Supplyframe Maturity Model Stage 5: Envisioning an Intelligent Organization

Paul McNamara Author

Welcome back to the final article in our five part series on SupplyFrame’s Digital Customer Engagement Maturity Model. We’ve now reached the final, or most mature, stage in the model–Intelligent. Consider this the pinnacle of efficacy and relevancy in digital communications. 

You could write a book on it, and if a company were able to consistently maintain Intelligent-level marketing it would certainly be the subject of several. That’s the catch to Stage 5, a lot of this isn’t entirely realistic with today’s levels of technology and human expertise. It still offers a glimpse into what we hope is the future of digital engagement, and some leading businesses occasionally perform at this level.

If you’re new to the series and the Model in general this is a great place to give yourself an overview, but the basic idea is pretty simple. In March 2021 we talked to 180 global / businesses about where they are on their journey to best in class digital marketing.

 More specifically, we looked into the sophistication of their Digital Engagement, Technology & Analytics, and Organizational Structure. We took the results and broke them down into five phases or stages that we call the Digital Customer Engagement Maturity Model. The average score was a 2.4, placing most firms in between the Opportunistic and Integrated phases of the Model.

Now would be a great time to benchmark your business and see where you fall on the Model. 

Let’s take a look at market-beating Stage 5.

Such Great Heights

Our most recent deep dive into the Model covered Stage 4: Optimized. As we said then, a business making it to that level in the Model is extremely impressive. They’re in truly rarified air, and operating at the cutting edge of what’s possible in digital marketing. And that’s an important distinction to consider–Stage 4 is about as good as a firm can consistently do with today’s technology and attendant human expertise. So the “improvements” from Four to Five are less a list of action items and more of a wishlist for the future.

So it’s tough to pin down one theme of the changes a business could make as they become Intelligent, but increased collaboration across the board does a decent job of describing. Client and partner collaborate closely. People and technology work hand in hand. And the organizational structure creates a cycle of innovation and improvement that attracts the best people and most profitable clients.

Digital Engagement in Stage 5 

We see collaboration show up in the Intelligent business as soon as we look at Digital Engagement in this stage. Businesses will work with their clients to make sure their firm’s strategy aligns with their partner’s spot in the customer journey. 

Now the business can take their new customer intelligence and begin to tailor dynamic content and campaigns just for them. Content arrives not only at the right time and on the right channel, it’s answering the correct customer need and adding significant value. Speaking of channels, an Intelligent firm’s strategy is fully omnichannel, with a twist.

 A Stage 5 firm has earned such a reputation for expertise they’re considered the industry authority. And if a client or prospect has a need that isn’t met by an Intelligent firm’s current content catalog, they reach out and ask for it–the twist is teamwork again.

Technology & Analytics in Stage 5

Here’s one of the areas where a jump to this stage could be limited by available technology. The Stage 4 firm already had enterprise grade analytics turning out customized models of consumer behavior to help make better marketing decisions. Advanced ABM dashboards and retargeting tools gave insights into intent that helped them grow their most profitable accounts.

So what would be different were a business to solidify their spot in Stage 5? 

Real time and predictive analytics of the sort we haven’t fully seen yet. Personalized data models would evaluate and adjust content quickly enough to give each piece a measurable business advantage. Continual, constant feedback and improvement.

The ABM system undergoes a more attainable upgrade in the jump to Stage 5. The Optimized business in Stage 4 had a complete setup to create “markets of one” with retargeting. The leap to Intelligent adds lead scoring, attribution, and other advanced measurement tools into the ABM dashboard.

Organizational Structure In Stage 5

If the people making up the Stage 4 group were a dream team, and they were, the organizational structure in an Intelligent business is the hall of fame. The team is a competitive differentiator and the presence of innovators will continue to attract the best and brightest in their disciplines.

The ABM system comes into play again in the organizational structure, as it gives invaluable guidance in making hyper intelligent decisions about resource allocation to maximize ROI. Every penny is spent well, and a Stage 5 team isn’t scared to invest in digital engagement.

Collaboration again shows up when we’re discussing the move from Optimized to Intelligent. Stage 4 firms are already well-oiled machines sharing common goals and compensation targets. Intelligent organizations take it one step further with full cross-functionality between teams. Metrics measurement, asset planning, and execution process are all standardized in Stage 5, adding efficiency.

What It Means To You

That’s it. We’ve reached the pinnacle of our Digital Customer Engagement Maturity Model. Starting at the very beginning with a reactive Ad Hoc firm we’ve seen structure, planning, communication, collaboration and technology improve until we end up here at the top.

It’s wonderful to have a blueprint, but moving up on the Model takes a plan, and the first step to making a plan is to see where you are. So if you haven’t yet, take a few minutes to benchmark your business against the industry average of 2.4 and then check out the deep dive article that corresponds to your score. Each one will lay out specific next steps to improving the quality of your digital marketing efforts.

Once you’ve seen where you stand, head this way for all of our deep dives into the different Stages of the Model.

And if you’re ready to see what unparalleled visibility and market intelligence could do for your business’ supply chain, get in touch with one of us at Supplyframe and discover how we can help. .

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