Guides and Templates

Free digital marketing maturity benchmarking templates

Quickly review and improve your digital marketing maturity across platforms

How will these free benchmarking templates help me and my business?

'What is a benchmark in marketing'? Marketing benchmarks allow you to answer common questions such as 'How do we compare to our competitors?' and 'What does good or excellent look like?' that companies often ask when aiming to get more from their digital marketing. But how do you know which areas to compare and how you can structure your review and recommendations of actions to improve your digital marketing maturity?

These comprehensive one-page benchmarking templates help you quickly review how well you are currently performing using the key digital marketing techniques on a five-point scale for different criteria and so identify the gaps in your current capabilities.

These benchmarking templates, first created by Dr. Dave Chaffey, are aimed at small/medium to large businesses and will help you:

  • Compare how well you are currently using the key digital marketing techniques
  • Identify the gaps in your current digital marketing maturity
  • Communicate priorities for improvement to your teams or budget-holders
  • Create a prioritized plan of how you will improve your digital marketing maturity

Who are the benchmarking templates for?

The benchmarking templates will help marketers who are responsible for managing and improving the business contribution from digital marketing as a whole, or specific channels like search or email marketing.

Marketing professionals who will benefit from using these templates include:

  • Marketing and digital marketing managers
  • E-commerce managers
  • Inbound marketing managers and email marketing executives
  • Content marketing and campaign managers
  • Social media managers and executives
  • Marketers dedicated to user experience and conversion rate optimization

Because each area of a business’ marketing has a dedicated benchmarking template, it is important that all stakeholders share visibility of their benchmarked performance. Channel-specific next steps should be identified that ensure all channels work under a single, unified digital marketing plan.

How are the benchmarking templates structured?

Our benchmarking templates use the five-point scale of the Carnegie Mellon capability maturity model, which rates different processes from an unmanaged approach as you start out at Level 1 up to a well-managed process at Level 5. The templates include overall digital excellence and strategy goals and then go into specific channel benchmarks for core marketing fundamentals.

The benchmarks cover:

  • Digital marketing maturity
  • Integrated lifecycle marketing using the Smart Insights RACE Planning Framework
  • Digital marketing excellence
  • Digital Analytics
  • Campaign planning
  • Content marketing
  • Customer experience
  • Email marketing and marketing automation
  • SEO
  • Social media marketing
  • Influencer relationship management
  • E-commerce marketing

Once you have defined the areas you want to prioritize improvement, you can then put an action plan in place of how you will get to the next level.

Latest updates

For 2023 we have created a new benchmark template summarizing how to improve your digital marketing maturity for small/medium businesses (page 5). It uses the 7 pillars of modern marketing across the RACE Growth System to help you quickly review where you are now, and what you need to do to improve your maturity in the future. We’ve also updated our guidance on how to use the templates with links to useful further resources to help you implement your action plan.

Resource Details

  • Authors: Dr. Dave Chaffey & Amelia Mayes, Smart Insights
  • Format: 18-page downloadable PDF with digital marketing maturity benchmarking templates for the main areas of digital marketing.
  • Recommended premium member resources:
    • Capability maturity review – this interactive Learning Path module is intended to be completed alongside these templates. Its aim is to support your review of your organization’s digital maturity.
    • Digital marketing audit – After you’ve reviewed the benchmarking templates, this Excel spreadsheet will help you complete a more detailed review of your digital communications and experiences. It’s structured using the 25 key activities of the Smart Insights RACE Planning Framework.
    • Essential marketing models – These templates have been created from the Carnegie Mellon capability maturity model, but there are several other marketing models that you may find instructive once you’ve decided on your areas of improvement. Our free guide breaks down each concept so you can understand and apply them to areas of your company including business growth, communications planning, and new product development.

About the authors

Dr. Dave Chaffey

Dave ChaffeyDave is co-founder of Smart Insights and creator of the Smart Insights RACE planning framework. For his full profile, or to connect on LinkedIn or other social networks, see the About Dave Chaffey profile page on Smart Insights. Dave is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. In 2004 he was recognized by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing.

Amelia Mayes

Image of Amelia smiling

Amelia Mayes is Head of Content at Smart Insights. She is responsible for managing the paid member content library and e-learning resources, as well as strategic planning to ensure customers get the most from their memberships. She is a University of Southampton and the Chartered Institute of Marketing graduate with over 7 years’ experience in digital marketing, specializing in content marketing.

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