4 Steps to Build a Marketing Roadmap

Inbound Marketing
Tyler Pigott
Tyler Pigott

Marketing is like Atlanta’s Spaghetti Junction — there are myriad routes you can take, and it can be difficult to decipher which road you should be on if you don’t know precisely where you want to go. The key to marketing success is to have a roadmap that will lead you from where you are now to where you want to be in the future. In this post, we’ll look at how to build a marketing roadmap that will guide your team to the right destination.

1. Start with Your Goals

The first step is to decide your destination. Defining your goals will get your entire team on the same page and get you all working toward the same thing. Decision-making will be easier because your goals will guide you. You’ll know what to say “yes” to and what to say “no” to.

Effective goals are specific and measurable, so think through the details. You want to grow, but how much and how quickly?

Next, consider the factors that will affect your ability to reach your goals successfully. Your primary goal may be a revenue increase, but there’s a lot to consider related to that goal that will affect your success. For example:

  • Exactly how much revenue are you targeting in the next year?
  • How many new customers will you need to meet your revenue goal?
  • What’s your average conversion rate? How many leads do you need to convert your target number of customers?
  • How many orders can you fulfill or clients can you serve with your current team?
  • How will you increase your capacity over time to reach your goals?
  • What resources are you able to dedicate to your marketing efforts? (Staff and budget.)

Whatever your goals are, don’t forget to consider how you’ll track your progress and measure your results. Meaningful KPIs will tell you what’s working and what’s not and will help you iterate more effectively.

2. Define Your Target Audience

Your target audience will govern every other component of your marketing roadmap, from the types of content and marketing assets you create to where you choose to promote them. You must know your target audience inside and out, and you need to fully understand their typical path to purchase. Visit social media groups, study industry publications, use surveys, and conduct one-on-one interviews to learn:

  • What problems do your prospects struggle with that your product or service solves?
  • What’s the specific impact of those problems?
  • What will happen if the problems don’t get solved quickly?
  • How do prospects describe how the problem makes them feel?
  • What do prospects need in a solution to fix the entirety of the problem?
  • How do they typically research products or services like yours?
  • Who do they ask for referrals?
  • Where do they spend time online? What social platforms do they use? What industry publications do they read?
  • What types of content do they prefer? Short articles? In-depth articles? Summaries and checklists? Podcasts? Videos? Graphics?
  • What’s their demographic data?

Next, based on what you learn, outline your prospects’ buyer’s journey — the path they take from the time they first become aware that they have a problem to the time they make a purchase that will solve that problem. Be specific and detailed here, so you have a thorough understanding of each step in the process.

3. Decide Your Initiatives

Defining your goals and your target audience will have narrowed your choices down, but you’ll still have several options for marketing initiatives that have strong potential for success. But you can’t do everything at once. Write down all the possible initiatives you could take. For example:

  • Redesign website with new messaging
  • Create content strategy
  • Create search engine optimization (SEO) strategy
  • Publish blog posts
  • Create a lead magnet and lead nurturing emails
  • Create a content promotion strategy
  • Launch a podcast

Then rate them according to the following criteria:

  • Potential for helping you reach your goals
  • Level of expected impact
  • Ease of implementation
  • Cost of implementation

Now choose two or three initiatives to start with. Once you implement those and evaluate their performance, you can iterate and implement again, or you can move on to the next set of initiatives. Working systematically through the strategies with the best possible outcomes will keep you on track and give you the best chance of success.

4. Plan Your Implementation and Campaigns

Now, plan out the steps you’ll need to take in order to complete each initiative. Some will be straightforward, such as revamping a website — you’ll have a list of tasks to work through. Some initiatives (or combination of initiatives) will be more complex. For these, you can create campaigns that use a series of tactics working together. For example, if you create a lead magnet with follow-up nurturing emails, you could promote the lead magnet through a series of blog posts on related topics, use a paid Facebook ad to promote the lead magnet, and/or use an industry association’s mailing list for a sponsored promotion.

Decide what campaigns you want to tackle in the upcoming year and then create a list of all the steps involved in each campaign. Be sure to include a plan for the sales team to follow up with qualified leads that are demonstrating strong engagement and ongoing interest.

Reach Your Goals with a Marketing Roadmap

Building and using a marketing roadmap will keep you on the right track to reach your goals and prevent you from getting distracted by bright, shiny marketing tactics that aren’t part of your strategy. A roadmap means you’ll be working systematically and purposely so you’ll arrive at your destination a lot faster.

Need guidance creating your marketing roadmap? Find out how we help clients reach their goals with a complimentary strategy session.

what is a sales funnel