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#Digital Marketing

How To Fast Track Digital Marketing Maturity

Want to get on the fast track to Digital Marketing Maturity? 


In response to the unparalleled changes of the last 18 months - specifically the accelerated digital evolution caused by the pandemic, rapid expansion of consumer demand for personalisation and the dwindling data-stream once nourished by the third-party cookie – BCG & Google have collaborated once more to analyse the impact this has had on advancements in Digital Marketing Maturity.  

As we would expect, overall brands have progressed their digital maturity since the first research in 2019. The coveted multi-moment stage registered a considerable jump (from 2%) with 9% of companies now operating as the most digitally advanced marketers.

There’s more good news for those already making strides along their Digital Marketing Maturity journey, as this new BCG research has found that more mature brands have further increased their effectiveness and efficiencies since the first study - 





Sales Increase

(up 2 points since 2019)

Costs Savings

(up 16 points since 2019)

Increase in Brand Share

(by 3% or more)


As you can see companies that have made considerable advancements are already reaping the rewards of those efforts, with the gap widening between the former and those companies that have continued to stand still or have made only minimal steps compared to their more mature competitors.

But all is not lost if your company is yet to begin its own Digital Maturity advancement. In getting to the heart of the rapidly changing landscape, this new study identifies four specific drivers that can accelerate the journey of digital maturity and put companies on the fast track today. 

Rest assured that wherever your current position, the six digital marketing pillars identified in 2019 remain imperative to digital success. 



Even when in the same stage of maturity, companies that are balancing their development of the four accelerators are generating more effective and efficient business results. For those high-maturity brands this is not something to ignore, the further development of these accelerators has the potential to increase revenues and efficiencies by 2% compared with static peers.



Accelerator One: Technical - Building a virtuous cycle around first-party data


Utilising first-party data — information that is shared directly by people following their consent — has always enabled companies to gather valuable insights about their audiences, that when strategically analysed gives a competitive advantage in their category. Privacy concerns and regulatory changes have heightened the value of that first-party data, with the primary objective being to gain and maintain consented access to the data itself.

Companies that are yet to invest in understanding their current sources of data will need to start now, to ensure that data quality is the foundation across their capabilities. This in turn will help them navigate new regulatory changes and privacy concerns. 

For more digitally mature organisations, further investment into creating a holistic view across all sources of first-party (online and offline) data and establishing a cross-functional data privacy team for the long-term will be key. 

And how do you convince your consumers to share this valuable data? Success will come in the creation of a compelling story across each touchpoint of the purchasing journey, which is told in the language of your audience. That story must underpin the two-way trust value exchange of first-party data, as without this companies may struggle to build trust with their audience — leading to difficulties in maintaining long-term access to first-party data.

This latest research shows that companies who have connected their first-party data can generate 1.5x the incremental revenue from a singular interaction, compared to those with limited data integration.



Accelerator Two: Technical - Developing a true end-to-end measurement capability across channels, using predictive models


The ability to measure the impact of paid, earned and owned interactions with consumers along the purchasing journey, has long been the sought-after holy grail of marketing. Stepping towards this, companies need to build an effective measurement system that continuously optimises the value exchange with customers. 

With the sun setting on the third-party data source, precision marketing must evolve into the predictive marketing era. This latest study finds that even some of the more advanced marketers have not yet built this capability. Only 42% of Multi-moment companies and 36% of Connected companies currently leverage predictive models effectively.

In establishing true end-to-end measurement capabilities, companies must widen their lens from focussing only on consistent KPIs through cross-channel and cross-device measurement out to deploying predictive models along the entirety of the purchasing journey.

The future is modelled. Only by leveraging advanced analytics can these predictive models permeate the data gaps currently filled by third-party cookies, attributing the value of customer touchpoints on modelled conversions in place of actual.



Accelerator Three: Operational - Setting up agile performance loops based on a test-and learn approach


The importance of the two technical accelerators reaffirms the need for organisational agility. Curating first-party data cycles and test-and-learn approaches will not be possible for those still operating in traditional, siloed organisational structures. Nevertheless, a considerable number of companies still lack cross-functional, agile teams. 

Likewise, real-time response capabilities - think dashboards accessible by all relevant stakeholders presenting data signals on campaign performance - are still not commonplace. While multi-moment marketers have built connections between their data, allowing this to flow between cross-functional teams in near time.

Agile teaming aids in the breakdown of silos and empowers companies in reacting effectively and efficiently to fast-evolving consumer behaviour. 

You can take the first step toward establishing agile teaming by inspiring and enabling cross-functional teams to work in partnership, while promoting a strong, strategic test-and-learn culture based on current trends and insights-driven hypotheses. 



Accelerator Four: Operational - Securing access to new skills and resources


In strengthening skills and resources companies can take a hybrid approach, primarily filling skill gaps through strategic, specialist partnerships, while conducting in-depth analysis of the most effective balance of internal and external capabilities longer term. 

The success of this a hybrid model may rely on external partners for areas such as creative content, objective strategic advice, and technical expertise, which is then harmonised with internal skills which may be focused on data analyses and activation.

This is a chance to navigate the turbulent sea of “The Great Resignation” by building compelling development and retention programmes, creating an environment of professional growth that empowers talent. 



So how are you going to pick up the pace?


The digital maturity journey has already begun — and less mature companies need to accelerate their endeavours just to keep pace as our Multi-Moment finish point today may fall into Connected tomorrow. It may seem overwhelming; however, it is not unachievable.

The spotlight is firmly on C-suite leadership here as their sponsorship is key, particularly critical in when advancing into the upper levels of maturity. Only then can alignment of stakeholders throughout the organisation begin, with customer value and trust moving to the centre of the vision for the future.

No matter your position on the maturity curve, the four accelerators outlined above are powerful levers of progress in driving long-term, sustainable growth. 


Read more of the complete research ‘The fast track to digital marketing maturity’