As we jump into a new year and decade, many of us are coming into the season with new outlooks, goals, and points-of-view. We all have a vision for what we want to achieve, but not necessarily a clearly defined path to get us there. The same holds true for what we as marketers are trying to achieve as we build our marketing strategy and maximize the tools and tactics that will help us achieve our goals. With marketing technology, we are able to engage with customers, channels, employees, and other audiences—among a wide variety of other capabilities. Understanding the full power of your tech stack and how it weaves into your strategy is key. That is where a roadmap can help.
By generating a detailed map of objectives, personas, priorities, and time frames to optimize Marketing Cloud, the real benefits can be seen. The great thing is, a Marketing Cloud Roadmap can help wherever you are within your own journey.
Here are four key phases of a solid Marketing Cloud Roadmap that can be leveraged to develop your plan, and a few questions within each phase around people, processes, and technology that need to be considered as you are shaping your plans for the year (and decade) ahead.
Kicking off the new year allows marketers to jump into their new strategy for engaging with their audiences. However, it can be difficult for the rubber to hit the road to ensure that the vision and direction are carried out effectively. That is where a roadmap can help guide a team—or cross-functional teams—to ensure that the right projects are being done to achieve your goals. This ensures Marketing, IT, and Sales are collaborating effectively and driving towards a common goal. By having a Marketing Cloud roadmap in place, you can also have the necessary tools to understand pain points, quick wins, and key audiences that may come about when looking to increase the capabilities Marketing Cloud has to offer. Here are a few questions to think through as you weave your marketing technology plans into your overall strategy.
- What are the customer personas are being and not being engaged?
- Is there a documented customer journey for the personas from above?
- How is the company culture adapting to necessary change? Is there any organizational change management (OCM) that needs to happen?
For many organizations, a new year can mean starting with an entirely new platform. This can be an exciting, but also a stressful time as old systems may be sunsetting and new systems like Marketing Cloud or any Salesforce technology will come into the fold. Having a detailed outline of what assets, processes, content, creative, and new automations need to be put in place is an effective tool during any implementation. It is also an opportunity to look at previous or disparate systems and take what is working from them and discard what isn’t. Whether it is a new implementation or migration, these questions are helpful in thinking through the necessary steps for a successful transition.
- Is there a documented integration(s) of incoming/outgoing data?
- What data is and is not being utilized that needs to be accounted for?
- Does this project have executive leadership support?
- What does the governance structure look like?
3. Campaign Services
The most important consideration when creating and executing campaigns is the ability to make them scaleable. This allows other products, business units, or promotions the ability to use the same frameworks to be onboarded faster. Ideally, the engagement or goals with these campaigns can be seen across the organization.
With multiple campaigns running on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis, the ability to have a holistic view of campaigns that need to be executed within a roadmap can help plan for any help from resources as it pertains to integrations, creative, or reporting. Here are some things to think through as you plan your campaigns for the duration of your roadmap.
- What are the most effective campaigns to date?
- Are the campaigns aligned with sales and service processes and customer interactions?
- Who needs to see the results of campaigns and what do they need to see and how often?
4. Continuous Improvement + Support
Ultimately, the goal of any marketing roadmap is to highlight the projects that need to be done. This creates a substantial backlog of things that need to be executed based on respective timelines. Having a Marketing Cloud roadmap in place can help manage what you can have your Marketing Cloud partner do and work towards within a support model.
Within this model, internal and external resources can help drive these initiatives. It can also be extremely helpful when communicating with senior leadership about the work that is being done and what will be done in the near term. Here are some questions to think through when resource planning for your roadmap.
- What tool(s) should be put in place to handle cases and/or user story management?
- Who “owns” the backlog and prioritization of things to be done?
- Is there a regular “health check” that is being done on the system?
Overall, having a plan in place is key to help align your team as you head into the new year by setting key goals, priorities, and timelines. There will always be ways to better maximize your investments with your tech stack, or to optimize for efficiency. By weaving your martech plans into your broader strategy, you are more likely to set yourself up for success as we head into the new year.
Meet The Author
Kyle Simenson is a Sr. Account Executive at Lev, and has helped clients and brands expand their reach and engagement through marketing strategies and the Salesforce technology stack. Born and raised, he currently resides in Minnesota. Kyle loves spending time with his family and friends, partaking in as many outdoor activities as possible, and watching his beloved Minnesota sports teams unfortunately lose in playoffs.