What is a Marketing Transformation Roadmap?
A Marketing Transformation Roadmap is a step-by-step navigation to get your enterprise from the point of departure to the point of arrival, by taking a set of actions, implementing some activities and achieving some outcomes, in a planned and sequential manner. Marketing Transformation, as the word “transformation” implies, is more than just a band-aid to fix a process or a system issue. A true Marketing transformation is a result of strategic and operating model considerations with an impact on people, process, data, user experience, and of course, technology. Moreover, in today’s dynamic environment – where technology advances are driving business model changes, customers are demanding ever more, and the pace of change is accelerating – it is imperative that Marketing functions leapfrog from creators of ad copy to a holistic, demand generation function.
Various Facets of Marketing:
Marketing is a conglomeration of many functions including:
- Fostering and Improving Brand Equity
- Ensuring presence on all relevant media
- Generating Demand
- Engaging with broader stakeholders
- Communication the right info at the right time to relevant stakeholders
The functional areas that are a part of Marketing transformation include:
- Content and Collateral Management
- Inbound Lead Generation
- Outbound Marketing Communications
- Advertising – Online, Broadcast, and Offline Channels
- Public Relations
- Social Media Management
- Marketing Workflow Management
“Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.” – Seth Godin
The Drivers for Marketing Transformation:
There are several internal factors and external events that make a Marketing Transformation a strategic imperative. Familiar external drivers for Marketing transformation tend to be a new wave of competitors, decreasing the share of mind and share of wallet, rising customer expectations, technology advances, and changing business/revenue/channel strategies. Moreover, internal drivers for a Marketing transformation could be factors like lack of visibility into the marketing workflow, antiquated processes, lack of actionable data and metrics, cumbersome procedures, redundancy, and replication, etc.
Knowing the Need for Transformation:
Before one can build a viable Marketing transformation roadmap, it is essential that the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer), the CDO (Chief Digital Officer) and their compatriots realize and acknowledge the need for Marketing transformation. It is crucial for the top management to distinguish ongoing operational and process improvements from the fundamental need to rethink. For example, continuous improvements, such as Kaizen, are normal evolution of the Marketing function. However, a reimagination of the operating model, the re-engineering of core processes, and the significant re-architecting of the systems are when a Marketing transformation roadmap is warranted.
Seeding the Marketing Transformation Process:
Once there is a realization that a Marketing transformation is warranted, the next step is to establish a core team and fund the initial efforts for creating the transformation roadmap. At this stage, what is needed are strategic thinkers and operational experts who can envision what’s “Next.” The transformation program is still at a conceptualization phase, not an execution phase.
An Approach to building a Marketing Transformation Roadmap:
Compile the Goals, Objectives and Desired Outcomes:
Based on the strategic imperative and internal drivers, document what are the key goals, objectives and desired outcomes you are striving for. Knowing these high-level objectives will help frame the context for the Marketing transformation roadmap.
- Internal factors
- External drivers
- SWOT analysis
- BHAGs (Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals)
Document the Current State:
Documenting the current state of the marketing function can be a multi-dimensional effort. The critical thing to understand here is what depth do you need to go? If there is a consensus that the transformation is not about a step function improvement, but a leapfrog, then the current state may not be a material factor. In such a case, one can get away with anecdotes and interviews to summarize the current state.
Alternatively, on the other hand, if the goal is to not to repeat the history and to understand the details and depth of the current state are valuable, it may require documenting current state processes, the inefficiencies, and bottlenecks. This exercise, while helpful, also will be time consuming and expensive.
- Current state process analysis
- Current state of technology analysis
- The current state of people analysis – competencies, capacity, etc.
- Current state legal, compliance and risk analysis
Envision the Future State:
Future state envisioning is an essential step in setting a marker way into the future. The next state process should be unencumbered by the current state systems, methods, and people. It should be a blue-sky picture of an ideal state. (Of course, this will be tempered later regarding cost-benefit analysis and realization realities.)
- Future state vision
- Scenario Analysis and Wargaming
The next state process should be unencumbered by the current state systems, methods, and people. It should be a blue-sky picture of an ideal state.
Conduct Gap Analysis:
The ideal target state defines your point of arrival, and the current is your point of departure. The gap analysis shows how much of a chasm do you need to cross before you can reach your desired state.
- Gap analysis between current state and the future state
- Quick Wins
Evaluate Alternate Approaches:
Understanding that there are alternative approaches to transformation and dispassionately evaluating the options is a crucial step in crafting a Marketing transformation roadmap. In addition to discussing the method, a high-level ROM (rough order of magnitude) estimates of cost, effort, and complexity would be valuable. Similarly, a high-level listing of potential benefit streams – qualitative and quantitative will provide a balance to the expenses.
- Strategic options and analysis
- Solution options and analysis
- ROM cost estimates
- High-level benefit streams per option
Select the Recommended Path:
The recommendation from the project team should be based on several considerations – cost, effort, complexity, and the result. The recommended path should ideally comprise of a target operating model. A target operating model is a blueprint of the future state functions, processes, people and information as levers to accomplish the new business state. Much of this is based on high-level estimates and several assumptions, but that is what is typically the case in real life – decision making with much ambiguity.
- Options comparison and recommendation
- Analysis of the recommended path – risks, rewards and realization framework
Craft a Transformation Roadmap: The detailed marketing transformation strategy and roadmap will typically consist of a comprehensive quarter by quarter activities, outcomes and milestones for the first 24 months, and then for subsequent years an annual phased roadmap items. Typically, the transformation roadmap will comprise of high-level work streams and phases so that incremental delivery is possible.
- Transformation roadmap with phased and sequential deliverables
- High-level work streams and structure
What about the business case?
A business case – both qualitative and quantitative – may be necessary in three stages. Stage one shall be the initial funding to evaluate the value and viability of a transformation. Stage 2 business case is during the recommendation of the transformation approach. Stage 3 business case can be at a workstream level.
Of course, a transformation roadmap is a strategic deliverable. The real work will start soon after that on various projects and work streams. That is out of the scope of this article.