Nearly all large firms today have developed ecommerce, digital advertising, social media, and content marketing capabilities. But there is wide variation in how effective companies are at leveraging the digital domain to make real-world profits. Now, researchers at Booz & Company have put together a great diagnostic tool for firms to evaluate their digital maturity. It appears in the article “The Four Types of Digital Marketers“* by Matthew Egol, Christopher Vollmer, and Klaus Hoelbling in the latest issue of strategy + business.
The perceptual map plots what the authors call customer-centricity, a term that describes the “new marketing orientation made possible by digital media.” The map describes two key aspects of customer-centricity. On the vertical axis is customer insight and analysis, measures of how well the firm knows its customers and their online behavior. The horizontal access measures platforms and capabilities, the digital technology that provides the ability to act upon customer insights to increase sales and profitability in both the online and physical world. The four evolutionary levels of digital marketers are:
Quadrant 1 Scholars: These are firms that have gathered customer information but have yet to turn their insight into profitable products and services that can be delivered via ongoing customer relationships.
Quadrant 2: Novices are still learning about digital marketing. They lack the deep technology platforms and the customer knowledge to begin integrating real world and online efforts.
Quadrant 3: Pioneers may have robust e-commerce offerings but they are not integrated well enough with customer insights. Pioneers lack some of the highly personalized features presented by sites like Amazon or the ability to turn customer interactions into information that will drive all aspects of the business.
Quadrant 4: Leaders. Companies such as Apple and Nike are creating robust end-to-end customer relationships that span both physical and retail environments as well as customer needs and experiences in daily life. Their offerings and interactions are informed by customer insight at each step of the development, sales and service process.
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*”The Four Types of Digital Marketers” by Matthew Egol, Christopher Vollmer, and Klaus Hoelbling, strategy + business, 2012.
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