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Marketing Strategy Roadmap Template

We all understand that marketing is an essential part of any business. It’s advisable to place your marketing activities at the heart of your business strategy, with a marketing plan as the most important aspect of your objectives. And I’m sure you know that creating and implementing a sound strategy that depends on various marketing tactics is often easier said than done. Most businesses prefer to use a template or blueprint that helps them create a step-by-step approach to their marketing activities and optimizes their chances of accomplishing their business goals and maintaining growth.

In this article, we will take a look at the most effective “roadmap templates” currently available on the Internet and discuss some of the most popular examples of strategic marketing roadmaps in use by businesses today.

How to Create a Marketing Strategy Roadmap

Marketers shouldn’t be strangers to the concept of a roadmap. They’re consumers of product roadmaps, using them to understand the product strategy and timing of key releases.

Plus, they also sometimes use them to plan out their activities. They create timelines and plot out key dependencies and essential activities. They use that information to deliver the right messages to the right audiences at the correct times.

But those marketing roadmaps are highly tactical and granular. They’re about getting stuff done, not painting a picture of an overarching scheme.

Our topic here is higher-level marketing strategy roadmaps.

Why Do I Need a Marketing Strategy Roadmap?

A marketing strategy roadmap conveys your high-level marketing plan to key stakeholders across the company. It’s an umbrella roadmap for the individual plans for specific campaigns, events, and product launches. Rather than including the same level of detail as those more specific plans, they focus on the initiatives themselves.

This roadmap is useful as a reference tool for the marketing team. But its real value is in how it can educate the rest of the organization and build alignment and support. It shows you’re not taking a lazy approach to marketing and have thought things through.

The executive team is establishing the guiding principles and objectives of the marketing team. Those aren’t always obvious when considering any of the specific tactics.

And for other teams, it gives them insight into what marketing is doing. This insight connects the dots to show how marketing activities fit in with the product roadmap and sales plans.

You might be thinking to yourself that you already have a marketing plan, so why do you also need to create a roadmap. You should remember that most people will never actually read that marketing plan.

What Does a Marketing Strategy Roadmap Include?

A marketing strategy roadmap is defined as much by what’s not on it as what it contains. Good marketing strategy roadmaps eschew specific dates and individual marketing activities. Instead, they focus on significant initiatives, their sequence relative to each other, and key dependencies or gating factors.

In general, every item on the roadmap falls into one of three categories: analysis, execution, or evaluation. For example, the team would first research target markets and keywords. Then it would run targeted ads on digital platforms. Finally, they’d assess how the campaign performed to use those learnings for a more efficient spend the next go-round.

However, the marketing strategy roadmap wouldn’t include specific ads, dates, and channels for their campaigns. Those are far too granular.

Those would be in a tactical marketing roadmap specific to that initiative and used primarily by members of the marketing team. That level of detail simply isn’t required for this strategic roadmap’s audience.

Use swim lanes to categorize initiatives into functional areas. You’ll enable visual communication of the plan’s elements and how different actions and activities align with and support them. Imparting in this context is a significant benefit of presenting the marketing strategy in a roadmap format.

What’s the Best Process to Create a Marketing Strategy Roadmap?

Building a strategic marketing roadmap might feel like a foreign concept. But it’s not particularly challenging if you take a deliberate, linear approach to the process. Let’s break down the steps.

Marketing Strategy Roadmap How To

Decide your audience

You wouldn’t create an advertisement in a vacuum without thinking about your target. Construct this roadmap with the consumer in mind. Figuring out who’s going to look at the roadmap shouldn’t be tricky. It will be some combination of the following groups of stakeholders:

  • Executive team
  • Board members
  • Investors
  • Finance
  • Product
  • Sales
  • Operations

Whittling that list down a bit will help with the next part of the equation: understanding what your audience cares about. Remember, this roadmap isn’t really for you. Tailor it to inform folks about your strategy and answer questions they’ll undoubtedly have.

There are many different types of stakeholders, and each has its own set of motivations. While everyone cares about the overall success of the company, they’re all focused on different aspects of it. Keeping that in mind will dictate what’s included and how it’s positioned for optimal results.

Setting your objectives

In this case, we’re not talking about the goals for the marketing strategy itself, but rather the aim of the roadmap. Are you looking for buy-in? Seeking an additional budget? Requesting resources? Simply providing an informational update?

If you intend to get something at the end of this—be it approval or a bundle of cash—then the roadmap should illustrate how the included items and their sequence will net results your stakeholders care about.

You should also define the scope of the roadmap early on, and there should always be more detail for short-term plans versus less-certain future possibilities.

Grounding it in goals

Like every other aspect of the business, companies don’t spend time and money on marketing just for the sake of it. They’re trying to make things happen, grow the business or improve profitability.

Match up elements of the marketing strategy roadmap with the KPIs, OKRs, and other significant metrics the entire organization is tracking and working toward. It demonstrates that marketing isn’t going rogue. It shows all the money and effort spent on the activities laid out in the roadmap have an ultimate purpose.

The ability to measure the impact these activities have on those key goals is an added benefit. This quantifiable analysis of the results justifies the associated spending. That, in turn, validates the marketing team’s approach.https://fast.wistia.net/embed/iframe/3y2pvhtcr7?videoFoam=true

Not going it alone

Don’t concoct a marketing strategy (nor its associated roadmap) in secret. It should be a collaborative, iterative exercise that taps the insights of internal resources. Collaboration paves the way for smooth sailing via previewing and conversations.

Start with establishing upfront who will need to sign off on the strategy. Knowing which stakeholders have a say shapes the process and the included content. Meeting with these key individuals early and often to have some crucial conversations can avoid surprises and having to re-do work.

Beyond the gatekeepers, leveraging internal subject matter experts is also a wise move. Incorporate their wisdom instead of taking a “not invented here” approach to craft a thorough, bulletproof product.

Picking a format

Since roadmaps are light on text and heavy on presentation, which style you select can play an outsized role in the usefulness and reception of your roadmap. Relying on a tool that’s flexible and supports multiple formats is a smart move. You don’t want to get locked into a particular approach.

The big decision is whether to take a timeline, take on it, or adopt a list/Kanban-style roadmap format. The vision should help drive this choice. There may be a clear order of operations that maps well to a timeline, or it could be a host of discrete actions that can be worked on independently.

There’s no right or wrong answer for this one, it’s just whatever is the best fit for the situation at hand.

Take the Plunge, it’s Worth it!

Assembling a marketing strategy roadmap might feel like one more to-do list item that seems redundant and unnecessary. But there’s immeasurable value in having a single, at-a-glance source of truth for your entire marketing strategy.

It likely won’t need updating too frequently, either. While your tactical plans may vary often, your overall marketing strategy should remain relatively static. It will probably only require a tweak every quarter or so.

Best of all, you don’t have to start from scratch! With professional roadmapping tools and templates available, you can focus on the content and not spend hours futzing around in PowerPoint.

Marketing roadmap templates

A marketing roadmap provides a visual way to capture and communicate your plans. You can show what you want to accomplish and the timeline to get there — all in one view. This is an effective way to communicate the overall marketing direction and keep the team focused on what matters most.

Today many marketing teams use purpose-built road mapping software to visualize their marketing plans. If you want to define your strategy, build visual roadmaps, and analyze the results in one centralized place. If you are not yet ready to do that, download the Excel and PowerPoint marketing roadmap templates below.

strategic marketing roadmap example

Components of a marketing roadmap

Marketing roadmaps can be used for a wide range of purposes. It is important to think about your audience and the information you want to share. For example, you might want to create a high-level roadmap that communicates your strategic marketing goals and initiatives to executive leaders. Or you might want to create a detailed roadmap that shows the timeline for delivering programs and campaigns to sales and customer support teams. Determining what you want to communicate with your roadmap will help you decide the right template to use.

The following components are commonly included in marketing roadmaps:

Time frameTime can be shown in weeks, months, and quarters.
GoalsMarketing goals show the strategic importance of what the team is working on.
InitiativesThe high-level marketing efforts or themes of work that are required to achieve the goals.
SchedulesPrograms, campaigns, and events on a timeline that maps to strategy.
ActivitiesKey marketing activities — such as landing pages, press releases, or sales tools.
StatusColor-coded indicators show the current status.

Marketing roadmap templates

There are many different types of roadmaps. The templates included in this guide are purpose-built for marketing teams. You can also download these roadmap templates for product teams. Each template is crafted to help you deliver the right message to the right audience.

The templates follow a strategy-first approach starting with goals and ending with marketing activities. You will also find examples for visualizing your plans in different ways — such as by marketing function, customer segment, product, and geography. You can download these templates for free and customize each one to meet your specific needs.

Here is a list of the roadmap templates included in this guide:

ROADMAPPURPOSE
Marketing goalsDefine a set of specific and measurable marketing goals and show the timeline for achieving them.
Marketing initiativesCreate a roadmap that shows the big efforts of work needed to achieve your marketing goals.
Integrated marketing roadmapBuild an integrated plan that shows the initiatives each team is working on and when they will be completed.
Customer segment roadmapVisualize how planned programs, campaigns, and product launches are related to specific customer segments.
Product marketing roadmapShow how your marketing plans align with your product portfolio.
Field marketing roadmapBuild a roadmap to visualize your marketing efforts by geographical region.
Marketing project roadmapUse a Gantt chart for planning and scheduling projects — such as product launches and integrated campaigns.
Marketing programs roadmapProvide a visual overview of your marketing programs and the key activities that need to be completed.
Marketing activities roadmapShow the marketing activities that will be completed each month to deliver your plans.

Marketing goals roadmap

A goal-focused roadmap is useful for setting an annual strategy and communicating the high-level plan to executives or advisory boards. Include a success metric for each goal and change the color of the bars to indicate the status.

Marketing initiatives roadmap

This template provides a way to visualize your planned initiatives and report on the progress. It also provides the marketing team with high-level direction for planning activities such as go-to-market launches, campaigns, and content.

Integrated marketing roadmap

Create a combined view of your marketing plans organized by team function. You can show the initiatives that each team is working on and key milestones — such as program, campaign, and product launches. Expand each section to see how milestones relate to specific product initiatives.

Customer segment roadmap

This marketing roadmap shows how planned programs, campaigns, and product launches relate to customer segments. Use this template to show executive leaders how your marketing efforts support the growth of target sets of customers. The bars are colored by marketing function so you can see which team is responsible for delivering each effort.

Product marketing roadmap

This roadmap template is useful if your marketing team supports multiple products. You can show the product team how marketing efforts are propelling the business forward. It also aligns everyone around the timing of key product releases so you can maximize promotional opportunities

Field marketing roadmap

Build a roadmap to visualize your marketing efforts by geographical region. This is a useful way to visualize marketing activities in the regions or countries where your company has a presence. Capturing this information in a single view keeps local teams aligned with the overall strategy.

Marketing project roadmap

Gantt charts help marketing teams plan and manage complex projects — such as product launches and campaigns. You can highlight the key phases of your launch process and schedule tasks so they are completed on time. You can also identify and track dependencies.

Marketing programs roadmap

This roadmap template provides a high-level overview of your strategic marketing programs. It is useful when you need to show key areas of focus with executives and other stakeholders. You can highlight key activities that will be implemented to achieve each program.

Marketing activities roadmap

This roadmap template is useful for displaying near-term marketing activities. It helps the team plan their work each month and provides a detailed view of what is coming to internal teams, such as sales and customer support.

The theme-based marketing roadmap

This is how I structure the roadmap I show in our town hall meetings. After trying a few variations, I decided that organizing quarterly by theme was clearest. Here’s why:

  • Organizing by category was dead simple for everyone to understand. Even if you’re not a marketer, everyone knows who does digital marketing, who does content, who does design. It’s a crystal-clear way to orient the whole company to the activities of different members of our marketing team.
  • I tried a monthly roadmap, but it was just too constricting (and unrealistic) for our growing team at a growing company. Going quarterly gave us leeway for bigger projects, while offering some structure around time.

The goal-based marketing roadmap

When I’m doing strategy alignment with other leaders in our organization, I usually start by showing my category roadmap and explaining, “This is what we’re going to do.” Then I switch over to my goal-oriented roadmap and show, “This will be the impact of each of those projects.

Our team evaluates success across a few different metrics, including generating qualified leadsbuilding awareness for our company, and supporting sales to convert free trial users to customers. A goal-oriented roadmap shows how you’re going to distribute resources to accomplish different types of goals.

Using Roadmunk, it’s really easy to maintain two views that you can switch between in meetings. This is a screenshot of my actual ‘Views’ drop-down for my roadmap inside Roadmunk. Each view pulls from the same data set. It’s the same data, just structured differently—so maintaining each view is not finicky. During meetings, I’ll often pivot between different views to give the full picture of our marketing activities.

The “we got deadlines” marketing roadmap

Timeline is not my go-to roadmap, but I do find it helpful (slash, sanity-saving??) when we’re rallying to a deadline with a particular date stamp. When we released the new Roadmunk, I plotted every single element of the launch plan on a timeline roadmap, so we could make sure we’d resource correctly to complete each step before launch.

The roadmap example below is probably more typical for process-driven teams that work on timelines. It shows a variety of marketing initiatives evolving, with projects assigned to particular team members. This is especially useful for teams that work with long (but strict) lead times.

The “who’s doing what” marketing roadmap

You may have noticed the “by person” view in the screenshot of my views tab above. When I’m doing quarterly planning, I’ll usually create a person-by-person breakdown of my roadmap. This ensures we have the resources to execute our projects—and make sure no one is going to be wayyy over-burdened. This is also how I validate new hires: determining which projects will make the biggest impact towards hitting our goals, then visualizing what resources we need to get there.

In a case like this, I can quickly see that Jamie doesn’t have much in her pipe. Meanwhile, Carly might be maxed out. Resourcing isn’t my primary purpose for building a roadmap, but it’s an easy way to get a snapshot of what’s happening.

Conclusion

It’s not enough to just have a marketing strategy. You have to have a documented marketing strategy. This template will help you make sure that doesn’t happen to you!

A marketing strategy roadmap template is a simple document that visually maps out your entire marketing strategy. It helps you to align the activities of the various members of your company, as well as help you stay on track and easily adjust to changes in your marketing strategy.

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