The importance of digital channels for business is no longer in dispute as more and more companies are finding their audiences online. For the past seven years, Adobe has conducted an annual survey to explore trends and priorities in digital marketing and understand where the market is headed.

Unsurprisingly, we are seeing that those clients with consistent messages across all digital channels are seeing a greater return on their investments. The problem, however, is that these organisations represent a small percentage, while most companies are still trying to figure out how best to prioritise their next moves.

In analysing this year’s survey data we identified four key areas that are essential to the strategies of the most digitally mature companies. Keep in mind, however, that no single element is more important than another – each needs to be in balance with the others to sustain your business’s online success.

The four areas companies are focusing on to accelerate their maturity are:

  • data-driven marketing
  • customer experience
  • mobile
  • cross-channel marketing.

Take a moment to review the report, Four Essential Elements for Digital Maturity, for in-depth information about the survey results.

Let’s look at the best practices tied to these four key areas that bubbled up through the survey results.

Let’s get started.

Data-driven marketing

What are the best practices for building customer intelligence through data-driven marketing? These practices can help your organisation use data to gain insights into your customers and turn this knowledge into action:

  • Use customer data to understand and personalise each individual’s journey.
  • Invest in predictive analytics.
  • Centralise your data to accelerate insights and for ease of accessibility.
  • Integrate external and offline data to enhance your audience segments.

Customer experience

What are the best practices for igniting brand loyalty through the customer experience? These practices can help you create more meaningful experiences and move your organisation forward in digital maturity:

  • Think of every touchpoint as a brand connection.
  • Develop content with the customer’s needs in mind.
  • Work to develop a rich customer profile.
  • Automate the delivery of your personalised content.

Mobile

What are the best practices for breathing new life into mobile? These strategies will help your organisation prepare for a mobile-only world:

  • Make mobile a priority by investing in mobile channels and applications.
  • Create dedicated mobile sites and apps.
  • Use data to determine the value your mobile channels deliver.
  • Use data to understand valuable mobile content and services.

Cross-channel marketing

Finally, what are the best practices for a more fluid customer journey through cross-channel marketing? These practices will help start your organisation’s conversation about delivering a consistent message across all channels:

  • Invest in technologies, processes and tools for connecting at every point in the customer journey.
  • Adapt your message for each channel while ensuring a cohesive story across all channels.
  • Integrate your systems and channels to share data as well as content and assets.
  • Invest in tools to understand your customer’s journey.

Achieving digital maturity isn’t easy, and your company is not alone in this process. No company that participated in the Adobe survey had achieved total maturity, and they may never – the digital world is evolving faster than most businesses can adapt. But the ones at the mature end of the spectrum have invested in well-defined plans with every intention to improve in all areas across the digital maturity spectrum.

Download the 2016 Adobe report, Four Essential Elements for Digital Maturity, and read the results in more detail.  And I invite you to join me in continuing the conversation and share your perspective: @rigbyscott

About the Author

Scott Rigby is Head of Digital Transformation at Adobe. Adobe is a corporate member of the Which-50 Digital Intelligence Unit. Members contribute their expertise and insights to Which-50 for the benefit of our senior executive audience. Membership fees apply.

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