For years, November meant work on building out next year’s Marketing Roadmap. We updated or reaffirmed our strategic plan through working sessions in July and board presentations in September. Budgets were presented to leadership in September and affirmed in November. Finally, we developed our roadmap in November and presented to sales in December to have them ready to roll as the year kicked off.
Working through this sequence ensured that this remained a strategic exercise as everything worked off our 3-5 year strategic plan. The key to our marketing roadmap was a priority-setting exercise with my team in November. Budgets had been presented and we had forecasts for sales growth by product category, channel, and region. Leadership wanted to know how we supported those categories, the marketing mix was ours to determine. Here’s how I view this process of developing a winning marketing roadmap:
WHAT: Where are we prioritizing budget $’s?
HOW: What tactics are we going to use?
WHEN: The process of developing cadence and a calendar.
Let’s dig into each area briefly. That first meeting with our marketing team was to reaffirm our strategy, review sales, and product budgets, and discuss priorities. We would review all product categories for the following year and prioritize them 1 – X. Next, we would do the same with our channels and sales regions. Once this table was developed, we could allocate resources to each area.
Product Priority Setting
This full-day meeting ended with a clear view of our WHAT for the following year and then allowed the marketing team to focus on how we were going to accomplish this. We would come back in 1-2 weeks with campaign plans built on this plan. This is the HOW portion. Then we could get together and start placing those campaigns in a calendar, this was the WHEN. We then matched that up with product launch windows, industry, and customer events. It also made it easier to make the hard decisions about which programs we could or couldn’t support in the year ahead.
The final piece was putting this is a format that our sales team could embrace and use with their customers. Some marketers get concerned about putting this type of plan in writing – I don’t! There are only two reasons not to put it in writing. First, you are concerned about execution. If that’s the case, you have a bigger issue that needs to be fixed. The second is competition. My view was our competitors were always trailing us and this further showed why we were market leaders to our customers. Let’s reinforce that assessment!
Marketing Roadmaps —
Your Guide to 2021 Growth
Hopefully, you are already on your way to develop your marketing roadmap for 2021. Want to learn more about marketing roadmaps? My latest Tuesday’s with Trip video on LinkedIn discusses this topic as well. If you haven’t started yet and you would like to discuss how we can assist you, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org