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Digital Marketing 9 min read

How to Craft Your Digital Road Map Using Marketing Research

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Written by Sarah Edwards

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed

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Expert reviewed by Rachel Meyer

Associate VP of Client Success @ Galactic Fed

Published 04 Apr 2024

You wouldn’t plan a cross-country road trip without charting out your course and using a GPS to guide you from stop to stop. So why would you venture out into the world of digital marketing without a plan? 

You need a digital road map to bring your brand-building strategy from concept to reality. With one, you’ll go beyond basic statements like “I want to generate more leads” and lay out a comprehensive strategy for achieving your goals.  

However, much like charting out a trip, creating a digital strategy roadmap requires extensive planning. You’ll need to conduct marketing research, set a final destination, and identify mile markers to keep you on track. 

Here’s everything you need to know about the concept:

What’s a Digital Strategy Roadmap?

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A digital road map is a detailed plan that outlines your marketing goals and the ways in which you intend to achieve them. It will work to align your teams, resources, and organizational goals to achieve positive outcomes. And it should outline everything from the channels you intend to use to the audience you are going to market to.

At a minimum, your plan should include your:

  • Objectives
  • Target audience
  • Content
  • Marketing methods (search engine optimization, paid search and social ads, etc.)
  • Budget
  • Indicators of success
  • Timetable

After identifying the categories that need to be included in your digital road map, you can begin working through each topic. The goal is to get everyone in alignment toward a common objective, so get various teams involved, including C-suite decision-makers, marketing staff, and sales agents. 

What Is a Digital Roadmap Template?

A digital roadmap template will serve as a tool for creating your future marketing strategies. You can create a fillable document or chart that includes all of the aforementioned categories and apply it to any campaign. For instance, if you are launching a new product, you can use a digital roadmap template to create a cohesive awareness strategy. 

According to certain estimates, roughly 47% of businesses that engage in digital marketing do not operate with a cohesive strategy. Creating and following a digital roadmap template, therefore, ensures yours isn’t one of the companies that are just winging it when it comes to online marketing. 

Types of Marketing Research You Should Invest In

Building a digital road map involves far more than simply defining your goals. Your map must also outline how you intend to achieve your stated objectives via strategic marketing efforts. 

Determining the channels and content that will be most impactful requires extensive research that focuses on the following:


Whether you are running paid ads or aiming to win with your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, targeting the right keywords is crucial. And that means you need to know which keywords are trending and most relevant to your target audience.

For the most part, the phrases you target in your SEO and paid campaigns will be similar. However, some pay-per-click (PPC) terms can get quite costly. In these instances, you might have a divergence between your paid and SEO keywords. But that’s not a bad thing. In fact, mixing things up allows you to cast a wider net and lighten the burden on your marketing budget.  


One of the most important types of marketing research you’ll perform involves gaining a better understanding of your target audience. You need to explore high-level data, like demographics, while also getting granular. Consider factors like shopping habits, preferred social media platforms, and history with your brand.

Once you’ve gathered an abundance of information on your audience, you can segment its members. Audience segmentation involves dividing your consumer base into smaller groups based on shared traits like location, age, and product preferences. You can then deliver personalized content to each segment. 

According to McKinsey, 76% of consumers want to receive personalized communications. As such, by getting more personal, you can support the long-term goals you identify on your digital road map. 


Think back to our original road trip example for a moment: If you are traveling cross-country, you won’t be able to stay on one interstate the entire time. You’ll need to use a variety of different roads and routes to reach your destination. The same concept applies to digital marketing: You can’t rely on just one channel. 

Instead, you’ll need to use a mix of SEO, paid search ads, and social media to build your brand. By determining which channels are most popular among your target audience, you can identify the most efficient way to reach your goals. 

Content Formats

Finally, you need to consider which content formats are going to resonate with your audience. Blogs are always a great choice, seeing as 77% of internet users regularly consume such content. Video is another excellent tool for raising brand awareness and achieving your digital goals.

In any case, thorough research will help you better understand the kinds of content your customers prefer. You can also obtain more specific details, such as what length of articles they prefer and how long to make your videos, through your research as well.

Connecting the Dots on Your Digital Road Map

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After you’ve done your homework, it’s time to build your digital road map. Here are some simple steps to jumpstart your efforts:

Set Goals

Goal-setting represents one of the most important parts of creating a digital road map. But always remember that your goals must be specific, measurable, and realistic. Instead of saying that you want to “perform better” or “generate more sales,” set clearly defined objectives. For instance, you could say you aim to “increase sales by 15% in the next quarter.” 

Choose Your Audience 

Next, determine which segments you are going to target. If you have a broad goal, like increasing sales, you might want to target all of your segments. But if you have a more niche objective, you may target a single group. If you want to increase average order volumes among existing customers, for instance, you’ll have a narrower audience. Just make sure not to limit your audience too much, though, as doing so can hinder your ability to achieve your goals.

Pick Your Methods

The marketing methods you select will have the greatest impact on the success of your digital road map. Some choices are obvious, such as including SEO efforts in your strategy. But others, such as deciding which social media channels to use, may not be so clear. Nevertheless, using every platform you can think of will stretch your team too thin and cut into your budget. 

Therefore, instead of logging onto every platform, prioritize the ones that are most prevalent with your target audience. For example, if you are targeting 18-29-year-olds, you should focus on Snapchat, TikTok, and Instagram, the top three channels among that age group. If you are targeting a slightly older audience, consider X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, and LinkedIn. 

Create Great Content

High-quality content (and lots of it) is key. Publishing intriguing blogs, service pages, and other content will help you climb the organic rankings. The goal here is to reach the top spot on search engine results pages (SERPs). According to recent research, the top two organic results on Google earn nearly 45% of organic clicks: The first has a click-through rate (CTR) of 28.5%, and the second has one of 15.7%. 

Set a Budget

After choosing your tools, you need to set a budget and determine how you want to distribute your resources. Allocate funds for paid Google campaigns, for instance, alongside social media ads, content creation, and other expenses. 

Don’t worry about distributing funds evenly. Instead, spread out your budget based on the perceived impact of each activity. If you think that paid ads on Instagram are going to offer the strongest return, for instance, prioritize that channel first and foremost.

Measure and Adapt

Finally, measure your progress and ensure your company stays on track to achieve its goals. If you fall behind, make adjustments to make up lost ground. For example, if the paid marketing channel that you thought was going to fuel your growth is underperforming, pivot. 

Most importantly, though, you must listen to consumers. If they like a piece of content or a particular tactic you use, build on that success. And if they dislike something, adjust accordingly. 

What’s Next?

After building your digital road map, it’s time to put it into action. Pay attention to your mile markers and adjust course as needed to keep your business on track to hit its key objectives. With the right strategy and a concerted effort across your entire organization, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your long-term growth goals.

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Sarah Edwards photo

Sarah Edwards

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed