How to Craft a Marketing Roadmap When Resources Are Tight

You’ve got big ideas for your organization, but you don’t have unlimited resources. You might be a marketing department of one, you might have a limited budget, and you might not have the time to launch a strategy to push your organization forward.

Truth is, you don’t need large ad dollars and a team to get your marketing off the ground.

Marketing can feel complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, you’ll probably get a better handle on marketing and create true, valuable leads and connections when you get back to basics.

A great place to start is with a marketing roadmap, since it streamlines your effort and acts as a concrete plan that’s easily distributable to key stakeholders across the company. Think of your marketing roadmap as the gatekeeper for the strategy behind specific campaigns and event promotions.

You don’t need to have an extensive background in marketing to create a very basic roadmap driving decisions.

Here’s are the five basics of what your roadmap should contain: 

  1. Introduction
  2. Executive Summary
  3. Goals
  4. Target Audiences 
  5. Tactics & Channels

Of course, marketing roadmaps will differ depending on each organization’s needs and goals, but these are the essential sections that drive organizational efforts. Remember: roadmaps can always be made more complicated. We’re trying to get to the bare bones to get the job done.


The introduction is the first piece of a roadmap that should answer vital questions to keep you focused as you move through the roadmap.

When filling out this section, think about and answer the following questions:

  • What is the intent of the marketing roadmap?
  • What is the overall purpose of the marketing roadmap?
  • Why do we need a marketing roadmap?
  • How should this marketing roadmap be used?

Once these initial questions are answered, it will help guide thinking for the supporting sections. Always come back to the intent, the purpose of the roadmap and try not to veer away from those points. The purpose is the centerpiece that you will build around.

Executive Summary

Now, if we’ve done an introduction, what’s the point of an executive summary? Well, think about how you’re going to get the attention from higher-ups at your organization. Chances are, many do not have the time to comb through a long document. However, a one-pager on the proposed marketing strategy, that they can do.

The executive summary is the last thing you should write, because it will be a condensed version of the fully-built out roadmap. This section should summarize the key points of the marketing roadmap in one page or less, highlighting the most important pieces of the marketing roadmap at-a-glance. A few topics to consider including are high-level summaries of the target audience, marketing tactics, and strategic channels that will be used.


What goals are the marketing roadmap aimed to achieve? You can break these up into primary and secondary goals. The most important, hard-hitting goals that must be met are your primary goals, the supporting goals or nice-to-haves are your secondary goals. 

Not sure what some specific goals look like? Take a membership acquisition campaign for the Association for Dog Lovers, for example. 

Your primary goal would be to acquire 25 new dog lover members by campaign end, in 6 weeks. The key here is to make your goals SMART.

  1. Specific
  2. Measurable
  3. Attainable
  4. Relevant
  5. Timely 

Your secondary goal would be to acquire 15 new dog lover email subscribers by campaign end. While these aren’t new paying members, they are new leads that with relationship nurturing, could convert into paying members later on. This goal is a nice-to-have, but it isn’t the primary focus of the campaign. 

Target Audiences

Now that we’ve got our goals under our belt, who exactly are we targeting? 

Specifics are key when listing target audiences. The more specific, the better. Have more than one audience group? That’s great! We call this segmentation. Grouping similar audiences into smaller groups and targeting them slightly differently to reach the campaign goals.

Let’s revisit our example, a member acquisition campaign for the Association of Dog Lovers.

Our target audiences would look something like this:

  • Primary audiences
    – Dog owners, dog affinity groups
    – Professionals that work with dogs––veteranarians, dog groomers, zoologists, groomers, trainers, dog walkers, etc.
  • Secondary audiences
    – Animal lovers––Pet owners
    – Prospective pet owners––single young professionals, single-family homes, new moms, etc.

We’re capturing audiences that are proven dog lovers or work with dogs that are more likely to become members of our association, and then broadening our reach with other lookalike audiences in our secondary audience segments.


We now know our campaign purpose, goals, and target audience. But, how are we going to reach our goals?

Here’s where tactics and channels come in.

Tactics are how you’ll reach your on each channel.
Channels are the ways in which you reach your target audience.

For example, to reach our primary audience segment of professionals that work with dogs, we’d want to think about where they spend their time online. Veterinary Practice News is a big online source where vets and practitioners go to get the latest information within their industry. The website is the channel, the tactic is digital ads. Make sense?

Ok, but what about those limited dollars we talked about? What if you don’t have ad dollars to spend? Let’s get creative.

Facebook groups, that’s our free channel to leverage. Our tactic? Content offerings. Anyone can join a Facebook group and post for free. AskaVeterinarian is a Facebook group where vets exchange information, and it has over 10k people within the group. Great! Now how do we get people’s attention with a post? Offer them some sort of added value while driving them to a landing page to sign up to be a member of the Association for Dog Lovers.

You can still have a marketing strategy without any paid media dollars, remember it just takes a little bit of research and creativity!

Putting It All Together

If you follow this step-by-step formula, you’ll be empowered to start building out the marketing roadmap sure to streamline your marketing efforts.

The roadmap is yours to use and to customize. Use this as a baseline, and build it out on your own to include pieces most helpful to keep you on track!

Beyond Definition is here to help you push boundaries and put your marketing dreams within reach.If you’re interested in having a one-on-one conversation about how to put your marketing roadmap into play, get in touch with us. 

Jenna Lally's headshot

Jenna Lally

As Marketing Strategist, Jenna crafts customized digital marketing strategies and cross-channel content to connect with diverse audiences.

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