Google held its annual Think Platforms event on Wednesday wherein the web search engine unveiled insights from the digital marketing maturity framework titled, ‘Unlocking the Full Potential of Digital Marketing Maturity’. Compiled by BCG and Google, the report highlights a way for brands to measure themselves objectively on the effectiveness of their digital marketing campaigns and attain digital maturity. Brands across 10 industries were assessed on their level of digital marketing maturity across stages varying from nascent to multi-moment across regions including India, Japan, South East Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
The study represented brands across four key stages- nascent, emerging, connected, and multi-moment. Nascent is referred to marketing campaigns which are used for external data and direct buys, with limited linkage to sales, while emerging stage is for marketers who make use of owned data in automated buying, with single-channel optimisation and testing. Connected stage, on the other hand, is for companies relying on data integration and are activated across digital channels, with demonstrated linkage to ROI or sales proxies. Lastly, multi-moment stage is for organisations which optimise dynamic execution across channels throughout the customer journey to achieve business outcomes.
Of the Indian brands surveyed this year, 6% of Indian brands were found to be delivering best-in-class ‘multi-moment’ experiences, where customer journeys are dynamically improved toward business outcomes, making it the highest in the region. Optimising in a single and then multiple channels, the study called out more than 80% of Indian brands sit in the two middle maturity buckets ‘emerging and connected’ as they begin to responsibly manage data, automate media buying and messaging. And, encouragingly, only 8% of Indian brands were at the lower end of maturity ‘nascent’.
“Combining data and digital technologies can increase the relevance of advertising, cost savings and revenue. It also helps the marketers get an in-depth understanding of the entire customer journey, helping them better focus their engagement efforts. It is heartening to see India taking a progressive and a more mature digital approach in marketing, ahead of many brands across APAC, Europe and Latin America. As per the study, India saw the top quartile of brands in terms of maturity report an average of 7% annual incremental revenue and 13% annual cost efficiency,” Matt Brocklehurst, head, partnerships, publishers and platforms marketing APAC, Google said.
Sir Martin Sorrel, executive chairman, S4 Capital, highlighted the importance of first-party data “There is a clear shift to digital, first-party data is gaining importance for all brands and more so getting clean first-party data is difficult so that is clearly one key area of focus. This along with programmatic is critical to further help brands deliver personalised and targeted advertising to the consumers at scale,” he added.
Within digital marketing, the study deep-dived into the increasing prominence of the use of customer or first-party data by marketers which helped marketers better engage with audiences with personalised advertising. First, there is a clear shift to digital with digital channels becoming the standard across the marketing funnel. Second, consumers are increasingly seeking relevant personalized experiences from brands. And third, there is an increased focus on data privacy regulations and browser policies.
According to the study, 92% of brands surveyed in India see first-party data as important to marketing. Furthermore, the study saw that Indian brands with higher maturity leveraged first-party data more consistently – with 100% of multi-moment brands and 67% of connected brands saying that their first-party data is mostly or fully embedded in their marketing campaigns. On the other hand, only 33% of nascent brands used first-party data in most marketing campaigns somewhat consistently or frequently.
The study also puts a spotlight on the technological barrier as the top challenge, highlighting how nearly more than half the brands in India that were surveyed struggled to link technologies when collecting, activating data and measuring impact. The study also revealed how the lack of a clear business case for data-driven marketing projects impacting the buy-in from senior management.