But not all roadmaps are created equal. The former will likely have you screaming in frustration as you frantically try to remember whether your hurried shorthand note “Take the slip on to M” should take you on to a motorway or into a McDonald’s carpark. The latter, meanwhile, will see you arrive safely at your destination, relaxed and ready to face whatever comes next on your journey.
We’re hoping Boris has done the latter (fingers crossed!), but whatever the government roadmap out of lockdown looks like, your business needs one too – otherwise you risk pootling round a one way system while your competition speeds off into the sunset.
So what should your website roadmap include?*
Whether you’ve used lockdown as an opportunity to start a new business, are pivoting your existing one to a different audience, or simply want to ensure your site reflects the new normal and starts raking in the business, a roadmap is vital.
Be a best seller
While the lockdown had an impact on high streets, a quick look at the number of Amazon boxes bursting out of your neighbours’ recycling bins (and yours, be honest!) shows online shopping has seen a definite increase – 6-10 percentage points across most sectors.
Your site needs to be selling – whether that’s physical products through an eCommerce setup, or providing great resources to encourage B2B sales.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again – automation is fantastic. Time in lockdown may have been pretty repetitive, but there’s really no excuse for your work to be the same.
Automation helps ensure online bookings go into your diary, prospects and enquiries go into your CRM, and purchases instantly speak to your stock system, and more.
At the roundabout, turn right…
Most businesses are pivoting to adapt to the ‘new normal’ (we can just call it ‘normal’ now, right?). Whether that means changing what you offer, or switching up how you work, your website – and other comms – needs to let your customers know that.
Where we’re going, we don’t need roads
Your roadmap out of lockdown will be taking you in some bold directions, and in many cases it will involve switching many of your business practices from physical to virtual (will you ever get round to dusting off the boardroom table now you’ve gotten used to video conferencing?).
Your roadmap needs to start now to explain to existing customers where you’re going and what they can expect when we go back to the future.
“But I was thinking about downgrading”
Marketing spend is often the first thing to be cut when times are tough, but people are spending more time online now than ever before. So start thinking about what you can be doing better, and smarter, to get the most out of that same budget.
Time to get social
Most of us have been cooped up inside since last March. We’re social creatures, we crave interaction. Now’s the time to really up your social game. Find out what your customers want and need to know, what difficulties they’re facing during lockdown and how you can help, and start positioning yourself as an empathetic, helpful brand.
It’s a roadmap, not a treasure map
With business being ever harder to come by, you need to make it as easy as possible for people to find you. Make it easy for people to find, and use the time to plan out how they’re trying to find you – it’s likely your customers’ language will have shifted since the pandemic.
Gently does it
Of course your website needs to start working harder – but that shouldn’t mean simply shouting in your audience’s faces. Start working out a lovely nurture path that gently walks prospects through your pipeline and into your bottom line. From special offers that get triggered after several visits to a drip-feeding email campaign – your roadmap should be paying attention to how you can lead your customers through the whole journey.
Need help with your roadmap?
Well it’s funny you should ask! We’re just the people to talk to about any of the above (especially automation – we luuurve automation). And we’ll help ensure your roadmap takes you where you want to go.
Think of us as the taxi driver who says “You don’t wanna go via Piccadilly Circus this time of day guv. It’s gridlock”, rather than the satnav that mindlessly takes you into the middle of field.
*Feel free to include the day the pubs re-open on your roadmap too – if it’s good enough to be on the government’s plans, it’s good enough for us!