Digital marketing presents many challenges for modern businesses and individuals. The perceived ease of direct access to market, costs savings and measurability has had ‘solopreneurs’, SMB’s and many global brands diving in head first to capture early gains. But in an increasingly crowded space it is not merely enough to do it, it needs to be done well.
Many businesses are struggling to produce the kind of results that they seek in the digital arena. Many are still undergoing some degree of digital transformation, and there are those planning to deliver more digital marketing in-house. Effective digital marketing requires adequate business resources and capabilities that can identify and exploit market opportunities. That is why it is essential for business leaders to do an internal audit using a digital capability framework.
What is the Digital Capability Framework?
A digital capability framework is an internal research assessment of the nine core areas that have a significant impact on your ability to successfully implement your digital marketing both effectively and efficiently. They all fall within three main considerations as follows:
- Leadership buy-in – The level of co-operation, co-ordination and collaboration from leaders to support and influence the positive outcomes of the plan
- Team ability – Whether there are the right blend of functional and team roles within marketing and across the business. Highlighting skills gaps, structural barriers and development issues
- Market readiness – For the audience and the media channel
- Strategy – Is there one? Does it lead and support tactical activity? The degree to which it is integrated
- Governance – Are there adequate policies/frameworks and processes in place to support digital activity
- Infrastructure – The current level of IT systems and capabilities highlighting any immediate requirements
- Measurement – What needs to be measured, the alignment between strategic and business objectives and any barriers to measurement
- Financial Monitoring– Crucially the degree to which are you able to connect marketing performance to your financial results, the barriers and improvements needed. Note that good CRM and/or ecommerce systems are essential tools here.
- Innovation – The extent to which internal business culture encourages creative thinking, the attitude towards risk taking, and the development of ideas through to innovative outcomes
How to do a Digital Capability Assessment
It takes research that is best devised based on the business context and performed as part of the marketing process. I would recommend devising your research methods primarily around quantifiable survey and interview methods that can produce a score out of 10 points for each (max 90 points). Then build in ‘open feedback’ qualitative areas that will provide insight in to the potential barriers you’ll need to overcome. Low scoring areas will be your initial areas for concern.
There is no doubt that there is a need to manage expectations with digital. build a and make a commitment to learning. A tolerance for risk taking and a ‘test and learn’ culture is important because digital marketing is rapidly evolving and learning is key. The ability to make the right connections between market intelligence and opportunity is vitally important to establishing the unique insights that will boost your digital marketing performance.
It is also important not to get lost among the crowd along the journey and end up throwing good money at a bad situation. For the time pressed marketer and business leader it may seem like another task we simply do not have the time or resources for. You can either back a half-cooked plan, spend and then randomly firefight in hope that it all doesn’t go up in smoke. Alternatively you can plan the right way, then spend and place a fire extinguisher in the fewer areas that are likely to spark
About the Author: Marvin Miller is a Marketing Management & Campaigns Specialist who works across multi channel marketing strategy, campaigns and marketing implementation. You can follow his daily updates via Twitter and join his professional network via LinkedIn