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Assess Your Digital Maturity

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Identify where your strategy is on the digital maturity scale.
  • Document your customer experience.

How Mature Is Your Digital Program?

As we mentioned in the previous unit, it’s important to establish your own KPI baseline to judge your success and help determine areas of improvement. It’s equally important to identify where your efforts compare in terms of technology and digital capabilities—also known as digital maturity.

The goal of digital maturity is to provide a benchmark—or starting point—for innovation. So let’s get to the fun part and see where you are on the maturity scale. The focus of this assessment is on channels (single channel to omni-channel) and engagement (segmented to connected). Let’s review these in a bit more detail.

Chart of digital maturity with channel coordination on one axis and engagement maturity on the other. A highlighted goal of having 1-to-1 connected experiences at the top right of the chart.

Level
Channel
Engagement
Goal
I
Single
Sending messages in one channel, for example email.
Segmented
One-to-many messages sent using basic audience segmentation.
Send the message quickly and accurately.
II
Multichannel
Sending messages in two channels, for example mobile and email.
Lifecycle
One-to-many messages sent in each channel.
Tailor messages based on channel.
III
Cross-channel
Sending messages in multiple channels.
Real-Time
Real-time, personalized messages.
Create personalized and automated journeys at scale.
IV
Omni-channel
Sending tailored messages in the appropriate channel based on message type and customer preference.
Connected
One-to-one, real-time, unique messaging by channel.

Create a unique customer experience that is coordinated by multiple departments (sales, service, marketing, and IT platforms).

If your program doesn’t perfectly align to one level, don’t worry. You can be at a different level for channels than you are for engagement. For example, Cloud Kicks is at level 1 with single channel messages and level III with real-time engagement. The overall goal of the assessment is to determine where you are currently and what you need to do to reach that end goal of creating a personalized experience. So how do you get there? It starts with a clear understanding of your customer experience.

A Day in the Life of Your Customer

Customer service specialist and author Kate Zabriskie said, “Your customer’s perception is your customer experience reality.” Regardless of where you think you fall on the digital maturity spectrum, it is your customer’s opinion that matters. To make a personalized, connected experience with your customers, you need to know them forward and backward—from their channel preferences, to all their interactions with your brand (the good, the bad, and the ugly). 

So how do you do that? You can ask them directly through interviews, surveys, or user-experience groups. Or you can see for yourself by walking through your customer lifecycle. Review the entire process for communications—from sign-up, to welcome emails, and even unsubscribing. 

Customer Communication Lifecycle

Shopping cart icons and text for phases in the customer lifecycle: sign up, email review, and unsubscribe.

During each step, try to see things from their perspective. How do they engage with your brand? What is that experience like? What went well? What didn’t? Your experience may not reveal all pain points, so it can also be helpful to talk to customer support. Once you have gathered your feedback, whiteboard the entire experience a customer has with your brand.  

Data Assessment

Data is another key aspect of your digital maturity level, because data drives personalized customer experiences. Here is a quick exercise to assess your data and define areas for improvement that can be used to build your roadmap (more on that later).

Step Questions to Ask
Know the Data You Have
Audit your existing data. Check for data quality, accessibility, and completeness.
  • Where does your data come from?
  • What is the source?
  • Where does it live?
  • How complete is it?
  • How easy is it to access and use?
Document the Data You Need
Define the existing data points you’re missing.
  • Does it exist?
  • Who owns the data?
  • Can you collect it?
Envision the Data You Want
Determine your “wishlist” data points that are either hard to access or don’t currently exist.
  • Why is it hard to access?
  • What would you have to change to get this data?

Content Assessment

In order to create a personalized, connected customer experience, you also need quality content that the customer wants to receive. Just as we did with data, follow similar steps to identify the content you have, need, and want.

Step
Questions to Ask
Know the Content You Have
Review your content for messaging, audience, location, and channel-focus.
  • Is it consistent with your brand?
  • Is it up to date and fresh?
  • Can you repurpose it for other use-cases?
Document the Content You Need
Define the content you’re missing to enhance the customer experience.
  • Does it improve a customer’s experience?
  • Is it channel-specific?
Envision the Content You Want
Dare to dream about this magical content.
  • What purpose would this content serve? What channel does the content fit best in?
  • Is it impressive to a customer?
Note

Note

Want some help from AI? Learn how Einstein can help with content selection and send time optimization in the module, Artificial Intelligence for Email Marketers.

With the results of your analysis (and your notes on customer experience, data, and content), it’s time to move on to the next step: building your strategic roadmap. Stay tuned!

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