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(originally published by Booz & Company)


The Four Types of Digital Marketer

  • Scholars are skilled at consumer insights and analytics; some of them, for example, have developed sophisticated forms of market segmentation based on deep insights about the way people make purchases. But they have not yet converted these insights and analyses into profitable action.
  • Pioneers have established a robust presence in digital media, with viable forms of electronic commerce, their own media platforms, or other kinds of Web-, mobile-phone, or app-based services. But these activation platforms are not sufficiently customer centric; they are not grounded in insights about their customer base, and therefore they do not engage consumers as well as they might.
  • Novices are still coming up to speed in the practices of digital marketing, and (in many cases) discovering which facets benefit them and which may not.

During its first month online, the profiler results have affirmed our preliminary view that although there is no single path to leadership, those that are digital leaders are investing in similar capabilities. They are focused on building stronger direct-to-consumer relationships, developing content solutions to better engage consumers in their categories, leveraging social media as a valuable platform for insights, and building out a stronger multichannel experience. Depending on your company’s situation, your own digital marketing capabilities might include a distinctive way of changing your portfolio of products to address social media responses; a highly effective form of segmentation based on the way consumers behave in the real world (for example, tracking how much time elapses between visits to your retail store); or an ability to create a compelling e-commerce platform that draws people to your products.

A digital marketing plan aligned with your company’s strategy can be a game changer for your business. It can allow you to build stronger relationships with consumers that are based on offering them better value in real time: more appropriate deals, more authentic offers, and more simplicity and clarity. But not on its own. You will need the right capabilities and the appropriate investment of time and attention. Through experience, and through the kind of self-assessment that the profiler brings forward, your company can gain a better understanding of where you are now — and how to move forward.

The Digital Customer Centricity Profiler is free, private (results are aggregated without identifying the individuals), brief (it takes only about 15 minutes), and designed to let you know your company’s standing as a leader, scholar, pioneer, or novice. To complete the profiler, click here.

Author Profiles:

  • Matthew Egol is a partner in Booz & Company’s communications, media, and technology practice. Based in New York, he focuses on marketing strategy and capability development related to digitization, social media, and shopper marketing.
  • Christopher Vollmer is a partner with Booz & Company, based in New York. He leads the firm’s global media and entertainment practice. He is the author of Always On: Advertising, Marketing, and Media in an Era of Consumer Control (McGraw-Hill, 2008).
  • Klaus Hoelbling is a Booz & Company partner based in Vienna. He leads the firm’s business in Austria and works with global telecommunications, media, and high-tech companies.


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