As a marketer, whether you’ve been in the game for years or just starting out, you know that a marketing roadmap is an essential tool.
Consider the unique and diverse needs of marketing campaigns; with multiple elements and team members coming into play, things can become chaotic. If and when this happens, as it’s bound to from time to time, you’ll face the impossible task of finishing on time or making good on deliverables.
Part of your marketing strategy should involve gaining more control of your marketing efforts and structuring your marketing plan in a way that lets each team member know what they need to do and when. For this, there’s no better tool than a marketing roadmap.
Read on to learn:
- What is a marketing roadmap?
- The different types of marketing roadmaps.
- How to prepare a marketing roadmap template.
What Is a Marketing Roadmap?
With fewer barriers to entry today, the business landscape is becoming increasingly competitive. As this happens, your company requires more efficient and effective marketing campaigns to gain a competitive advantage.
However, you may find that despite allocating the necessary budget and resources to marketing activities, your marketing team still finds it difficult to fully align their corporate strategy efforts. This means that despite your commitment to marketing and their efforts, you’re likely missing out on a lot of value.
If you find yourself in such a position, it may be tempting to increase the marketing budget or revise your digital marketing strategy. These actions may help, but the ideal solution for you is a simple tool known as a marketing roadmap.
A marketing roadmap is a tool that communicates and offers a visual representation of your marketing strategy. It outlines all the steps necessary to achieve your marketing goals with a clear start and end date, as well as milestones along the way.
There are different types of marketing roadmaps that one can use. For most marketers, roadmapping involves the use of checklists. The format you choose depends on your needs and preferences and is not necessarily important. In this regard, you may want to create a marketing roadmap template for different activities.
What matters most is that a roadmap helps your marketing team optimize workflow and aligns efforts with corporate strategy.
How Will a Marketing Roadmap Benefit Your Organization?
If you’ve been in marketing for some time now, you understand how small and seemingly useless actions can significantly impact outcomes. Well, roadmapping is one of those seemingly small and useless actions.
Some of the benefits you’ll enjoy with a marketing road map include:
- Alignment – Each team member will understand the purpose of the marketing initiative and the role they have to play.
- Coordination – The efforts from different teams will be synchronized as all stakeholders understand their role and when deliverables are due.
- Communication – Makes it easy to communicate marketing directions and share plans and progress with internal teams and leadership.
- Visibility – It displays all the upcoming marketing campaigns and product launches to team members and other stakeholders.
- Impact – As it clearly indicates the strategies, milestones, and due dates, it is much easier to monitor the impact of each campaign on the overall business performance.
While creating a marketing roadmap, you must employ a collaborative approach. Along with the marketing team members, involve other stakeholders in the organization. This will help align marketing activities with the overall business strategy, making it easy to get approvals for budget requests.
Who Will You Create Marketing Roadmaps For?
Undoubtedly, marketing teams benefit the most from roadmapping their activities as it gives them more control over the strategy and promotes coordination. However, they are not the only target audience for such documents.
Due to the visibility into marketing that roadmaps offer, some of the likely audiences to include are:
The role of senior leadership in your organization is to provide direction for both the short and long term. For their decisions to be beneficial to the company, they must have all the necessary information.
In this regard, insight on how and whether marketing goals are influencing the company’s growth is essential. As such, executive leaders are among the primary audiences and beneficiaries of marketing roadmaps.
IT and Development Teams
As the name suggests, digital marketing is reliant on technology. If the systems and tools that your marketing team relies on to deliver different projects are not ready as and when needed, the campaign will be in jeopardy.
To avoid such scenarios, it is best to share the product roadmap with the IT and development teams. This will ensure that they know and deliver on their part on time, avoiding unnecessary bottlenecks.
Customer Support Teams
As you may well know, consumers drive today’s markets. Therefore, you must factor in your clients’ desires, values, and likely responses with all your activities, especially those pertaining to marketing.
Once your marketing roadmaps are ready, share them with your customer support teams. As they interact with customers, they’ll pass across this information or use it to gauge their response, which may help improve your marketing plan.
For your product launch to be a success, the marketing and product development teams must work together. By working together to create a go-to-market roadmap, you’ll maximize promotional opportunities as the timing of marketing campaigns will be in line with the launch.
While the purpose of marketing is generally to create awareness and recognition of your brand and products, it’s the sales team that’s responsible for making those deals happen. The success of their efforts greatly relies on knowing when marketing activities are set to take place.
Some of the key events that may interest them in a marketing roadmap may include tradeshows and webinars. Along with competitor analysis, having this information well in advance allows them to prepare adequately.
Types of Marketing Roadmaps
As you begin making arrangements to create a marketing roadmap in conjunction with other stakeholders, it’s important to note that there is no universal template. As such, you will have to design marketing roadmap templates according to your needs and preferences.
Some of the types of marketing roadmaps you may need to use include project, campaign, strategy, and portfolio roadmaps.
With every marketing campaign, you will have multiple projects. A project roadmap outlines all the steps your team needs to take to launch and execute that particular project.
For example, you may have a project roadmap for:
- An event
- A blog post
- A newsletter
- An email
Ideally, you should align all your marketing projects with the overall campaign. For this, you will need a campaign roadmap that outlines all the marketing initiatives in your campaign.
Depending on how you structure your marketing campaign, you may include details on individual projects. If the campaign is extensive, project roadmaps may also be part of the campaign roadmap.
Compared to a campaign roadmap, a strategic roadmap is more comprehensive. It outlines all campaigns, projects, and initiatives for the duration of the marketing period, usually a year. In doing so, it helps tie marketing initiatives with overall company objectives.
Since a strategy roadmap keeps track of all campaigns and projects, it’s crucial to include as many details as possible.
Although you may have multiple marketing functions running independently, they usually have something tying them closely together. For instance, product marketing may involve content marketing, or the purpose of email marketing may be to direct traffic to your content.
Since different teams may be handling each function, integrating them may be challenging. Creating a portfolio roadmap is one of the most effective ways to ensure that different marketing functions move in the same direction.
What Are the Key Elements of an Effective Marketing Roadmap?
For your marketing roadmap to be effective, it must clarify the project or campaign in question. Though there are different types of roadmaps and the audiences may vary, effective marketing roadmaps always include the following key elements:
1. Marketing Goals
Each campaign or project must have objectives concerning business goals you wish to achieve. Highlight these goals in the roadmap to ensure that the team members and other stakeholders are aware and act accordingly.
The success of your marketing campaign greatly depends on achieving the objectives on time. Therefore, make sure each roadmap includes the time frame for the campaign and individual projects. Depending on the campaign and projects, the timescale may be in days, weeks, months, or quarters.
With every project, there will be actions necessary for you to actualize it. To provide more details and increase the chances of success, include such actions. These may be sales tools, press releases, creating a home page, and so on.
As each team continues with its functions, it is important to know whether they are on track to achieve goals on time. Therefore, include a status section where you will indicate the progress on the map. This will allow teams to pick up the pace if need be.
Marketing Doesn’t Have to Be Tedious
Over the years, your responsibilities as a marketer have been increasing, making it somewhat tedious. From SEO and content marketing to PPC advertising, marketing comes in different forms and with even more channels and tools to use.
If you want to make marketing project management easier and more effective, try using Welcome, an all-in-one marketing platform. More importantly, it boosts agility and maximizes your team’s productivity. Contact us today to learn more on how Welcome will help you scale your company and for a free demo.