How A Yearly Marketing Roadmap Leads To Business Success

Successful businesses set goals and benchmarks for success. To achieve these goals, create a "Roadmap" to align marketing strategy and goals. See how we do it.

December 21, 2022

Successful businesses set goals and identify benchmarks to measure results. The most successful businesses align their marketing strategies by setting marketing goals and benchmarks because reaching the right people, at the right time, with the right message can't be left to chance if your business is going to achieve it's goals.

We call our marketing plans “roadmaps.” As a marketing agency, we believe that every successful business needs a long-range plan to create goals, strategies, and tactics and set benchmarks for success. The annual "roadmap" is the centerpiece of this approach. 

A healthy marketing funnel contributes to business success. A marketing roadmap is your guide to coordinating strategies that take you where you want to go. Successful businesses understand their marketing funnel. They have the information needed to plan marketing strategies that deliver a return on investment. 

But before we talk about the marketing funnel, it's essential to define what success looks like for your business. What are you trying to achieve? 

Evaluate Your Business 

First, you need to understand your marketing position. Your marketing position is your ability to influence consumer perception regarding a brand or product relative to competitors. This is a key step before you jump into goal setting. Here are a couple of questions to get your wheels turning:

Learn more about aligning your sales and marketing to reach your business goals. 

Creating a yearly S.W.O.T. analysis will help you understand your needs and define success. 

Think beyond marketing. What goals are you setting for next year to define what success looks like? This provides a context for what marketing needs to accomplish for your business.  

Once you’ve established your business goals, it's tempting to jump straight to setting marketing goals for lead generation. But, your marketing efforts won't generate many leads if your potential clients aren't familiar with your brand, and they won't recognize your brand if your marketing tools aren't capable of reaching them 6-8 times minimum. In the marketing world, we call these touchpoints

Setting business goals translates into setting effective marketing goals. If you do anything, this next step is non-negotiable. 

Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Once you have assessed your business, begin thinking about setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely goals. 

An example of S.M.A.R.T. goals can look like this: 

A 20% increase in new users to by October 2022, resulting in an 8,045 new user increase.

An [%] increase in new users to [website] by [month, year], resulting in [x number of new user increase].

Anyone can say, “I want to increase my social media followers or increase traffic to my website.” Measuring your progress is difficult if you haven’t made your goals SMART. 

Evaluating the Buyer’s Journey

Metrics may also look different at different stages of the buyer’s journey. Your marketing funnel is broken down into four stages: 

Each of these works together to create a cohesive marketing strategy. 

Once you know where you are currently positioned in the market, you can begin to set goals with metrics that will help to move the needle. Don’t focus only on lead generation goals. It takes time to build a compelling customer journey that focuses on each of these stages, but it's the only way to create a pipeline of quality leads. 

This is an easily missed step in the process. Think of goals as your speedometer. Everyone wants to go fast -- shake and bake! But what is realistic, and what can you prioritize today to get your business going in the right direction? Our team of strategists can help! 

When in Doubt, Map it Out

Let’s talk more about the customer journey. Each stage has different tactics that work together to support your marketing goals. 

Potential Audience 

The top level of your marketing funnel is your potential audience. Your potential audience is everyone who could buy your product or service. How can you describe your potential customers? Geographically? Demographically? By age? By interest? Developing a detailed description of your potential customers helps your marketing team generate not just leads but quality leads. 

Once you've defined who you are trying to reach, describe the problem or challenge you can help them solve or the opportunity you can help them seize. Your marketing will be more effective if you describe what you do from the client's perspective rather than getting bogged down in specs and features.

If you don’t know who you are trying to talk to, then you are simply stuck at an impasse. Through one of our foundational projects, we can help identify your product/market fit and who your audience is. Personas are another great tool to help get into the mindset of your buyers. We work with our clients on customized buyer personas and user persona workshops to truly understand and assess your audience's potential. 


Now that you know who you are trying to talk to, your reach is the second level of your marketing funnel. 

Your company's reach is your ability to use tools like your website, social media, email lists, and advertising to "reach" your potential audience. We measure your reach with metrics like: 

— Impressions,

— Clicks,

— and Search impressions for keywords that don't include your brand name.

Once we identify the platforms reaching your potential audience, we develop a strategy that coordinates all of your tools by leveraging your strengths and developing areas that need improvement.

If you aren’t reaching your audience where they are, then you are missing out. 

Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is the third level of your marketing funnel — one step closer to quality leads!

When you reach individuals in your potential audience repeatedly, you create brand awareness. Studies show it takes 6-8 touches for potential customers to start to develop an understanding of your Brand and what you do.

We track awareness with metrics like 

— social media followers, 

— email list size, 

— brand mentions,

— and branded keyword searches, basically variations of your brand’s name. 

Building brand awareness involves three key elements. 

The first is branding consistency. Your customers should be able to recognize your business at a glance. Whether they are scrolling through their social feed, scanning emails, or passing someone wearing apparel that features your logo, they should recognize your brand instantly

The second key element is messaging. Your written communications should be recognizable. Your brand must be consistent in the kinds of information you share and how you use humor and personality. 

The third key element is your marketing strategy. This is your plan for what, where, and how often you post and how you allocate an advertising budget to extend reach and awareness. 

Bad news: if people don’t know who you are or can’t find you, then you simply cannot explain the value you bring to them. The world needs more of what you provide. Good news: this is your sign to get serious about sharing your expertise. We can help you reach people and raise awareness about your offerings. 

Quality Leads

Let’s talk about quality leads. Potential customers are more likely to turn to you first for help when they are aware of your brand. "I need to find out more about getting a swimming pool" becomes "I need to call ACME Swimming Pools to find out more about getting a pool." See the difference? A potential customer just became a lead.

But not all leads are created equally, because some are unlikely to become actual customers. 

The marketing funnel is the secret to generating quality leads that will likely become customers. Remember, it can take 6-8 touch points before someone makes a buying decision, so finding ways to educate, entertain and engage your audience with consistency over time is vital to a winning marketing strategy.

A few ways we track quality leads are: 

— Contact Form Submissions, 

— Phone Calls, 

— Email Sign-ups,

— and Purchases on your website.

If you have defined your potential audience, developed your tools to reach them, and carried out a strategy to build brand awareness, congratulations! You are on your way to generating high-quality leads. 

Quality leads fill your sales funnel, and quality leads will help you achieve your business goals. Now: put it all together. 

The Benefits 

There are many benefits to creating and implementing a cohesive marketing strategy for our clients. This roadmap isn’t a report we put together once a year, and that’s it. We evaluate and reevaluate at every turn. Each month we see if we are on pace and make adjustments as needed and trust us, there are signs or KPIs that allow us to determine what is working. Anyone can put cruise control on, or worse, start and stop, but we don’t operate that way and don’t encourage that model. 

So, take it from us, put your goals into perspective, and do it monthly. Don’t be afraid to test and try new methods. Then, of course, evaluate and analyze your metrics along the way. What worked, and what didn’t? Buckle up and watch your business transform over time. 

Ready to work with a team of strategists? Let us help you elevate your business. 

Writer: SK Vaughn
Editor: Jamie Parris

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