Ottawa 2013

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Establishing Digital Maturity

by Kelly Kubrick on June 3, 2013

First published on the Digital Strategy Conference blog by Arianne Mulaire. Arianne is a co-founder of Reachology, an Ottawa-based digital marketing firm. As managing partner, she creates and manages online presences for organizations both large and small, private and public. Follow her on twitter @amulaire.

Session Presented by:

Kelly Kubrick, Partner and co-Founder, Digital Strategy Conference and President, Online Authority   – @KellyKubrick
Andrea Hadley, Partner and co-Founder, Digital Strategy Conference  –  @AndreaHadley

Maturity models exist to give perspective on your current state and prepare you for moving forward. You will learn how to assess your organization’s level of maturity with respect to digital, and the degree of formality and optimization of processes currently in place.

Understanding your organization’s digital maturity provides an effective approach toward improving related processes. We’ll help you recognize key signposts to help with your planning so you’ll understand where you stand today and how to anticipate the next curve in the road.”

This is to help you planning your digital strategy by first determining the digital maturity of your organization.

The maturity model is a traditional tool that has been reformatted to reflect the digital world.

This is a process where you move from milestone to milestone.

The dimensions for digital maturity are:

  • human resources
  • technology resources
  • data strategy
  • content strategy
  • channel strategy
  • social business strategy

These are the dimensions that should be considered and rated individually. From level 0 to level 3 (none, low, medium, and high).

Over the next three days you will be able to assess where your organization is and how to move it forward.

As you map your organizational readiness, you will see how it maps out. There are no right answers. All organizations map differently. The goal is to have a balanced maturity level through all dimensions.

Use the summary of indicators, dimensions and ratings to define where your organization is.

Human resources

Level 0 – There is no presence.

Low – Very limited resources and not supported by training.

Medium – Teams are forming around digital (internal or external), limited support, some expertise by leads, management has no training. Still have to sell digital to the organization.

High – Resources are embedded in cross functional teams, digital specialists are on staff, ongoing training including industry certification, resources are supported, management has understanding or expertise.

Technology resources

Technologies necessary: marketing and communications, collaboration tools, customer relationship management tool, analytics to measure

Level 0 – There is no presence, no investment in technologies necessary.

Low – Little bit of everything, everyone in different directions, using different tools, it’s like “herding of cats.”

Medium – More organization, uniformity in training, can manage complex processes, some departments are looking to participate, it is a dedicate line item – budget.

High – Everything is talking to one another, you use the systems and help them talk to one another,  you have the people that are part of the system, in the center of it.

Data strategy

Data strategy: reflects all the ways you capture, store, manage and use information. How you use data is key to your success.

Level 0 – Information is in cabinets, there is no digital data.

Low – Online and offline data, but still in silos, decision velocity is quarterly or annually, you are therefore using old data, there are data gaps and denial of the risk (lack of governance) of not having digital data.

Medium – Value the data, use the data in some strategic ways to optimize/improve, tools are implemented, decision velocity is daily or weekly, act on the data regularly, nothing is automated, governance is planned and initiated.

High – Data is an asset, decision velocity is now realtime, can take advantage of data, automated, secured, formal risk management plan.

Content strategy

The term is starting to come up more frequently.  It’s a comprehensive process that builds a framework to create, manage, deliver, share and archive or renew content in reliable ways.

Looking at: inventory and formats, location and storage, development process, publishing process, performance measurement and evaluation as well as archiving process.

Level 0 – Developing content for single use.

Low – Digital format is now starting to appear, not consistent, silos of production within the process, awareness of repurposing through different formats, content is becoming available digitally, but not online.

Medium – Source content is now consistent, centralized production, multiple digital formats, starting to allow user generated content (e.g. comments), content is available on the network, objectives are set and evaluation is now ongoing rather than once a year.

High – Adaptive content (format free, device independent, transformable and in an automated fashion).

Channel strategy
Three categories :
  • Marketing – paid, owned
  • Transaction enabling – financial/e-commerce, application forms, voting online, lead generations
  • Digital distribution – OEM, direct, partner and affiliate
Level 0 – No digital communications, no use of transaction enabling or distribution.

Low – Pieces are in play, but not aligned with business objectives, vertical siloes, ad hoc.

Medium – Multichannel marketing, objectives are validated, planning and funding are in place, a need for governance is articulated.

High – Multichannel strategy, regular evaluation, governance established.

Social business strategy

“Ways social media tools and practices are being adopted within organizations to support both internal employee collaboration and external customer engagement.”
– Dion Hinchcliffe and Peter Kim, Designing a Social Business (recommended reading)
  • External – YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
  • Reviews and ratings
  • Internal applications for employees and suppliers

Level 0 – No use of any customer facing application, low awareness of social business.

Low – Silos of social activity, fragmented, ad hoc representation, an employee is becoming the defacto social media person, sporadic usage.

Medium – Awareness across the organization that social media can be used above marketing and communications, understanding of value, key performance indicators, cross usage.

High – Customers help you, social media and collaboration is both internal and external, social media is no longer only a marketing tool.




  1. “Social Business By Design” · Dachis Group · June 3, 2013 ·
  2. “@jeffhorne” · Jeff Horne · June 3, 2013 · Twitter
  3. “@mandirv” · Mandi Relyea-Voss · June 3, 2013 · Twitter
  4. “@ResultsJunkie” · Laura Wesley · June 3, 2013 · Twitter
  5. “@StruttinMyStuff” · Lisa Georges · June 3, 2013 · Twitter
  6. “@scottduncan” · Scott Duncan · June 3, 2013 · Twitter
  7. “@joegollner” · Joe Gollner · June 3, 2013 · Twitter
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Kelly KubrickEstablishing Digital Maturity

Introducing the Six Dimensions of Digital Maturity, aka the dStrategy Digital Maturity Model™

by Kelly Kubrick on November 19, 2012

Originally published on the Digital Strategy Conference blog; republished with permission from dStrategy Media.

Do any of these sound familiar?

  • A digital campaign launches without measurement
  • A new product launches but the online customer support content doesn’t get updated
  • A new technology conflicts with an existing process in the online sales channel

Given all that we know about digital business today, how do these things happen?

It starts innocently. The pressure to launch – a responsive website, a Twitter account, anything – everything! – is such that the project kicks off without a clear, let alone known, process.

The requirement for action overwhelms the time available to plan. Suddenly, your digital presence suffers from the old “Fire, Ready, Aim” joke.

We promise there is a better way. Take advantage of established business planning tools such project plans and budgets. And, maturity models.

Take advantage of maturity models

A maturity model is business planning tool to help your organization improve processes against an established standard. Maturity models include assessment criteria and a method to score your efforts relative to the criteria.

The lower your score, the more opportunity there is to improve. The higher your score, the more you have optimized a given process, and the higher your maturity rating is.

Most importantly, the simplicity and clarity of a completed maturity model provides everyone in your organization a common starting point: the equivalent of the arrow on a map saying “You are here”.


What is a digital maturity model?

A digital maturity model is a business planning tool specifically intended to help your organization assess its digital processes against an established standard. Doing so will provide a framework – a road map, if you will – to progress your digital efforts.

By knowing where you are today, you are better able to decide where you could be in the future – and how you will get there. Assessing your digital maturity will help you visualize your path forward and set priorities for digital process improvement.


Introducing the Six Dimensions of Digital Maturity – the dStrategy Digital Maturity Model™

We created the dStrategy Digital Maturity Model, including assessment criteria and a rating method – from Zero, through Low, Medium and High – to help you assess your organization’s current digital maturity.

Image of the Six Dimensions of Digital Maturity - the dStrategy Digital Maturity Model

Six Dimensions of Digital Maturity – dStrategy Digital Maturity Model

Our assessment criteria span six dimensions, each of which is necessary for the successful execution of digital strategy. The Six Dimensions of Digital Maturity™ are described at each link below:

  1. Human Resources
  2. Technology Resources
  3. Data Strategy
  4. Content Strategy
  5. Channel Strategy
  6. Social Business Strategy

We look forward to discussing the dStrategy Digital Maturity Model™ with you here, and at the next Digital Strategy Conference.

In 2013, we introduced the dStrategy Digital Maturity Model™ at Digital Strategy Conference Vancouver, British Columbia and Ottawa, Ontario. Our audience not only confirmed the tremendous value that the Model provides, they asked, “What’s next?”

Share your insights

Next, we’re happy to report, is the dStrategy Digital Maturity Benchmark Survey. Now in it’s third year, we invite you to share your insights.

Learn how to measure and map your organization’s digital maturity

Then, you asked us how you could map your organization’s digital maturity and how you could apply and act on your assessment results. We listened and launched the Mapping Digital Maturity Workshop Corporate Training, a practical, hands-on learning session to help your organization create a road map for digital success.

We look forward to the next step in our collective path to digital maturity with you!

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Kelly KubrickIntroducing the Six Dimensions of Digital Maturity, aka the dStrategy Digital Maturity Model™

What is Digital Strategy?

by Kelly Kubrick on November 9, 2012

Originally published on the Digital Strategy Conference blog; republished with permission from dStrategy Media.

Defining Digital Strategy: Finding Common Ground

As a relatively new concept, there is no commonly understood definition of digital strategy. Many would say that digital strategy has to do with incorporating email, websites and social networks into marketing and communications efforts. Some might say it has to do with accepting electronic payment, registrations or donations. Others would say that it relates to going mobile.

Depending on your sector and industry, the perception and role of digital changes radically. To some, it’s disruptive in the worst possible way. To digital–first companies, it is their native habitat. To many, it hints at new opportunities – and to far too many, it is threatening, impacting roles and job expectations.

To muddy the waters further, the rationale for digital is ever evolving. Initial efforts focused on substitution – uncovering cost savings and improved efficiency. Then, focus shifted to identifying what we could sell online. And today, focus has shifted again, as we find ourselves asking how to use digital to improve the overall business.

Which brings us to this:

Digital Strategy Leads to Competitive Advantage

Digital strategy is the process of identifying, articulating and executing on digital opportunities that will increase your organization’s competitive advantage.

A competitive advantage is found when your organization “acquires or develops abilities” – such as technology or people – that allows you to create value, which no other organization is capable of. Those in the public or not for profit sectors might bristle at the term competitive, but we believe it still applies when seen through the lens of a competitive–comparative set.

A critical word in our definition is “process”. If a digital strategy is a process, remember that a process presumes a progression – from an initial starting point, to the approach of and overtaking of milestones to destinations both identified and unknown.

A practical and efficient way to do this is to take advantage of established planning tools such as maturity models. In our next post, we’ll introduce you to the dStrategy Digital Maturity Model.

We look forward to discussing our definition with you at at Digital Strategy Conference.

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Kelly KubrickWhat is Digital Strategy?