By Edgar Mason

What we consider ‘analytics’ is an ever-changing landscape with constantly evolving opportunities. New tools are frequently introduced to the market and more sophisticated approaches to using data are being developed constantly. Working out where you sit currently and where the next opportunity to develop is can be hard. I’ll take you through our approach to measuring analytics maturity and working out a clear roadmap of development for our clients.

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We’ve been supporting clients with their analytics for over ten years now, and in that time what encompases our ‘anlytics support’ has completely changed. Long gone are the days where we’d implement some Google Analytics tracking for a client and suggest a few reporting or insights opportunities off the back of that work. We’re now leading our clients further and further into different streams of digital analytics to support them in achieving more sophisticated and long term objectives. In the Analytics department alone, we’ve created ten different service offerings in the last two years to enable us to drive more advanced strategies and solutions in delivering value for clients.

So where do I start?

It’s all well and good saying we want to get more sophisticated with our approach and we want to be more advanced, but how do you measure progress if you don’t know where you started? As a business, our ambition is to help clients get value from adopting a people-based approach to marketing. To start them on that path we need to discover where they sit currently in that journey.  

To give us the ability to do that we needed to dissect all the different capabilities, technologies and processes that organisations require to get to that stage. From that point, we have an extensive list of elements that need to be categorised into manageable work streams. These elements also need to be split according to how complex they are and how they fit into the overall objective of adopting a people-based approach to marketing. For instance, you’re not going to have a fully functional DMP in place at the beginning of your journey, that comes further down the line when you’ve nailed audience targeting within your media platforms. What we’re talking about here is developing a framework. A comprehensive document that details what needs to happen and when.

This process leads naturally into a progression scale, we use a ‘Crawl, Walk, Run, Sprint, Fly’ naming convention for this. The further we move up the scale, the more advanced the capabilities become.

maturity-framework

Time to be harsh

So you’ve built yourself a table of development, starting from the very basics to the ultimate sky high place you could be. Now it’s time to plot yourself on that table. Throw away your pride, face your demons head on and really have a think about where you are currently. This type of framework loses value rapidly if you don’t start off being honest with your positioning. You may find you need to reach out to various stakeholders across the business or even other agencies.

We find when working with clients on this, we are typically able to position the clients for large sections of the framework and only really must go to them for sections referring to internal capabilities. We obviously have extensive knowledge on a lot of the capabilities that comprise the framework and are therefore in the perfect position to understand where the client is situated on the maturity scale.

So how mature is your analytics?

By this stage you should have plotted yourself on a variety of different aspects of your analytics offering. Ideally there’d even be a few that you aren’t really that involved in yet, potential growth areas for the organisation. Personally, I find these kinds of frameworks a bit easier to manage if you can visualise them in a graph, something like the below that gives you an idea of where you are at a glance.

Maturity-visulisation

You should already start to see a picture forming of your current positioning and where there are areas for development. Some of the results won’t be news to you, you’ll already know where you’ve currently been focusing your attention or areas you know you should be spending time on but just don’t have the resource to. The framework provides a much more honest visualisation of where the areas of development are and what you need to do to move up the maturity scale.

What you’ve created is a platform to approach your clients/colleagues/bosses and say, “this is where we are now, if we want to improve we need to be focusing on these areas”. The scaling structure of the framework also lends itself perfectly to target setting and being able to check in on progress at regular intervals. For instance, you may have found your internal adoption of web analytics platforms is low. Set a target that by the end of the next six months, we’ll have moved up the scale in that area by a certain amount. We’ve found this element extremely useful with clients, so we can have quarterly check ins and gauge progress against the targets we’d set.

Building a plan or roadmap of how you’ll achieve that target is essential. Without one, the process is bound to lose momentum or not have the structure in place to ensure you achieve your target in the most efficient way. A roadmap will also allow you to see how different work streams intertwine and help you prioritise those areas that’ll have the most impact across the business.

Picking your battles

It’s at this point you may look at your framework and sigh. You’re basically at the bottom of the scale for all your focus areas and things are looking rough. However, you’ve taken your first step in addressing that. It’s now time to put together your plan of attack. Realistically you’re not going to be able to address all areas at once, so pick one or two you think are most feasible and start putting together a development plan to move up that scale. If you’ve put together quite a detailed maturity framework then you should already have some idea of what you need to develop and what the milestones are.

Maturity frameworks are an essential aspect of our client engagements. They enable us to drive value to clients, keep us on the forefront of what’s happening in the industry and keep up the momentum of long term strategies. If you’re not sure where to start and feel like you could do with some guidance get in contact.