When we work with clients undertaking a Business Transformation, our team often considers the level of their organizational “maturity” as the starting point – the role the organization plays in the enterprise, the responsibilities it has to its peers and functional groups, and the sophistication of its outcomes, based on effectiveness, efficiency, and customer intimacy.
Often when applied to a growth or customer-focus context, this conversation starts with a marketing or sales organization that wants to improve customer intimacy or experience, and transform the way the organization is working internally (one kind of business transformation you may hear in today’s corporate world). To get an idea of the marketing or sales group’s current state of maturity, we frequently work with leadership and supporting teams to identify the organization’s place across the following five levels:
These levels aren’t discrete – we view them as a continuum. Success also doesn’t require every marketing or growth-based organization to perform at Level 5, all or any of the time. For instance, some organization’s environments, enterprises, and customers may enable them to effectively and efficiently function at a Transactional level. As an organization matures however, there is a baseline level of customer intimacy that we expect to grow alongside the maturity level, and this baseline expectation has only increased over the past decade - particularly over the past year.
To establish a level of maturity in partnership with clients, we use a combination of assessments and mapping exercises. This involves deep-diving into the enterprise and the organization’s core customer engagement components: People and Agility, Marketing Insight and Analytics, Readiness and Process, Activation and Execution, and Technology. Exploring each of these interdependent components provide insight into the way the organization works to accomplish its goals, and how it supports the broader business: engaging with peer functions, leadership, and shared services. Assessing sophistication along these components provides the structure to understand the organization’s level of maturity at a given moment in time, and to identify where the organization may need to focus efforts to evolve moving forward.
CMG is currently gathering research on how Fortune 500 companies’ fall in a distribution curve across the five levels, both for their (self-reported) current states, and for the relevant future states of those organizations and businesses. Our personal experiences tell us that most organizations are currently well-served by an efficient or strategic Marketing, Sales, and / or Customer Experience organization(s), but consumer trends and digitization are constantly shifting the definitions of those maturity levels.