AVOID MARKETING DETOURS: Charting a digital roadmap will keep your marketing strategy on course.

Author:Meyer, Sarah Levine

Before well-prepared travel aficionados set out on a cross-country road trip, they take time to plan their route--from an overnight stay at a specific hotel to a scenic stop along the way. If a particular location isn't on the itinerary, it is unlikely that these road warriors will include it, especially if it takes time away from their planned activities.

In legal marketing, the destination is your law firm's long-term vision--from expanding your geographic footprint to moving up in the AmLaw rankings. And just as following the chosen route helps seasoned travelers reach their destination efficiently, aligning marketing plans to your firm's long-term vision will provide the right context, guidance and justification for what to prioritize and what to table. A well-planned route helps prevent detours, from partners vying to attend a popular conference to vendors suggesting new lead generation technologies.

Determining a digital marketing roadmap is a priority for most CMOs, and aligning this roadmap with a law firm's strategic initiatives enables marketers to take a more focused, long-term approach to their annual planning. It also enables them to secure early buy-in from the leadership team, limit inefficient detours along the way and ensure meaningful return on investment.

Roadmapping allows marketers to think about how each initiative moves them closer toward their long-term goals. It also allows them to break their plans into manageable chunks and set expectations at each phase of a project to build momentum, rather than overwhelm the marketing team. By doing so, an initiative can be tested and adjusted based on its performance, allowing marketers to phase in new projects and initiatives.

Law Firms Chalk Their Digital Marketing Future

Marketing departments are flooded with opportunities when planning marketing initiatives, from scheduling email-marketing campaigns to upgrading CRMs. Each of these digital endeavors requires some level of attention from a marketing team. Since marketers have a finite budget and resources, it's essential to prioritize and focus.

Plotting marketing tactics on a digital roadmap and aligning them with the larger vision helps marketers demonstrate how various initiatives work together. This practice also enables projects to become more digestible, both for the marketing team and the budget.

For example, a firm looking to increase its presence in a certain industry may identify strategies that build awareness...

To continue reading