Supplyframe Maturity Model Stage 2: Defining The Opportunistic Organization


Welcome back to our in-depth series on the stages of Supplyframe’s Digital Customer Engagement Maturity Model. If you’re new to the idea, it’s a five step journey a business or organization takes as they become more sophisticated in their digital outreach and marketing efforts.

We developed the Maturity Model after surveying nearly 200 leading companies in the electronics supply chain to see where our industry stood in terms of the transition from “old school” marketing to dynamic, data-driven customer engagement at scale, on a digital level. From their answers we developed five levels of maturity across three areas: Digital Engagement, Technology & Analytics, and Organizational Structure.

Here’s a great resource to get started on the Digital Customer Engagement Maturity Model if you’re new to the concept.

If you’d like to benchmark your organization against the industry average of 2.4, click below to take the assessment yourself.

As most of the industry scored within this range, no matter where you stand on the path towards digital customer engagement, this article is relevant as you move forward.

What’s New In Stage Two: Opportunistic

The first stage of the CEMM is the Ad Hoc organization that creates content and assets to fill a specific need at a time. It’s a reactive approach that doesn’t capture opportunities at the right moment. 

Thankfully, there are a lot of changes in terms of Digital Engagement, Tech & Analytics, and the Organizational Structure as a business grows out of stage one and emerges into stage two.

Broadly speaking, the business at level two has outgrown the Ad Hoc structure and is:

  • Using properly defined personas
  • Segmenting content by vertical or geography
  • Beginning a two-way relationship with customers where they deliver content and acquire information.
  • Automating their marketing where it makes sense
  • Performing analytics regularly and making decisions based on metrics
  • Taking first steps towards organizational cohesion and alignment

In other words, they’re taking advantage of some of the opportunities available to them, with more work to do in certain areas. Let’s take a closer look at the progression from Ad Hoc to Opportunistic across the three domains our survey covered.

Digital Engagement In The Opportunistic Organization

Opportunistic firms have taken the first steps towards delivering personalized content within a greater overall strategy. They’ve created personas based on who their customers actually are, and where they stand in the product development timeline, and their financial standing. 

With this improved understanding of who they’re talking to, second level businesses then tailor the content they create to be particularly relevant to their customers. They segment it across verticals, geographically (to address region specific concerns), and are beginning to develop a more complex channel strategy. Seasonality gets introduced into content at level two, and special promotions are often news based to boost relevance.

The overall takeaway when it comes to digital engagement in an Opportunistic organization is that it’s the beginning of a conversation–they are delivering information and gathering intelligence. 

To move to level three, and become a leading organization, the conversation needs depth. A level three firm gathers more than information, they’re inquisitive about customer’s unique motivators and specific goals. The customer has become more than a statistic at this point, they’re a person. Now you can base your goals on their desired business outcomes.

The conversation is multichannel in the next stage of the Model. A group at this level begins to syndicate their content across email, video, social, and even virtual events. It’s meeting customers where they are in the digital sphere.

Technology And Analytics At Stage Two

Analytics and reporting can take credit for part of the increased intelligence gathering as a business rises through the Opportunistic level.

Campaign and content success is measured with backwards-facing historical measurement tools at this stage, a step up from the manual evaluation that characterized the Ad Hoc firm. This knowledge is used to improve the quality of digital marketing assets moving forward.

Another big win for Opportunistic businesses lies in the adoption of automation. CRM tools and marketing automation software are up and running across level two, bringing a better understanding of customer intent. 

They could take the next leap forward with an upgrade to enterprise grade technology and analytics. Stage three firms use best-in-class tools and as a result get best-in-class feedback on their current content. Insights into customer intent could also use work in stage two. The next win there is in content personalization, a tool we see in the next stage.

Organizational Structure In The Opportunistic Stage

While the business at stage two has improved alignment and communication across the board, they may have a long way to go before everybody’s on the same page when it comes to digital engagement.

Internal collaboration across departments falls on enterprising individuals at this stage, focusing on one-off projects together. Resources can be hard to come by at this level, given that each project must be cost justified to finance. This aspect could be improved if more staff were dedicated to digital transformation, but one of the ways Opportunistic businesses may fall short is in their teams. The digital team is still being built out–hiring is happening though–but people are being taught new skills in the interim rather than relying on external partners.

Beginning To Lead

With the electronics industry scoring at 2.4 on our survey, this stage encompasses the majority of businesses out there. Moving beyond Stage Two puts you ahead of the rest in terms of the Customer Engagement Maturity Model.

See what that exciting next level looks like when we take a close look at Stage 3: Integrated.

Paul McNamara
Paul McNamara
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