While many people think that roadmaps are only for Product Managers, Marketing teams, especially those at tech companies, also use roadmaps. After all, a roadmap is a way to make a plan visually.
The goal of the Product Management team and the Marketing team is to bring a successful product to market. They need to build the roadmap together and give each other access to each other’s roadmaps during the production of the product to ensure transparent communication and a successful product.
Of the two roadmaps, the Product Management team’s roadmap should be built first. When the Marketing team starts putting together their roadmap, it should align with the activities that the Product Management team has planned.
There are specific items that need to be fulfilled within each roadmap. These include:
- Goals: They will be similar on both roadmaps, which is why the teams have to work together. The goals should have defined success metrics and be measurable and time-bound.
- Timelines: The most critical aspect of any roadmap. They help the teams reach certain goals and ensure that they are on track to deliver what was expected.
- Releases and Programs/Campaigns: These represent the launch of a new aspect of the product. These help track what needs to be done, including items that depend on other teams.
- Features and Activities: Product features and marketing activities are work items that need to be done to complete the release or program.
- Initiatives: These are the themes of work that need to be completed to accomplish goals. Teams need to invest time and effort based on the initiatives that need to be completed and the specific period of time by which they need to be completed by.
The Product Roadmap focuses on how the customers will benefit from using the product and how they will interact with it. Goals are included in the roadmap to show what exactly needs to be done to make the product vision real.
Usually at most technology companies, the Product Roadmap represents six months to a year, but at companies where development takes longer, the timeline can be from three to five years.
Located on Product Roadmaps are specified timeframes which indicate certain due dates for specific tasks throughout the duration of a project life. The time frame is usually, 30, 60, or 90 days. The releases need to be updated as changes in the roadmap happen.
On a Product Roadmap, a feature is the functionality that is new or enhances on the product that delivers value to users.
The roadmap includes the Product Management team’s key product initiatives that connect back to the product goals.
The Marketing Roadmap’s main goal is to strategize a way to make potential customers learn about the product and make a purchase, though, of course, other goals can be added to the roadmap as well. These goals represent the business value of the marketing efforts.
Depending on each organization, the Marketing Roadmap could represent a few months or a full year. Some create their roadmap at the beginning of the fiscal year and follow it according to schedule, while other teams build plans incrementally throughout the year.
Programs and campaigns on the Marketing Roadmap are set up in a similar way to the releases in the Product Roadmap, where it includes time frames. On the Marketing Roadmap it is usually set for the following six months to a year. The schedules show the work across different marketing functions, including advertising, content, digital, communications, and a lot of times, sales, since the marketing team often helps this team sell the product.
On a Marketing Roadmap, an activity represents the promotional effort that will help gain, keep, and grow customers. These might include efforts like media outreach and digital advertisements.
Just like the Product Roadmap, the initiatives connect back to the marketing goals in the Marketing Roadmap.