How To Automate Content Strategies With the Marketing Maturity Model

May 8, 2024

Need more from your marketing automation strategy? Try the marketing maturity model. Here's what you need to know.

Leaman Crews
How To Automate Content Strategies With the Marketing Maturity Model

What we'll cover

A fully automated marketing strategy is the dream for marketing leaders at small but growing businesses. Automated SEO, social media, paid media, website, and blog content would save you and your staff considerable time and money. But with such a hands-off approach, how do you know whether your strategy is actually effective?

You can't judge success by content you think your business's audience might love. You need metrics that help you gauge real-world success. To do so, take a look into marketing maturity models. Using this framework and performing a full maturity assessment, you'll have the data you need to launch a powerful automated marketing strategy.

What is a marketing maturity model, and why is it important?

A marketing maturity model is a framework that helps you assess your company's current marketing capabilities and plan for improvement. It's effectively a roadmap to more sophisticated marketing strategies.

While there are different models that accomplish this task, most follow a staged progression. Each stage represents an increased level of marketing effectiveness for your business. However it's performed, the marketing maturity assessment is important because as you progress through the model, you can adopt more advanced techniques.

At higher maturity levels, you can leverage data and analytics to automate marketing workflows. But why is automation so important? GetApp's 2024 Tech Trends Survey* finds that marketers contend with two major issues: the fallout of economic downturn and difficulty finding qualified talent. (The findings in this article are among data from 1,038 software purchasing decision-makers globally who work in marketing, advertising, social media, and publishing industries or roles.)

According to the survey results, 35% of respondents name finding new customers or clients in the current economic environment as their business challenge in 2024. Meanwhile, 29% reported ongoing trouble finding qualified talent. Marketers are turning to software to implement automated workflows and hopefully attract new customers while filling in the gaps left by unfilled job roles.

What are the different stages of marketing maturity?

Multiple approaches to the marketing maturity model exist, and each has different names for the stages of marketing maturity. Some use a growth metaphor with crawling, walking, and running stages. Others sound more business-like, with stages such as emergence, alignment, and unification.

The common element among all maturity models is that a marketing group starts in a learning phase. As the team learns its market better, it becomes more skilled. A middle stage focuses on integration as marketing data becomes centralized. Data-driven marketing analytics are a hallmark of later stages, as marketers are able to identify patterns in customer behavior and market conditions.

The final and most advanced stage of maturity finds marketing efforts fully optimized. At the final stage, marketing departments are proactive and can quickly adapt to changing market conditions. Therefore, you can think of marketing maturity in five stages:

  1. Beginner

  2. Skilled

  3. Integrated

  4. Data-driven and optimized

  5. Automated and proactive


Steps to adopt a marketing maturity model

Here are five steps to take before your team adopts a marketing maturity model:

1. Experimentation

Before adopting a marketing maturity model, you are in the experimental stage. This means you realize and acknowledge there is a problem that needs solving. For example, you have no strategy, a limited budget, limited resources, and no real content strategy commitment.

This is the stage in which content generation is more an afterthought than a priority. It makes for sporadic content that is not backed by anything other than creating something you think your audience will like. This is an excellent time to take a marketing maturity assessment to see which step your business needs to act on.

2. Tactics

Next, you will need to gather a small team and designate specific people to manage the different aspects of your marketing. This will create a more focused, productive, and effective workforce.

However, things are generally inconsistent at this stage, and you may still lack the budget necessary for effective marketing. Content workflow is likely still manual, and performance metrics are not linked to sales.

3. Operations

Start integrating customer personas and journey maps into your marketing, then publish your content in multiple formats across various platforms.

At this stage, however, one thing hinders growth—a lack of insight into audience and content performance. Enter analytics software, which will provide insights so you can adapt and improve your content to serve your audience better.

4. Amplification

Now, it's time to go full speed toward total automation. You should have solid marketing campaigns in progress via paid, earned, and owned channels (for example, Google or Facebook ads).

This should be alongside more predictable results for everything you post. Your business will now be fully integrated with analytical and automated software, making your planning and workflow fast and efficient.

5. Full automation

Your content is now a fully-fledged asset (rather than an afterthought) and crucial to your business and content strategy. From here, there's no going back, and you now have a fully automated marketing maturity model.

How can I use data and analytics to support my marketing maturity journey?

Marketing maturity takes time and experience. To help your organization reach maturity, emphasize data and analytics at every stage. Start by tracking campaign performance, noting what resonates with your audience, and drawing new leads.

Once you have data from several different marketing channels, consolidate it into a single platform. This could be a basic data warehouse, CRM software, or a dedicated marketing automation tool. The important thing is to work from a centralized system so that you get a holistic view of your marketing data.

Over time, start incorporating data analytics into your marketing approach. At full marketing maturity, real-time analytics allow you to optimize campaigns as they progress and adopt strategies for shifting market trends and customer preferences.

Moving along the path to marketing maturity

Digital marketing maturity can majorly boost your business, but you can't rush it. While it may be tempting to invest in automation software and other tools, they won't help if your organization hasn't yet reached marketing maturity. For proof of this, our 2024 Tech Trends Survey* finds that 61% of marketers have experienced regret for at least one software purchase in the prior 12 to 18 months.

Rather than rushing to the end of the process, take the time to build a marketing organization that takes advantage of data and analytics. As you follow each stage of the marketing maturity model, you collect more data and learn how to properly analyze it for maximum value. Perform organizational self-assessments along the way and determine your marketing maturity at each step.

To help you along the path to marketing maturity, here are some other helpful marketing and data resources from GetApp:

Survey methodology

*GetApp's 2024 Tech Trends Survey was designed to understand the timeline, organizational challenges, adoption & budget, vendor research behaviors, ROI expectations, satisfaction levels for software buyers, and how they relate to buyer's remorse.

The survey was conducted online in July 2023 among 3,484 respondents from the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, France, India, Germany, Brazil, and Japan, with businesses across multiple industries and company sizes (five or more employees). Respondents were screened to ensure their involvement in software purchasing decisions.

About the author

Leaman Crews

Leaman Crews is a writer and technology consultant specializing in finance, HR, and enterprise IT topics. A former newspaper publisher and editor, his work has appeared in publications across the United States, and he is a frequent contributor to GetApp.
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