Inbound marketing is powered by fast-moving tactics, technologies, and trends. So the development and execution of a full-year marketing plan can be a risky proposition.
At the end of your marketing year, after committing significant time, talent, and resources to the plan, you may find your team frustrated by missed objectives and lost opportunities — and they may be asking, “Why didn’t we reach our marketing and sales goals?”
Often, the answer comes down to agility, flexibility, and your willingness to make changes when they’re needed — not putting them off because they aren’t inked into a static annual marketing plan.
Global events have driven home this lesson in responsiveness across all industries and around the world. Consider what may have changed recently for your business:
More than ever, adaptation is essential for success, and an annual marketing plan without built-in flexibility just doesn’t make room for the responsiveness your prospects and customers need. That’s why a quarterly roadmap can be one of the most valuable continuous improvement tools an inbound marketer uses.
When you break your marketing year into tactical quarters and hold teams accountable for approaching each quarterly plan with the same attention and commitment to measurement and analysis that they would for a conventional annual marketing plan, your whole team can engage more intensively with the work. It’s just easier for team members to conceptualize the horizon of a quarter than it is to consider the long haul of a full year.
A quarterly roadmap can also help defend your productivity in the face of Parkinson’s Law — the idea that the amount of work it takes to complete a task expands to fill the time available for its completion.
At the same time, the data you continuously collect demonstrates how well your current tactics work, how engaged your site visitors are (or aren’t), and which content, emails, social media posts, etc. are working hardest for you.
But rather than wait months and months to analyze and respond to your performance data, your intervals are significantly shorter. That makes space and time for your top-priority, evidence-based adjustments, including:
And those adjustments turn into data-informed decisions leading into the following quarter. And the one after that. And so on.
After all, action, measurement, and adjustments that are driven and made by frontline players are the keys to effective continuous improvement. And that virtuous cycle keeps your whole team focused on the actions, content, and tactics that move you closer to your goals.
When you download our Quarterly Roadmap Worksheet, you’ll get an introductory explanation of how the roadmap development process works — plus a template you can use to formulate your own quarterly inbound marketing focus areas and tactical plan. Get your working copy just by filling out the form.