Maps are a beautiful thing. Literally. People collect maps. Libraries brag about how many maps they have. Maps illustrate where we’ve been; where we’re going—and sometimes—where treasure is buried!
It’s the buried treasure part we want to focus on today.
What is a Marketing Map?
Most business have no idea how potential customers use their website. They assume that because they have products available for purchase that customers magically appear and buy something. In reality, successful companies spend large amounts of time planning exactly how to get customers to their website and then how to guide them through to the sale. Thus enter our marketing map…
The best way to think about a marketing map is as a treasure map. But YOU get to write it. You get to define the paths, the goals and set the method you’re going to use to get there. It’s also a map for your customers. You define where you want them to go and how you’re going to get them there.
Quite simply a marketing map is just visually representing all of your business goals (sales, lead generation, marketing channels, etc.), creating a map of how all of the elements fit together and defining what technology you’ll need to make it possible. It will help you determine how to:
- Get someone from point A to point B.
- Convert a lead to a sale.
- Nurture your leads over time.
- Build of all the processes that need to be automated on the backend.
- etc, etc…
The list could on forever, but the point is this: a marketing map simply defines all of the pieces in your marketing funnel(s) and how those pieces relate to one another. Are two web pages part of the same flow? Do you have email sequences that are shared by multiple funnels? Do you need a new piece of software to automate the creation of call-lists for your salespeople?
With a proper marketing map, you’ll be able to visualize everything from a small marketing campaign, to your company’s overall marketing strategy. Being able to see exactly where all of the pieces are and how everything exists together is a key to understanding your business and how your customers interact with your business.
Where Are We Going?
The complexity of a marketing map is completely dependent on the complexity of your goals. Tech Guys has created marketing maps that are a single page in length, and some that when printed about, take up an entire wall in the office. It just depends on two elements: goals and lead sources. Goals simply being defined as: completing a particular task. A lead source is just a marketing source, like Facebook or Adwords, or physically handing someone your business card.
The key is that each marketing map might have a single goal, or many goals. It might also have many lead sources, or just one to start out.
But this is where the marketing message and strategy comes into play. It’s possible that each channel is narrowly targeted, so that your marketing map uses one goal for multiple lead sources. But if your product or service targets multiple demographics with distinctly different sources, there’s a high likelihood that you’ll want to create different experiences for each group, to fit that group’s special traits.
That’s where most people get extremely nervous and frustrated, because things are getting to be more complex than we can reasonably juggle in our head, OR as a list on our notepad. We can only see as far ahead as our best plan and where your marketing map comes in handy.
Instead of worry about all of the pieces that have to exist and worrying about losing track of all of these moving pieces and processes, your map contains a visual blueprint that allows you to see overlaps and potential pitfalls and how to rectify those issues.
How Do We Get There?
That’s the expensive answer! It all depends on the goals and business processes and so there’s no answer that fits all circumstances. But we can start by answering the following questions and listing out the answers (In this instance we’ll assume that we want to concentrate on a website as our customer acquisition medium, but this could be adapted for a physical location as well):
- What are my current marketing sources?
- Social Media
- Business Associations
- Newspaper Ads
- Cold-calling customer lists
- What is my customer avatar?
- What do my ideal customers look like?
- What do they have in common?
- How do some differ from one another?
- Do my current marketing sources make sense for my defined avatar(s)?
- What goals do I want to achieve when someone gets to my website?
- I want to collect their information for future marketing
- I want to get them directly to a sale
- Those who don’t get to a sale, I want to nurture over 90 days to sell them.
- I want to call all non-converting leads after 7 days.
With the basic marketing outline done, it’s a matter of taking those elements and logically building a visual representation of what that looks like. We include things like: web pages, email marketing tools, shopping carts, emails sequences, CRM software, each marketing source and their entry points, etc.
The Goal: Marketing Automation
Once your marketing map is put together, it’s very easy to see exactly where in your process each customer is and what they are expecting to be doing or experiencing next. The key here is to strive to create customer processes that get users to follow a path that you define. We want to reduce the open-ended nature of that most people use when exploring websites, or searching for information. By crafting pre-planned paths, we can ensure that people are led exactly where they need to go. To see all of the information they need to see. And finally, to secure the sale.
But the process doesn’t end at the sale. There’s all sorts of marketing planning that can and should go on after the sale. What happens internally? How does fulfillment happen? Do these new sales need to upsold to an event or some other higher-end product offering? How does that process look?
As you can imagine, the above example is likely just the tip of the iceberg.
Creating a marketing map can be easy or hard depending on the complexity of your situation. Tech Guys specializes in analyzing your business and to creating a marketing plan and build a visual marketing map to help guide you to success.
If you need help building your businesses treasure map, drop us a line!