Some people make trip planning seem like an art form. Once they determine their destination, they plot the best route, make “must-do” lists, and assign tasks to fellow travelers. But any master planner will tell you there’s a method to their whirlwind of activity. They aren’t doing things just to do them. There are repeatable steps they take to ensure a seamless, stellar outcome. The same is true for digital agencies that successfully deploy strategies to achieve their desired results. Read further for a snapshot of considerations while creating your agency roadmap to success.
What is an Agency Roadmap?
An agency roadmap is a practical implementation guide for your agency’s strategy. Once you define your strategy, a roadmap connects the vision to execution. It connects how you get from today to where you want to be.
Components of an agency roadmap include:
- Destination. The key goals you want to achieve.
- Strategic Summary. This summary forms the basis of the roadmap. It’s the high-level connect-the-dots from your agency’s current state to your goal state.
- Initiatives. These are high-level clusters of work designed to achieve specific goals
- Tasks. Outlined activities are assigned to anyone from senior leadership to individual team members to move each initiative forward.
- Metrics. Correct measures keep your team doing meaningful, streamlined work. They track, trend, and benchmark performance to ensure you’re doing the correct things, at the right level, at the optimal time to reach your growth goals.
- Owners. Accountability is key to successful strategy results. Appropriate champions receive assignments to ensure tasks finish on time and meet metrics.
- Cash Flow Forecast. Building a budget that accounts for actual costs is a challenge. But it is critical. Smart forecasting and appropriate financing ensure you have enough cash to attain your vision.
- Hiring Plan. You need the right talent to execute strategy. A detailed hiring plan that recruits and hires for the skillsets you need can make your growth journey faster and easier.
Critical Questions When Creating Your Agency Roadmap
A well-planned strategy makes running your agency smoother. It aligns all the significant aspects of your organization and keeps them moving in the same direction. If you want to grow efficiently and faster than the average agency, it is crucial to contemplate and answer these key questions.
Do you have the right people in the room? Having the best team members participating and leading each level matters.
Consider these guidelines:
- C-Level. The vision-setter focuses on high-level strategy and future success.
- Initiative Owners. Typically VP-level team members are responsible for agency roadmap execution.
- Customer Experience. Often living within the account manager position, they’re responsible for the full lifecycle experience clients have interacting with your agency.
- Project Execution. Leadership of the dev/design/marketing/project management teams who actually deliver the work. Works closely with customer experience.
- Finance. All strategic initiatives require financial resources. You need to have a clear picture of agency finances to maintain adequate cash flow.
Is your vision clear, concise, and measurable? It should be. Generally, agency visions must be well-thought-out, properly communicated, and obtainable. But agility is key. Be prepared to make adjustments as necessary.
Where do you need to invest to get where you want to go? Successful strategy implementation and results rely on those doing the work and the accessible support resources. Paying close attention to who and what is needed to do the work versus who and what you have identifies where you need to invest. These investments could be through hiring, upskilling, partnerships, and/or M&A.
What does success look like? Appropriate metrics allow you to track progress. They quantify the success of each initiative and your overarching plan. The outcome of your roadmap should take you where you intended to go throughout the process. If you aren’t moving in the right direction, your strategy should be flexible enough to allow you to course correct.
Maximize the Impact of Your Agency Roadmap
Our proprietary research shows detailed strategy leads to growth that outpaces industry averages.
Ways to maximize growth include:
- Build By-In. Buy-in is critical from every member of your team. Connecting and recognizing how each contributor’s work moves the agency toward the vision increases the value of work done. It empowers employees to work collectively to accomplish tasks.
- Invest in Impact. Likely you will hire new talent, engage in training and education, and add additional resources. Again, you will need financial resources to achieve your vision.
- Drive with Data. Mark your progress and opportunities for improvement to inform your journey.
- Review Regularly. Set regular meetings to stay on track. The build it and forget it mode of operation won’t drive progress.
- Adjust Accordingly. Agility is critical in a changing landscape like digital ad agencies. Priorities will shift, and the industry will evolve. Flexible processes surrounding strategy will help keep you moving toward your vision.
Promethean Research Can Help Make Your Vision Reality
As you consider what the future looks like for your digital agency, remember we are here to help. Contact Promethean Research to build your agency roadmap.