What does ‘Digital Maturity’ mean?

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What do we mean when we talk about 'Digital Maturity'? In our latest blog post, Lee Satchwell takes us through how you can appeal to increasingly savvy internet users.

What does ‘Digital Maturity’ mean?

Digital maturity can mean many things for many people. But in marketing we relate this to a business and its customers.

Consumers are growing more digitally mature – becoming more advanced, more savvy, more sophisticated. Even my Dad, the long-time technophobe, now sends me links to things online I might find interesting or need for my dog. Clearly, businesses need to keep up or, better yet, be proactive and stay ahead of the game.

As the consumers’ maturity has increased, we’ve seen their behaviour change. Consumers are ever more curious, demanding, and impatient and, if we as marketers can’t meet these expectations, someone else will.


Understanding what consumers want

This new found curiosity in savvy consumers has led to them searching for the information they need to make an informed decision. Consumers are approaching information online with a more critical eye and, more and more, they want to know what is “the best” or what is recommended by their peers and people they trust.

They demand relevance to their queries and expect brands to provide useful information that matches their intent. “Near me” searches have grown 4.5x on Google search and 6x on Google Maps on mobile in the last 2 years in EMEA according to Google.

Add to that COVID-19 restrictions put in place, consumers want to know whether what they want can be delivered to them quickly, or if it is in stock and available for collection, before leaving the house for what may be their only shopping trip of the week.

But if this information can’t be provided quickly, they will look elsewhere. From data provided by Google, we know 50% of visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes longer than three seconds to load. It’s a reason why Google is getting even hotter on this with the launch of their new ranking algorithm called the Page Experience update due to land in May 2021 which has site speed and “core web vitals” at its heart.


Using Data to inform strategy

For brands to become digitally mature, anticipating the needs of their customers and delivering experiences quickly is key and technology and quality data is becoming ever more critical to achieving this. By utilising the power of technology and its machine learning capabilities we are able to obtain data driven insights which will in turn help deliver intelligent content in real time and at scale when each consumer is ready for them, driving a higher LTV (lifetime value) of the customer.

And, with the cookieless future right on the horizon, growing your own first party audience data or investing in cookieless tracking technology will play a big role in future strategy.

With this data at your fingertips you can build a strategy based around experiences that is relevant across the whole customer journey, not only being there when they are ready to purchase but helping to answer questions and educate much earlier in the journey providing the assistance which can reap rewards later on.


Planning your digital journey

Digital maturity should be a never-ending journey for brands and, whether you’re just starting out with your first content campaign, adding digital PR into the mix of channels at your disposal or you have a sophisticated paid search strategy, there is always the opportunity to improve and grow. This is why we at ClickThrough have developed our own Digital Maturity Framework – adapted from Google’s own benchmark to help us and our clients understand where they are on their digital journey and plan what actions need to be taken to continuously develop and evolve.

It considers several different factors such as the data available from CRM or analytics tools and how attribution is modelled across channels. It looks at the use of technology and automation in strategies and the level of sophistication and scaling it can achieve. And it also takes into account the level of understanding of audiences, personas and buyer journeys that help to drive personalised experienced to customers.

The end result is an understanding of where a business currently sits on their digital journey highlighting the gaps with actionable recommendations which can form the basis of longer-term strategic decisions to take a business to the next level.


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