July 10, 2015
Before the GPS, when a tourists was lost and was required to stop to ask locals for directions, there were many times they may have (unfortunately) heard: “You can't get there from here.” What they meant, of course, was that the journey from point A to point B couldn't be made in a straight line; they'd have to follow precise directions to get where they wanted to go (for this, thank you to the person who invented the GPS).
This scenario presents many similarities for those businesses looking to transform their commerce solution. The journey between point A and point B is certainly navigable, but it cannot always be traveled in a straight line. It too requires precise directions. So in order to get to where they want to go - achieving commerce maturity - they need their own GPS system: a marketing roadmap.
One Journey, Multiple Roadmaps
While the final destination is the same - commerce maturity - the roadmap to get there for each organization may be different. While some may require the full journey - strategic, technical and operational assistance - others may just be looking for help maturing in one or two. The full roadmap journey can be broken down as follows:
- Strategic: Knowing why an organization wants to transform its eCommerce strategy is critical. Is it to attract a new audience? Retain an existing one? Drive purchases of new products? Appeal to a different demographic? These are just a few of the questions that will help define the goals for all departments and stakeholders involved in the transformation process. Moreover, they are questions that will force a company to reflect on where they currently stand in the consumer's mind.
- Technical: In this sense, the roadmap is less about where an organization wants to go, and more about what it needs to get there. Specifically, what technologies will need to be purchased or developed? What skills and expertise will a marketing department need to learn and leverage? Without knowing the tools to use, achieving eCommerce transformation will be problematic.
- Operational: Once you know what your goals are and what solutions you will need to get there, you must determine who will get you there. Putting together the right team, with the right skill sets, is essential to fully achieving your commerce transformation. But whether you find them through new hires, training existing staff or outsourcing to a technology partner, simply finding the right people isn't enough. As part of your roadmap, be sure to clearly define how the team (or various teams) will be organized and how they will communicate.
Creating your own roadmap requires you to carefully evaluate your specific needs and create a strategy that works with the talent and resources you have available to you. By defining your goals and requirements up front, you will not only understand what opportunities are available to you, you will have more input into the strategy and how it is implemented before the work gets started.
Getting started with or transforming your eCommerce strategy is a big project, but it doesn't have to be a stressful or disorganized one. Check out our eBook, Crawl, Walk, Run: How to Plan for and Execute eCommerce in your Omnichannel Marketing Strategy to discover how you can create a roadmap that allows you to execute your new strategy successfully!
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