New job? Congratulations!
As a senior enterprise marketer, you are probably impatient to show value right away.
Visions of ROI, low-hanging fruit, and quick wins dance in your head. Your back pocket is bulging with ideas for projects that will transform the organization.
But as any seasoned marketer knows, the exhilaration can quickly turn to chaos; even in an enterprise environment, you risk regressing to startup mode without careful management and focus… like when the CEO’s pet project has crept to the top of your priority list, diverting resources from important business objectives.
Soon, madness kicks method to the curb. You’re hiding in a bathroom stall, taking deep breaths to prevent yourself from weeping at the conference table or punching a hole in the whiteboard. Please don’t do either of those things. Put on your pants (no, literally), wash your hands, calmly exit the bathroom, and get your digital maturity on.
That’s Right, Get Your Digital Maturity on.
Put simply, digital maturity is your organization’s placement on the evolutionary scale of digital transformation. Adapt or perish.
But we all know that evolution is not an orderly affair.
Digital transformation is a process that varies in duration and intensity across companies and industries. There are endless paths to digital maturity. It’s easy get distracted, lose focus, and fall behind.
The most successful marketers we know take intentional steps early in their new positions to pour a strong foundation for success.
If digital transformation seems too complex to tackle when you’re new on the job, consider this:
“After speaking and working with hundreds of enterprise leaders, we can say with confidence that digital transformation is a top of mind issue in almost every industry and no one is escaping the impact of its evolution on their business,” reports Justin Grossman, CEO of meltmedia.
In other words, your leadership is eager to talk about digital transformation. It’s front and center in boardroom conversations. It’s so ubiquitous a topic as to almost seem banal, except for the fact that it’s an urgent business imperative. (And if it didn’t come up during your interview process, it soon will.)
Don’t wait for your leadership to ask you about your plans for digital transformation; we recommend taking these steps in your first 30 days so you can quickly start participating in and contributing to digital transformation efforts across the enterprise.
(Note: even if you’ve been in your role for some time, you can follow our advice to course-correct and accelerate digital transformation. The sooner you start, the better.)
1. Define Your Digital Transformation Goals
The point of digital maturity is not to earn a Digital Maturity Scout badge.
Achieving digital maturity enables you to achieve business outcomes more effectively and more efficiently. Frame your goals around the outcomes you seek from digital transformation. (Note: These are organizational-level goals; save specific objectives for specific programs.)
Your goals might include:
- Flexibility—Digital maturity allows you to react more nimbly to market shifts, organizational changes, and other unanticipated developments across the business landscape.
- Creativity—Whether it’s a new process or a new product, digital maturity provides the solid infrastructure you need to innovate and iterate more quickly.
- Efficiency—Companies are racing to digitize not only to drive the top line, but drive cost savings. Digital maturity enables more efficient collaboration, workflows, and operations.
2. Benchmark Your Digital Maturity
You probably have an intuitive sense of where you are on the digital maturity scale, but take the time to quantitatively benchmark yourself against competitors and best practices.
As the charred remains of Toys”R”Us, Blockbuster, and Kodak can attest, overlooking digital transformation gets you nowhere, fast.
Taking honest stock of how far ahead of (or behind) the curve you are will drive your digital maturity roadmap. For this stage of the process, the output should be a written document or deck that clearly shows your maturity across four dimensions:
- Strategy: How well do you define, set, and pursue goals?
- Technology: Is your current stack adequate and scalable?
- Operations: Are workflows and processes efficient?
- Measurement: Are you collecting and acting on data?
Use your findings as a conversation piece to jumpstart the digital transformation conversation with your team and your leadership.
3. Conduct a Digital Transformation Audit
Identify which projects are accelerating or decelerating your company’s digital transformation. The best approach is to assess the progress of each initiative against the objectives that drive on the goals you identified in step one.
Your audit should answer these key questions:
- Which organizational priorities align to digital transformation? What’s missing?
- What programs best support our digital transformation? Where are we wasting time and resources that we could reallocate?
- How well are individuals throughout the organization pursuing digital transformation? Is digital transformation being embraced, or overlooked?
As you audit your organization’s digital transformation efforts, you can begin to map out a high-level plan of action to address any gaps.
If it’s broken, fix it. If it’s FUBAR, kill it. If it’s successful, find out why, and pour your efforts into similar projects. Whatever you do, focus; sprinkling efforts across multiple projects or programs without understanding how each one works is a waste of time.
Of course, this is only the beginning. You have to execute on your findings.
But taking these three steps within 30 days of hire positions you to make a meaningful contribution to your organization.
Digital transformation is top of mind for executive leaders; deliver value by helping them understand what it really looks like in your organization, and how you can win in the long run.