I have been dealing with and thinking a lot about mature companies versus immature companies. This is important stuff to know if you are an investor or financial type, but it is also important in marketing. Like a teenager, an immature company leaps before it looks, overestimates its contribution, stumbles over the smallest inconveniences, dreams big but does not support the dreams with research and fact finding, develops poor or lazy habits that will affect them later in their growth and generally needs more hand holding than their overdeveloped egos allow them to accept.
In What’s Your Score? Assessing Your Digital Marketing Maturity, Matt Langie notes the following (the teenager analogy abounds):
When it comes to engaging customers with digital marketing, how would you rate the “maturity” of your business today? Goofy, awkward teenager with his voice changing? Toddler learning to walk across a room? Or confident, learned professional admired by industry peers?
What I’m referring to is how deeply your organization is invested and taking advantage of fully integrated, strategic, and data-based deployment of digital marketing—from the tools you employ to how knowledgeable your team is in executing successful campaigns.
Today’s marketer must move the enterprise to a point where resources are aligned and optimized to achieve maximum results from digital marketing practices. Is your enterprise mature? Are you where you want to be?
To me, the solution, like with a teenager, is to stand back and watch the organization make the painful decisions that will lead to their maturity and growth. They are not going to listen to you (or me, or anyone) but once they experience a few bumps and bruises, they may be keener on seeking your advice and insight.
I have been interacting with a few of these businesses and like a parent, I am gritting my teeth and trying not to be too overbearing, while they go out into the world and learn from their mistakes. EMM Group gives us a Marketing Maturity Ranking – Undeveloped, Repeatable, Defined and Integrated, Quantitatively Managed and Optimized. Of course, we all want Optimized organizations. But how do we know when we are there? Adobe Digital Marketing has a cool Maturity Self-Assessment Tool that I recommend.
Organizations or entrepreneurs who wish to reach the status of Category Creator or Thought Leader must work through their marketing issues to reach a point of maturity. The organization much achieve excellence in products, services, and operations, but also in marketing. As Jake Sorofman notes in The Five Phases of Content Marketing Maturity,
The best wrought blueprints are merely ideas until someone learns to swing the hammer.
So who do you have to create those blueprints and to swing that hammer? I have a tool for you!
Call me! ~ Jules