The CMO of 2020: Navigating the journey towards digital marketing maturity in Australia and New Zealand

Aisling Finch / August 2018

New research from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) shows that only 2% of brands in Australia and New Zealand are realising the power of data-driven marketing. Here, Aisling Finch, Google’s director of marketing in Australia and New Zealand, identifies a three-step road map to help CMOs drive their brands to digital marketing maturity—and reap the benefits for their businesses.

Today’s empowered consumers have a world of information at their fingertips, and their expectations are always rising. Every online experience needs to be fast, seamless, and relevant. So, for Aussie and New Zealand CMOs, ensuring your brand is making meaningful connections with your consumers at every opportunity is more important than ever before. By embracing a future-facing 2020 outlook, marketing leaders can help their organizations better understand and respond to consumers’ growing expectations.

To get a better idea of how brands are responding to the new digital landscape, we teamed up with BCG to look at the digital marketing maturity of more than 40 brands across nine industries in Australia and New Zealand.1 The results were eye-opening.


BCG segmented the brands into four levels of digital marketing maturity: nascent, emerging, connected, and multi-moment. And while they share a number of success factors at different levels, only 2% of businesses in Australia and New Zealand have reached the highest degree of maturity—multi-moment. This means they’re providing personal, relevant, and meaningful marketing to each user at every touchpoint. Brands at this multi-moment level are the ones achieving new levels of efficiency and effectiveness—and seeing real business results. Those that succeed see an average increase of 15% in revenue and 12% in cost-efficiency.

Only 2% of Australian and New Zealand brands are realising the full potential of data-driven marketing


This creates exciting opportunities—and unique challenges—for Aussie and New Zealand CMOs. Aligning on the steps to digital marketing maturity—both organisationally and technically—is crucial to setting your company and campaigns up for success. We, as Google Marketing, participated in the study, and we’re not in the 2% either. We landed in the “Connected” category, meaning we have more work to do.

It all starts with understanding where your business sits on the spectrum, focusing on small steps to move up the marketing ranks, and, ultimately, bringing in results. Here is a three-step road map to guide brands on the journey towards multi-moment maturity:

The path to digital marketing maturity:


Set the foundation

The least mature brands can start by setting the foundations. From an organisational perspective, that comes down to identifying a C-suite sponsor and leveraging partners to fill any capability gaps. On the technical side, it’s about understanding what data is currently available and using insights from website analytics and tags to inform your content and audiences.

Build connections

The next step is to build connections to ensure you’re making the best use of your team and their abilities. From an organisational perspective, that means developing expert skills within your organisation and bringing cross-functional teams together, with alignment to common KPIs. And by integrating web analytics and new ad tech, you can build better connections with consumers by streamlining your media buys and serving tailored, insight-driven ads.

“The key is creating connections and shared understanding between teams, including marketing, digital development, and analytics,” said Willem Paling, IAG’s director of analytics and customer growth. “This makes it easier to prioritise the strategies that work and do away with those that don’t.”

Make every moment matter

The final step revolves around making every moment matter. Agile teams empower people to embrace innovation and the learning opportunities that come with failure. For CMOs, that means ensuring best practices are shared across teams. From a technical perspective, prioritise choosing the right metrics based on your brand’s goals, identifying key signals across your online and offline data, and taking a data-driven approach to attribution to accurately value each online interaction.

Embracing the role of the new CMO

There’s more all brands can do, but with a clear path to maturity, success is entirely attainable for CMOs with 2020 mindsets. Like any journey, reaching your destination is not an impossible goal. And with evolving consumer expectations, the end goal might look different today than it does next year—or even five years from now.

But it starts with being honest about where your company sits on the maturity curve, which will help inform the things you can do right now. From there, it’s about adopting new ad tech to make better use of insights. And, ultimately, it’s about thinking of marketing maturity as an organisation-wide initiative that, when taken step-by-step, is not a risk. Rather, it’s a necessity—and a huge opportunity to achieve new levels of success.

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