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Google has announced the launch of the Digital Marketing Transformation (DMT) programme in South Africa.

Nasser Ahmed, Google Digital Academy head of emerging markets, described the programme as a partnership between a One Google team and clients, which enables business growth through providing customised digital marketing advice, including digital marketing fundamentals, best practises and a focused customised roadmap.

Google’s Digital Marketing Transformation programme takes clients through a six step process. The journey begins with an assessment done by advertisers on their level of digital marketing maturity using the Digital Maturity Benchmark. The Digital Maturity Benchmark is a tool devised by Google and the Boston Consulting Group to help businesses assess how their data-driven marketing efforts measure up against established best practices when it comes to anticipating customer needs

This benchmark provides insights on how advertisers are positioned in comparison to best-in-class marketers.

A BCG-Google study, conducted with 40 experts and over 200 brands across more than 8 industries around the world, identifies four stages of Digital Marketing Maturity – in order of progression: Nascent, emerging, connect, and multi-moment.

The study found that only 2 percent of brands deliver multi-moment experiences where customer journeys are dynamically improved towards business outcomes. Eight percent are nascent – the lower end of maturity – where execution is simple campaign-based and brands mainly use external data and direct buys.

At the DMT launch, Jan Gildemeister, MD and Partner at BCG South Africa, said that increasing digital marketing maturity is a journey that’s best achieved when technical and organisational capabilities go hand in hand to help brands iteratively take their next steps.

He said “To respond to consumer expectations and competition, brands must make hard changes to realise the full potential of data-driven marketing”. According to Gildemeister, transformation is a necessity and can be aided by applying advanced technologies in conjunction with smart human assistance.

“Technology can empower brands to become more helpful by letting them be there for their users, with useful answers provided timely and seamlessly,” said Jenny Thompson, EMEA Go To Market, Google.

For instance, by transforming themselves, organisations have the ability to apply the most advanced machine learning-based technology to their campaigns, reducing their cost per acquisition by up to 40 percent and boosting return on ad spend by up to 30 percent.

As consumers increasingly turn to their mobile devices to get useful advice and answers – so marketers need to be there, where consumers are. Marketers at companies of all sizes can benefit from insights into how consumers behave online – from what they search to how the make purchases.

Google also announced the Google Digital Academy Labs, to help organisations skill up to effectively address their transformation challenges.