It’s a new year, and by hook or by crook, I’m gonna make this one better than the last – you with me?
(This blog has a FREE download, whoopee! So read on to see how all this ‘roadmap’ malarkey works and grab your freebie…)
Talking of roads and maps, as the subject of this writing submits… it’s not always how you continue a race that can make the difference, but how you start.
In this marketing blog, I will help you assess where you are now with your business and where you need to get to by sharing how I begin a new year at Koala Marketing. However, it is worth noting that for me, this process occurs in the last Q of the year previous (eager beaver ‘ere!).
I start a crisp, new and unsullied twelve-month sesh with ‘A Marketing Roadmap’.
Let me commence with what marketing looks like without this process… to put it simply, a road bike without wheels, i.e. you won’t get far!
Starting with no end in sight is like entering the Tour de-France without a route; a load of wrong turns, dead-end roads, unnecessary chafing (hiss!), and no padded bum shorts resulting in, you guessed it, a somewhat bruised tush.
A marketing roadmap will help you keep your campaigns on track, help you hit those checkpoints, stay focussed on the finish line and yup, win that race.
Building a roadmap can be difficult if it’s your first tour, so here’s some helpful advice to building your 2021 marketing actions, with accompanying roadmap worksheet;
1) Setting Your Objectives for the Year
When you ‘map out’ (yes, this one is all about maps, roads and journeys!) those goals for this year, aim high, but be realistic. The last thing you will want is to be a deflated tyre by December 2021 cause you didn’t win that 10 million pound deal with Patagonia – that’s just a little dream of mine!
I suggest a minimum of three clear goals which are not easy to obtain, which each require hard work, dedication, and all push you out of your comfort zone. How to decide if they are rugged enough… if winning the Patagonia contract is 10 and clearing your inbox after a few days off over Xmas is 1, aim for a 5/6.
2) Reverse Engineering Back from the Goal(s)
You wouldn’t write a murder mystery novel without first picking the killer and working backwards, carefully composing clues to later scatter around the story as you build the narrative. Well, marketing is just the same… lots of working (or cycling as this roadmap story dictates!) rearward.
Start with the end in mind and create a plan on what can be done to edge you closer, mile by mile, towards each objective – Look at these smaller pathways as roads to the main goal. I suggest a minimum of four actions for each. Let’s keep that momentum going…
3) Identifying the Weak Points of Entry
Have you ever done a SWOT analysis? I’m talking ‘old-school’ marketing tactics now, these investigations have been used in business marketing for donkey’s years! However, I have developed my own techniques to strategic planning, my ‘roadmap’ being one.
These ‘weak points’ I speak of can hinder or stop a business from achieving their goals. In SWOT, they are called ‘THREATS’. As that sounds a little dramatic, let’s instead see these as roadworks causing closures on your cycling trip. You can’t go through, so guess what, go round, build a new road, use a bridge or better yet, build up some speed and jump across, it’s more fun. These humps in the road affect all riders just the same, so before you get disheartened as these perils occur, remember, it’s all part of the journey… So, just keep cycling.
4) Capturing and Celebrating the Important Milestones
This is the last gear change on the roadmap tour, one for each month. These milestones are where you stick your flag in the ground at the top of each hill and say, “I’ve made it here”.
By the end of 2021, with 12 milestones reached, you will be able to see what you have achieved. Perhaps you overcame two weak points of entry and found a workaround, and maybe this helped you gain three actions which all took you a step closer to meeting that mega goal. Who knows…
Conceivably you may need two roadmap sheets because you’re just so ruddy fantastic, that you smashed all three of your 2021 goals in the first 6-months. You may also want to create three roadmaps, one for short-term goals, and another two for medium and longer-term aims. I’m giving you the tools to design this process to fit your business.
To summarise: We’ve all gone out on our bike, pumped up the tyres, popped on our cycling shorts and clipped up our helmets, intending to “see where the wind takes us”. This exploratory creativity in your business can be fun, sure, but what I can affirm is if you don’t know the roads, you’ll sure as Raleigh get lost.
My roadmap guide is a starting point to begin 2021 with a focus and a purpose. Working from the bottom to the top; Goals, Actions, Weak Points and then finishing with Milestones.
This new year will bring an age of opportunity, and this process I share with you today is called “STRATEGIC CREATIVITY”. We can still be creative, but let’s lead with a purpose. The moments are yours for the taking, so start your year with ‘WINNING THAT RACE’ in mind.
Whatever box your objectives fit in; Product development, innovation or functional strategy; building a roadmap, which let’s face it takes minimal time and effort, is a good starting line.
It’s time to get business fit!
Download the Koala Marketing roadmap (here) and plan your business (cycle) route for 2021.
The downloadable PDF is fully editable so you can download and type straight into it – no need to print…(unless you need to).
If you would like to hop on a call with Koala to discuss your roadmap journey, the marketing services we offer or to chat through any of our marketing workshops or marketing packages, get in touch here, or drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’d love to learn a bit more about your business plans for 2021.