaptability to changes as the digital landscape and your business continue to evolve.




Has your business hit a growth plateau?Let's discuss your next step in digital maturity