How does marketing roadmap software work?
Your marketing strategy is defined. Now you need a marketing roadmap that shows the work you will do to achieve it and a timeline for completion.
In the past, many teams used spreadsheets and presentations to create marketing roadmaps. These tools were typically included with the software suites already in use at most organizations. But spreadsheets and presentations were never designed for strategic planning and are not conducive to connecting strategy to your marketing activities, updating your plans, or sharing information across different audiences.
Today, marketing teams have access to a wide variety of cloud-based tools. Purpose-built marketing roadmap software like Aha! allows you to set strategy, build beautiful roadmaps, and share your plans quickly. You only need to enter your data once, then you can easily switch between different roadmap views and make adjustments to your plans.
What should marketing teams look for in a roadmapping tool?
Depending on the needs of your group, you may want a roadmapping tool that allows you to collaborate with teammates on creative briefs or visualize cross-channel campaign dependencies to ensure you launch on time. You may also want the ability to automate workflows. Streamlining processes and approvals increases velocity and brings consistency to the team's work.
But no matter which tool you choose, you will want the ability to:
Link your marketing strategy to each activity
Capture and score ideas and requests
Build visual roadmaps
Report on your progress
The best roadmapping tools let you do all of these key activities in one place, so you can align the team around what matters most — reaching your customers and driving results.
Let's look at each of the five abilities above in greater detail.
1. Set marketing strategy
Your roadmap tool should enable you to establish your marketing goals and initiatives. These are the measurable and actionable objectives you will meet, along with the high-level efforts or projects required to achieve these goals. You can also craft positioning to explain the unique benefits of your product or service and create customer personas to better understand your target audience.
3. Capture and score ideas and requests
Idea management is the process of collecting, storing, prioritizing, and selecting relevant insights to improve your marketing programs and better reach your target audience. Your roadmap tool should allow you to gather feedback from teammates in one central place and evaluate each idea against your marketing strategy. Assigning a numerical score to each idea or request helps you prioritize what should come next.
4. Build visual roadmaps
The ability to create beautiful visuals is essential for any roadmapping tool. Once you decide which programs and campaigns will have the most impact on reaching your audience, select the specific releases you want to add to your roadmap. Some roadmapping tools let you use internal and external dates, which gives you the flexibility to communicate various time frames to different audiences.
5. Report on your progress
How are your marketing efforts actually driving business growth? Reports allow you to take the information you have already put into your roadmapping tool and present it in a compelling way. You will want the ability to easily tailor the information you present to different groups. For example, you can show high-level goals and initiatives to the leadership team or more detailed activities and timelines to internal teams such as product, sales, or customer support.
Embrace the power of marketing roadmap software
While every roadmapping tool is different, it is important to find one that you and the team feel comfortable with. Besides increasing your productivity, the software you choose should help you focus on what you do best — investing in efforts that drive customer engagement and support business growth.
If you want to use web-based roadmapping software to collaborate with colleagues in real time, we encourage you to try Aha! free for 30 days. Marketing teams of all sizes use Aha! to define their strategy, build visual plans, and report on the results of campaigns. Once you create your first marketing roadmap, make your plans accessible to the rest of the team. Sharing (and regularly updating) your plans clarifies what needs to happen when and keeps everyone aligned on what matters most.
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