A marketing roadmap helps you visualise your big-picture business objectives. It streamlines team communication and organisation while connecting high-level strategy to tactical to-dos.
With the right project manager tools and templates, there are practically endless ways to integrate marketing roadmaps into your campaigns.
And yet, many founders still rely on spreadsheets and to-do lists to track their marketing success, even when there are far superior (and free) alternatives available.
Here’s the thing:
Planning a marketing strategy is one thing. Successfully executing the plan is another entirely.
With the right digital marketing roadmap and tools, you’ll bridge long-term objectives and short-term milestones, allowing you to scale more quickly and profitably.
What is a marketing roadmap?
You want a clear path to achieving your big-picture goals. A marketing roadmap is exactly that — a plan that outlines the directions to follow and milestones to complete so you efficiently arrive at your desired destination.
Imagine for a sec that your marketing and product teams are in two separate cars. You ask them to arrive at the same end destination. Maybe you even give them a deadline.
However, the two vehicles (1) don’t have clear directions and (2) aren’t communicating.
Will both cars end up at the same location on time? Maybe, but I highly doubt it.
Don’t ask your organisation to drive blind. Learn how to utilise a marketing roadmap, and you’ll align your teams so that you can execute your marketing strategy more effectively.
The best digital marketing campaign roadmaps will:
- Provide a defined starting point, milestones, and deadlines
- Plot big-picture goals and short-term objectives
- Align product and marketing around shared goals
- Coordinate responsibilities
- Track progress and marketing impact
- Outline digital marketing KPIs
- Organise your workflow
How to build a great marketing roadmap
Let’s take a closer look at how to build a marketing roadmap that will work for your unique business objectives.
1. Know your big-picture goals
You can’t chart your course to success if you don’t know where you want to go.
It sounds simple. And yet, so many small business owners operate without a clear vision of their goals.
I get it — you’re busy. It’s easy to drown in the day-to-day details and forget to zoom out so you can achieve your high-level objectives. And that’s precisely why you need a digital marketing roadmap.
The best business goals are clear and attainable. I suggest setting and tracking SMART goals.
Once you know exactly where you want to go, it’s important to track your progress with the right OKRs. Because as John Doerr writes, “Ideas are easy. Execution is everything.”
This brings me to my next point.
2. Break your goals into achievable milestones
Let’s say one of your goals is to improve brand awareness. Your SMART goal might look like this:
Increase new traffic to the company website by 20% over the next three months.
You know where you want to be in three months. Excellent. Now, what are the initiatives that will ensure your team meets your goals?
Once you have an idea of your marketing initiatives, it’s time to outline specific milestones:
- Publish two new blog posts a month
- Increase your email database by 100 people
- Connect with 50 new people on LinkedIn
Once you have your initiatives and milestones outlined, plot them on your digital marketing roadmap so that you can visualise what’s happening and when. Now your team can connect the big-picture strategy with the tactical work it will take to achieve it.
3. Attach a timeframe to your milestones
Your marketing roadmap should communicate what events are happening and when.
How you choose to organise your roadmap is up to you and will largely depend on the size and complexity of your campaigns.
What’s important is that your roadmap follows a systemic, chronological approach that ensures your team is progressing according to plan.
4. Make your marketing roadmap unique to your organisation
Assign responsibility to key tasks. Colour-code according to status or priority. Visualise your roadmap as a timeline or create a process-based workflow.
The specifics of your marketing roadmap are up to you! What’s important is that you have a visual representation of your holistic goals, broken down into the milestones you need to achieve said goals.
The best tools to create a marketing roadmap
There’s no shortage of project manager tools to help you create your marketing roadmap. In fact, a quick Google search reveals a paralysing number of choices.
Don’t let overwhelm stop you from taking action. Here are a few of my favourite tools to build your custom digital marketing roadmap:
I use Asana with all my clients.
This simple yet powerful work management tool does exactly what every marketing roadmap should: “Connects company-wide goals to the work needed to achieve them—across teams and functions.”
Asana’s key features include:
- List view: Your team can immediately see what they need to do, when work is due, and which tasks take priority.
- Boards: Easily break down goals into stages so your team can focus on what’s important right now.
- Integrations: Communicate and collaborate on work in one place with over 200 integrations.
ProductPlan is an excellent option if you want to create web-based visual roadmaps. Get an overarching view of your product strategy and ensure team deliverables align with your goals.
Similar to Asana, monday.com offers customisable dashboards so that your organisation can easily organise projects and manage tasks.
Road Munk is a roadmap-specific tool that specialises in customer-driven roadmapping. Capture customer feedback, then customise drag and drop “boardroom ready” roadmaps to effortlessly communicate your strategy.
The bottom line about Marketing Roadmaps
If you want to scale more quickly, you’ve got to know how to bridge long-term objectives and short-term milestones. Marketing roadmapping tools help you do precisely that.
So, take a few moments to set up your way markers. Your team — and your bottom line — will thank you.