Understanding Your Digital Maturity Model: A Complete Guide


How established is your company’s online presence and is it easily adaptable to the ever-evolving digital landscape? If your answer to these questions is “not much”, then you may need to re-evaluate your company’s digital maturity model.

Recent years have proven the crucial role of digital maturity in any business operation. Many companies have had to implement drastic changes to achieve their goals. 

So how do you ensure that your business is digitally mature or which changes to make? You’re in the right place to find those answers. 

Allow us to help you fully understand digital maturity and the role it plays in your business’s success. 

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Key Takeaways

  1. Digital maturity is crucial to business success and companies must be adaptable to the ever-evolving digital landscape.
  2. Digital maturity refers to a company’s ability to implement a plan and adjust it as required in the digital landscape.
  3. A digital maturity model is an essential tool for businesses to evaluate their current digital maturity level and design a roadmap for growth.
  4. When determining a digital maturity model, aspects to consider include focus, industry, and scope.
  5. The Hippo Thinks digital maturity model has five levels and can be adjusted according to the company’s needs. To evaluate the maturity level, consider the client’s lifecycle with the company, such as outreach, conversion, and retention.

What is Digital Maturity?

When we look at the digital maturity definition, we find that it refers to a company’s ability to bring a plan to fruition. If it can adjust the course as required in the digital landscape. 

While marketing is the main area this applies to, it’s relevant to the entire digital processes of your business.

Is the technology used up to date? Are the customer and IT service strategies relevant to the market and your clients?

“…the true outcome is a maturity model assessment isn’t what level you are but the list of things you need to work on to improve.”—Martin Fowler

Determining Your Digital Maturity Model

As you prepare for your business transformation, it’s essential to have a digital maturity model in place. 

The basic principle behind a digital maturity model is to look at where your company’s at before looking at where you’re going. The idea is to determine your company’s current digital maturity level as you design a roadmap for growth.

A well-planned strategy provides a clear view of improvement opportunities, sets standards and creates a development plan. As you put it together, remember that every company is different, and you should focus on your unique journey.

With no standard dimensions to creating a model framework, it comes down to your digital engagement efforts and stage of maturity. 

When putting your framework together, the main aspects to consider include:

  • Focus: Determine your business goals. This activity may zone in on the processes, skills and team or your specific products and services.
  • Industry: Identify your company’s industry specialisation for deeper results. 
  • Scope: This assessment can be done with a broader scope to focus on a holistic approach to business growth. Alternatively, you could take the targeted approach, delivering a deeper understanding of a specific area that needs to be addressed.

Interpreting the Hippo Thinks Model

As mentioned, there’s no cookie-cutter approach when establishing the digital maturity scale for your business. Use the Hippo Thinks model as an example; it’s adjustable according to your organisation’s needs.

The five digital maturity levels help lay the foundation for continued success in your business. The Hippo Thinks maturity assessment levels are: 

  • You’re a dark horse if you avoid adapting to the digital landscape unless absolutely necessary.
  • As an unfortunate traveller, you’re inconsistent with digital changes and aren’t quite finding your path or using the directions correctly. 
  • An amateur jock is more intentional about implementing changes but still lacks the initiative to create a unique framework.

You’re an alterer when you’re adaptable and provide your site visitors with a memorable digital experience

  • The wave maker shakes up the digital marketing landscape, creating new markets and innovative business models. 

Of course, it doesn’t help to understand the different levels if you don’t know what you’re hippo-thetically assessing. For this, we need to consider the potential client’s lifecycle with your company. 

  • Outlining: How have you drafted and implemented technology into your strategy?
  • Familiarity: What is your approach to attracting prospective clients who don’t know your brand?
  • Deliberation: How do you draw the attention of potential clients who know your brand but are still shopping around for options?
  • Conclude: How are you using technology to secure the sale?
  • Reclaim: If you’ve lost a prospect’s interest, what are you doing to re-engage them?
  • Execute: What is the next step when you’ve secured the new order sale or acquired a new client?
  • Upsell: How do you encourage clients to buy more?
  • Retention: What would make existing customers keep coming back?
  • Client care: Do your clients have a simplified way to get help quickly if they have trouble with something? Does your self-service content ensure that your customers will have a good experience if they need assistance?
  • Referrals: How do you encourage your customers to promote your brand, products or services?

Now that you know what type of data to gather from your digital maturity scale, you’re ready to complete the assessment. 

If you find your business at various levels for each stage, don’t fret! This is where the answers to your assessment come into action.

Look at the data you’ve gathered and start planning the following steps on your journey. 

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There Are No Shortcuts, Only Resources

Now that we’ve provided all the information you need, you’re ready to take the next steps to digital maturity for your business! Find the model that works for you and create the map for your company’s future. 

As you can see, there are many questions you need to ask yourself to get the right results. However, you don’t need to go it alone. If you’d like some assistance with your organisation’s digital maturity assessment, why not book a consultation with us? 

Our team of Hippo Thinks experts are ready to help you determine your company’s current standing. We’ll give you the steps to take you where you want to be. 

Remember that, at the end of the day, digital maturity isn’t just about reaching your goal but what you learn on your way there. 


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