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Marketing Capabilities Overview

digital marketing capabilities

In the digital age, marketing capabilities are a critical success factor for every enterprise, and how you manage and harness marketing capabilities drives corporate performance.  Broadly, there are two types of marketing capabilities that we use in our day-to-today vernacular: One is how well some aspect of marketing function is doing. Second is what marketing function does and can do.  For example, a statement like “ABCDEF Corp. product placement capabilities, in television and movies, are incredible” manifests the first definition.  Whereas, “PQRS Inc. is focused on building digital marketing capabilities by transforming the marketing function,” deals with the structural aspects, as in the second definition. 

We, at Capstera, are more in the realm of the fundamental and abstract art of business capability modeling, and our interest is in developing a marketing capabilities framework that provides a holistic picture of what marketing function does, and then thru value stream and processes be interested in how it is done.   Of course, we admire the creative geniuses who create a fantastic tagline, the marketing quants who can measure ad spend ROI to the nth degree and the CPC (Cost per Click) mavens whose bid management of keywords is an art by itself.  However, we are focused on defining marketing capability map in the business architecture continuum. 

A marketing capability model is a result of outside in, and as well as inside out work to capture the broad range of functional activities involved in the marketing function. The goal of this marketing capabilities map is to have a multi-level list comprising of increasingly granular capabilities in logical groups.  The high-level value chain level marketing capabilities are good for strategic understanding, while capabilities at lower levels offer specificity, precision, and clarity.  For example, one can broadly say “We are not good in digital marketing, or we are good in social media.” However, statements like, “Our Social Listening capability is non-existent, whereas our inbound content marketing works rather well.” 

You can learn more about additional details in Capstera’s other blogs and insights. 

What is the value of a marketing capabilities framework?

  • A marketing capabilities map offers a structured and MECE (Mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive) list of capabilities that form the basis for business and technology alignment with a common language. 
  • A marketing capabilities list will help companies assess their people, process, technology, and operations at an elemental level and derive a target state based on bridging capability gaps. 
  • Capabilities function as a natural linkage between strategy (the “Why”) and the operations (the “How”).
  • Future state roadmap requirements anchored to marketing capabilities offer a stable view of what’s next and where to invest. 
  • Mapping technology assets to marketing capabilities provide a footprint analysis which is useful in rationalizing marketing techniques and systems. 


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