Recently we introduced the Digital Marketing Roadmap, a marketing blueprint designed to help organizations gauge the sophistication of their marketing efforts.

The roadmap has four stages characterizing the level of sophistication a marketer has reached. They begin with “the uninformed marketer” and progress to the highly sophisticated “connected marketer.”

Many marketing organizations are likely to find themselves in the first stage of the map, where they haven’t clearly identified their target audiences or the channels that will reach them.

Why this is the case usually has to do with a lack of one or more of these things: insights about their customers, alignment within the organization, or the existence of a relevant brand story. To advance on the roadmap, marketers must be continually gaining insights about their customers and using them to get the organization aligned. The presence of a relevant brand story, meanwhile, is what will keep target customers engaged.

Marketers have a variety of marketing technology tools that will help them secure the customer insights they need on an ongoing basis. It’s important for organizations to select the right martech tools depending on the level of sophistication reached. Surveys, for example, help uninformed marketers to develop personas about their target customers. Marketing analytics, meanwhile, will help informed marketers understand how their web efforts are faring with audiences.

When it comes to organizational alignment, marketers can use sales technology tools to meet customer expectations and uphold the promises of the brand. If the brand is promising to save its customers time, for example, making use of customer relationship management tools like Salesforce allows sales reps to maximize their time by staging customers according to their place in the buyer’s journey.

But there’s one additional piece of the puzzle that needs to drive how an organization responds to its customers. It’s the brand story, or the organization’s reason for being in existence in a world of alternative products. Marketers should use the insights gained about customers to build, rebuild or refine their brand story.

Developing the Brand Story

Every brand has to create its own story, built around a differentiating promise the brand makes to the buyer. The promise should be relevant to the buyer’s needs and behaviors, while telling customers how its buying experience meets those needs in a way that’s unique from other players in the marketplace.

If the brand story is built to be relevant to customer needs, then aligning the organization to follow suit should be a natural process. To achieve alignment, organizational functions from sales, to budgeting to operations will need to reflect and relate to customer insights and the brand story.

We can help organizations do these things, from building customer insights to developing relevant brand stories, to employing tools across the organization to achieve alignment. For details on getting started, contact us.

Next week, we’ll take a closer look at each stage of the Digital Marketing Roadmap, beginning with the uninformed marker. We’ll profile this type of marketer and detail the tools and advancement mechanisms needed to advance on the digital marketing roadmap.

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