What does it mean to be digitally mature? And what actionable steps can you take as a business to increase digital maturity? In this blog post, we discuss the concept of digital maturity, including the different models that allow you to map out how digitally mature your business is, and where you want to be in the future.
Digital Maturity Definition: Full development; perfected condition - to bring a plan to maturity
Digital maturity refers to how well companies adapt and evolve in increasingly digital market environments.
When we talk about digital maturity, we refer not just to digital marketing but a company's full processes, including the technology they use, IT services, customer service strategy, and all other aspects of their business.
More now than ever, 2020-21 has proved how important being digitally mature is for a business. Over the last year, companies have made fundamental changes needed to reach business goals - from setting up remote sales teams to launching their first website.
Who can achieve digital maturity?
The most important thing to note when beginning your digital maturity journey is, every company has a different perfected condition.
This means, what is mature for one company, isn’t necessarily mature for the other, making the journey unique and applicable to companies of all sizes - from small start-ups to large enterprises.
Wherever you start on the digital maturity scale, there is a clear path to help you increase digital maturity.
Daryn Smith, Chief Sales and Innovation Officer and creator of the Huble Digital Maturity model described his own progression:
“In the first few years of business, what you end up doing is you end up spending a lot of time trying to find customers and trying to work out your product market fit. So things like an HR policy are just at the bottom of your priority list…
We had an HR policy, it used to be stuck on our fridge and it served us very well. It said, “don't be a dick, do the right thing.” And, as I said, it worked really, really well, but as Huble matured, we started to work with bigger companies, we needed to attract better talent, more experienced talent and one of the things that I always used to get asked in an interview is “Oh, what is your HR policy on this or that, or what's your maternity policy or your work from home policy? …
So, we had to mature to develop these policies and now we have a big door-stop of policies around HR, and as a result, we are more mature.”
To watch Daryn’s 30-minute digital maturity webinar, go to our Grow With Inbound events recording page here
How is digital maturity measured?
Digital maturity is usually mapped out using PDF graphs and models. Different companies create and design these models, each varying in how granular the information is, and the guidance it offers to help you increase maturity. For example, you may have heard of or used models designed by IDC, Deloitte, Smart insights or our own Huble Digital model.
Using these models as guidance, you should then be able to map out the following:
How digitally mature is your business currently is
How mature do you want to be in the short term
How mature do you want to be in the long term
What plans and resources do you need to help you get there
The Huble Digital Maturity model
The Huble Digital maturity model was created by Daryn Smith, Chief Sales and Innovation Officer at Huble Digital.
Working in Sales, Daryn soon realised that companies’ business solutions varied massively, dependent on:
How mature that company currently was (technology they used, what internal processes they already had set up)
Where they wanted to be in the next 1-5 years (i.e the companies goals)
Understanding these steps made it easier to match the business strategy to the desired goals (i.e. if a business wants to be digitally mature in the consideration stage, they need to allocate a budget to content marketing to achieve that goal).
The Huble Digital Maturity model is an adaptation of the IDC model - following the same naming conventions but going far more granular in both:
Interpreting the model
Levels of maturity (x axis):
The model maps companies across five levels of maturity - from Digital Resistor to Digital Disruptors:
Digital resistor: Using digital due to necessity
Digital explorer: Inconsistent and poorly integrated
Digital players: Consistent but not truly innovative
Digital transformer: Provides world-class digital experiences
Digital disruptor: Creates new markets and business models
Lifecycle stage (y-axis):
The model looks at the different stages of a customer lifecycle to understand how digitally mature you are across your entire business. Unlike a lot of digital maturity models that focus on digital marketing, we believe you need to look at your processes across your entire company:
Planning stage: How do you plan and develop strategy and how do you use technology to support your strategy?
Awareness stage: How do you attract prospects that are not aware of your brand, or that your products or services can solve their goals and challenges?
Consideration stage: How to attract and engage with prospects who are aware of your brand and how your product/services can assist and are comparing your solution to alternatives?
Close: How are you turning leads into customers
Win back: How to re-engage with lost prospects and customers
Onboarding/ Fulfilment: How to fulfil new orders and/ or onboard new customers
Upsell/cross-sell: How do you facilitate existing customers buying more from you
Retention/ renewal: How to keep existing customers as customers
Customer service: How to ensure customers can easily get help quickly and have a good experience when needing assistance (e.g. self-service content)
Advocacy: How do you encourage and facilitate customers to proactively promote your brand, products and services? (e.g. word-of-mouth marketing)
It’s important to note, businesses can be at different levels of maturity for each lifecycle stage and have different goals for each.
For example, a company may find they are now a Digital Player for the close stage having invested in remote sales during the pandemic but are still a digital explorer for the customer service stage (and may not want to become digitally mature for this stage!).
And away you go to Digital Maturity!
Now you understand the concept of digital maturity and how it’s measured, you can find a model and resource that works for you and start mapping out your journey to digital maturity.
You have to mature first to get where you want to be as a business
You can’t skip steps - you need to mature one step at a time
Once you’re in a stage, this doesn’t mean you can’t fall back
If you would like to download the full digital maturity model so that you can plot where you are now and where you want to be in the future, click here to access the model.
Or to book a quick chat with Daryn to discuss where your business fits on the digital maturity model, you can chat with him here.