Enhancing your digital maturity in 2024: Why change? Why now?

Alex Blaikley, Commercial Director,

Why digital maturity matters

In an environment where businesses of all shapes and sizes are becoming your competitors, evaluating your marketing operations against digital maturity stages will support planning, prioritisation, and enable stakeholder engagement and investment decisions.  

Shifts in technology, changing consumer behavior and regulations have all shaped the last few years in the industry. Covid had many thinking the world would shop online for evermore, but it soon became clear that consumer behaviour was far more complex. What we previously knew to be true of our consumers could not be taken for granted now. 

Consumers are now blinded by choice. Not only is it harder to get inside the head of your current and potential customers, but it’s also becoming increasingly more difficult to meaningfully benchmark against your competitors too. 

The opportunity for continued digital growth (let alone sustainable growth) through marketing - and especially digital marketing - is not a given. We anticipate that ways of working, ruthless prioritisation, and the CMO’s ability to drive business-wide change will ultimately dictate success.   

The Martech landscape grew for the 12th consecutive year last year (now containing 11,038 solutions and a 11% rise from 2022) and the continued demise of third-party cookies will require every marketing team to have a first-party data strategy that will form the foundation for customer retention.  

2024 will see a paradigm shift for digital marketers and it’s more important than ever that your agency partners are working to support and guide your investment decisions and activate your first-party data strategy. 

Evaluation for growth

Focusing only on your competitors to benchmark your organisation’s success will no longer be enough to satisfy your stakeholders or retain your customers.  

There is no more powerful source of feedback than when one can hold a mirror up to oneself. That’s why we’ve created the Digital Maturity Evaluation to enable collaboration, long-term thinking and avoid siloed decision-making.  

With your consumers seeking an enhanced digital experience, using a digital maturity framework to evaluate yourself, team and organisation will be an effective tool to support strategy implementation and ensure a clear focus on the customer.  

The four stages of digital maturity

Our experience as one of the UK’s leading media and digital experience agencies has seen us partner with brands across a range of digital maturities, including Fortnum & Mason, Asda Money, Corinthia Hotels, Hoka and CEF, to drive digital growth.  

This breadth of exposure enabled us to identify key themes - from culture and strategy, through to economics and data– to form the basis of a four-stage digital maturity model: 

Key characteristics:

We identified organisations in the first stage of digital maturity as demonstrating ‘Siloed’ characteristics. At this stage, your focus is likely to be on driving ROI for individual marketing channels, but you’ll have an appetite to broaden your digital marketing mix to deliver next-level growth. 

If your business is ‘Emerging’, ROI is still likely to be your top KPI, but we anticipate that you’ll also be tracking revenue, leads and share of voice. Data will be fuelling your marketing delivery and elements of experimentation will be supported by your business. 

‘Connected’ organisations will be taking it a step further with the aim of driving digital-first integrated growth. You’ll be investing in full-funnel marketing across customer journeys which are underpinned by a trusted measurement framework - and a culture of experimentation will be evident across the business. 

Brands that are truly ‘Advanced’ in their digital maturity will be demonstrating enterprise-level, first-party data strategies and personalised digital experiences to drive omnichannel growth, with marketing activity and insight being applied across the business value chain in real-time. 

So, where does your organisation sit on the scale?

We’ve designed a tool featuring questions and prompts to help you look inward to understand and advance your digital marketing maturity, and we’re looking for digital leaders, like you, to join our pilot. 

Based on your answers, we’ll share guidelines to drive positive momentum to advance to the next stage while keeping your customers at the heart of your strategy.  

Get started here. 

During a year where the role of the CMO and marketing teams will become even more challenging, the value of partners needs to be more than the sum of the parts. If you’re looking for an agency to support you on your digital maturity journey, from a strategic and delivery perspective, contact our team today

Headshot of Alex Blaikley, with the 26 logo in the background.

Alex Blaikley, Commercial Director

Alex has over 20 years of industry experience - having worked at Telegraph Media Group, Sky Media, Google, and Dentsu before joining 26 in 2020. His role offers the opportunity to work with genuine capability across the full spectrum of digital services and with clients who always challenge us to create better. There is no better time to embrace integrated digital marketing and advertising, than now. 

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