Experience Takes Shape: The 4 Core Pillars Of ‘Digital Fitness’

The transformation to an experience business implies a high level of digital maturity. Yet what that phrase actually means and how to get there still have many bending over backward to understand.

“Digitally mature organisations understand that digital transformation efforts aren’t just about technology,” said Kevin Lindsay, director of product marketing at Adobe. “Technology is critical, but it’s not everything. What we’ve seen over and over in terms of companies that haven’t reached maturity yet is they often have an over-reliance on technology. They think it will solve everything.”

What else is needed? The defining characteristics of a digitally mature organisation, Lindsay said, also include the right structure, people and processes. Fortunately, organisations appear to understand that, with 38% of respondents to a new Adobe study already investing in these areas and 71% planning to.

Adobe’s 2017 Digital Marketing Study surveyed 1,165 digital leaders at enterprises in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France and Germany. Results show that enterprises have come far from just a year ago, with 24% of respondents reporting that their organisations have an advanced level of digital maturity. That’s up 118% year-over-year.

So what do these advanced companies have in common? According to Lindsay, a keen focus on getting the right people and rewiring the ones already on board is probably most important. He also stressed the importance of having the right leader in place for the digital transformation journey.

“You need to be staffed to actually be successful in this transformation,” Lindsay said. “There are people who have grown up with a particular industry and they definitely have the industry expertise, but they aren’t necessarily equipped to lead a company through a digital transformation.”

Another common attribute of a mature digital organisation is having a data-driven culture or structure, especially in terms of using data to deliver exceptional experiences, the Adobe report also found. Forty-eight per cent of organisations use real-time data to augment their data-driven marketing efforts, while 51% use CRM data for the same purpose. An impressive 71% of digitally mature organisations said that investing in the whole customer view is very important in the next three years, according to the report.

Additionally, 34% of digitally mature companies are more likely to take a company-wide approach to testing and not rely as heavily on their marketing departments. This is especially true in North America, where 49% of organisations have a company-wide approach to testing.

Meanwhile, the majority of organisations surveyed reported that at least 20% of their website traffic is coming from mobile devices. Almost a third said it’s 41% or more. So it was surprising that just 41% of survey respondents said mobile continues to be an investment priority in 2017. Of those investing in mobile, 37% (the majority) said they’re putting the most dollars behind improvements to customer experiences, customer acquisition and customer support, respectively. The top strategic capabilities for the next 18 months are content personalisation, customer journey management and customer intelligence, according to the report.

“I think what’s also interesting is that digitally mature companies look outside of their own immediate space or industry for best practices and inspiration,” Lindsay said.