I love to travel. I always have, and when I plan for an upcoming trip, I always put together a roadmap – an itinerary. And when I don’t have the time or subject matter expertise to do it myself, I leverage a travel agent. My budget is limited, but my dreams are big. So, I want to map out exactly what I can afford to do, without losing sight of those things that I aspire to do when my budget grows, or if I feel the benefit of the experience far outweighs the cost. Not only that, I look for the best route to take… I definitely don’t want to lose efficiency by racing back and forth when there is a more direct course.
The same concept also holds true for marketers. There are so many competing priorities that it can be difficult to determine what to do when, and to determine how to get the best return on the marketing investment. Marketers ask themselves what type of data to invest in, how to leverage social media channels, when to invest in new database technologies and infrastructures, how to use response attribution and analytics to be more customer centric, etc. CMOs are also challenging their teams to get it all done immediately. With all of that on your plate, how can any marketer be successful?
The answer is simple. Prioritize. Identify the low-hanging fruit so that you can start seeing benefits fast. Understand what to focus on now, what to focus on in the mid-term, what your long-term strategy is, and how to focus your efforts to get there. A well-planned roadmap provides alignment and focus in a challenging landscape and addresses the urgent and the important items for immediate action. This helps marketers align to their strategic objectives, maximize marketing spend and prove value to their CMO – and even better, to their customers. And sometimes it is hard to make the right short term choices and ensure they align with the long term vision. This is where expert guidance can help. So, just like on a vacation, you have to determine where you want to start. What activity do you want to do first? What are those activities that you absolutely have to do, and what activities can you put on the back burner until time or money permit? Finally, what are those filler activities that you could do if something takes less time than planned?
A road mapping exercise is a great way to identify the needs , priorities and wish lists of multiple stakeholders.
A road mapping exercise is a great way to identify the needs , priorities and wish lists of multiple stakeholders. When a reputable 3rd party is brought in to help identify the components of the roadmap, marketers can be even more in tune with what other retailers are doing in the industry. Just think… why do many travelers turn to travel agencies for vacation planning? Because travel agencies know how to plan a vacation for all customer types… they have feedback from former travelers on what is fun and what isn’t, and can help you decide if you want an adventure vacation or to just relax on a beach.
If you are a marketer struggling to put the right roadmap in place, seek an industry “travel agent” who can help understand your goals and objectives, provide the response attribution and analytics, and develop a roadmap customized for your marketing “vacation.”
If you are interested, read how our customer intelligence platform can help provide the analytics you need to build the right roadmap.