Why You Need to Create a Digital Marketing Roadmap
The year was 1996. I remember sitting in the backseat of my parents’ Dodge Grand Caravan as we cruised down I-95 on a family trip up to Acadia National Park. As the sun set and my brother turned on the overhead light so that we could keep our epic game of Mad Libs going in the darkness, my father pulled the car over to the side of the road and asked my mother to crack open the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer, so we knew where to go next. We would’ve been lost without that roadmap. Because we had it, we made it safely to our destination.
Atlases are critical for travelers, but I want to discuss a different type of roadmap that’s a must-have for marketers. Almost every organization with a digital presence has at least one goal they’re trying to accomplish with their marketing. For example, your organization might want to increase website traffic to raise brand awareness. Or perhaps you might want to improve engagement on your website by converting more visitors into customers. These goals are common and easy to understand, but there are endless ways to achieve them. Unfortunately, most organizations don’t have the resources to pursue these goals simultaneously. That’s where a digital marketing roadmap comes into play.
What is a Digital Marketing Roadmap?
A digital marketing roadmap visualizes related initiatives on a timeline. A well-crafted one gives your organization’s key stakeholders a birds-eye view of your digital marketing activities and how they support the organization’s goals. The roadmap shows what’s happening when it’s happening, and why it’s happening. Your team members should be able to reference the roadmap and quickly understand what’s being worked on and what’s coming up.
Here's an anonymized version of a simple digital marketing roadmap that Velir developed for a client:
Roadmap Example – Platform Security and Technical Compliance
We created this roadmap because the client identified several critical initiatives they needed to complete over the next two years. They needed help prioritizing those initiatives and mapping them out on a timeline. By plotting out a digital marketing roadmap, we provided a clear plan for stakeholders (in this case, the IT team) on how we would meet short-term and long-term goals for platform security and technical compliance.
Digital marketing roadmaps are also critical as a project management tool when mapping out priorities on a shorter timeline.
Roadmap Example – Website Enhancements
In this example, Velir created a roadmap for a client with several time-sensitive website enhancements they needed to complete. This roadmap was reviewed each week by stakeholders to understand priorities and expected timelines for completion. Velir’s team reviewed it weekly to understand our responsibilities and the milestones driving the timeline (a monthly website deployment). The client team also used this roadmap to understand their weekly responsibilities — in this case, the User Acceptance Testing (UAT) items.
How to Create a Digital Marketing Roadmap
Digital marketing roadmaps should be created by the individuals that best understand your organization’s overall goals.
Steps you can take to create a digital marketing roadmap include:
- Documenting business goals and objectives.
- Identifying the activities needed to accomplish those goals and objectives.
- Plotting out those activities against a timeline and creating the roadmap draft.
- Meeting with key stakeholders to review the roadmap draft and add/remove/reposition activities as needed.
What Do You Do Once You Have a Digital Marketing Roadmap?
Once you have a digital marketing roadmap, you have clear expectations about what’s going to be done, and when it’s going to be done. It’s essential to review the roadmap regularly to check the status of the digital marketing activities in progress, prepare for the upcoming activities, and add/remove/reposition activities as needed.
Here are a few things to keep in mind once you have a roadmap:
- Schedule time to review the roadmap regularly to ensure it reflects your current priorities.
- Share the roadmap with your team members to ensure they understand the objectives and timeline.
- Encourage your team members to suggest additional roadmap activities.
Creating and maintaining a roadmap is one of the best ways to make sure you’re focused on the right goals for your organization.
Here are a few final takeaways if you’re thinking about creating your roadmap:
- Keep it simple and easy to understand.
- Focus on high-impact initiatives.
- Involve all stakeholders in the process.
- Be flexible and adaptable.
Looking for some assistance with creating a digital marketing roadmap and executing it? Reach out. Our team is happy to help you.