The Roadmap: A Core of Zer0 to 5ive

By Michelle Pujadas, Founder & co-CEO

The Zer0 to 5ive Roadmap™ dominated the early years of Zer0 to 5ive, and it is in large part what we built the company around. It was 1999 and the internet boom was in full swing. Companies with an “i” or “e” in the front of their names were seeing crazy valuations, and everyone had the next best idea for how their company was going to disintermediate something. Companies with little or no revenue were taking out full-page WSJ ads at nearly $100K each, and new entrepreneurs, brimming with confidence, were signing 10-year leases on real estate, committing up to 50% of their raise – I kid you not. It was in this context that the Roadmap became the go-to service for many venture capitalists and entrepreneurs looking for sanity, and a pragmatic go-to-market plan.

The Zer0 to 5ive Roadmap is a research-based process for building a strong brand and messaging foundation, and a viable go-to-market plan. If you asked any marketing pro to come up with the steps for creating a strong plan and brand foundation, you would probably see some semblance of the Roadmap. What’s magic about the roadmap is that it is just that – a roadmap to help you move confidently from Point A to Point B in a way that makes sense and as importantly, protects you from many brand and marketing pitfalls. It was popular in 1999 and remains so today.

The Roadmap consists of 6 steps, 0 through 5:

0 – Objectives
1 – Research
2 – Positioning and Messaging
3 – Brand Strategy
4 – Brand Identity
5 – Go-to-Market Plan

View (or download) full details here:
The Zer0 to 5ive Roadmap™: Getting to a Go-to-Market Plan

I encourage every early-stage entrepreneur to use it with their team to ensure the best possible start, and every growth-stage entrepreneur and marketer to use it when planning a product launch or market expansion. A full Roadmap can take 8 or 10 weeks to complete. In our early days, the final deliverable would be 4-inch thick binder jammed with research, analysis, ppt slides and creative, much different than today!

Going through the entire Roadmap process is a huge undertaking with real impact, providing tremendous value to our clients who will make critical decisions based on our recommendations. Importantly, the Roadmap has taught me, and everyone who has worked on one, how to think and approach every engagement. It’s a lesson that we share and promote vigorously throughout the organization. We know that you can’t jump to the end, without going through the process of learning, analyzing and thinking.

At last count, the Zer0 to 5ive team has completed close to 100 whole or partial Roadmaps and more than 150 positioning and messaging sessions. The Roadmap approach has been used by early-stage companies and industry leaders. We would love for you to use it for your next planning session, or have us help you implement it!