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The Mighty GPS


How We Developed The Mighty GPS

Mighty Citizen developed The Mighty GPS™ for more than two years before launching it in early 2022. Led by our internal marketing team, the project adopted an iterative approach.

At each step, we remained committed to a singular goal: develop a self-assessment that would help mission-driven organizations improve how they engage with their audiences.

Here is a simplified description of the primary phases of the creation of The Mighty GPS:

1. We Assumed Nothing

We didn’t set out with a detailed vision of what The Mighty GPS would look like or how, exactly, it would operate. (We didn’t even have a name for it.) All we knew is that we wanted to help our clients (or anyone else) do a sober-eyed self-assessment of their current marketing landscape.

2. We Mined Our Internal Braintrust

Mighty Citizen has more than 30 team members across about a half-dozen departments—including project management, user experience, creative, marketing strategy, content, website and app development, and sales.

We brought experts from every department together to collect and refine their input on an exhaustive list of questions, such as:

  • How important is [particular discipline] to an organization’s marketing success?

  • What concrete achievements are evidence of how effectively an organization is employing [particular discipline]?

  • What is the difference between “immaturity” and “maturity” with respect to [particular discipline]?

As we conducted these conversations, themes emerged. For example, we eventually decided that an organization’s marketing maturity could best be determined by scoring it across six key categories:

  1. Research & Analytics

  2. Branding & Strategy

  3. Marketing & SEO

  4. UX Design & Content

  5. Technology

  6. Team Dynamics

We could’ve made this list longer and more complex, but we felt that wasn’t necessary and wouldn’t return markedly more helpful results. We could’ve made the list shorter, but that would be over-simplifying the marketing concerns faced by our clients. These six categories strike a fine balance between usable and rewarding.

After many, many months of discussing these concerns—growing more detailed and precise with each conversation—we felt we had an outline of The Mighty GPS that would be worth building and testing.

3. We Created a Prototype

We knew that The Mighty GPS would be a self-assessment. So our internal marketing team gathered nearly a year’s worth of notes, ideas, and guidelines and turned them into a lengthy questionnaire. The questionnaire was divided into six sections, each covering one of the categories listed above.

Our developers built an online, interactive version of this questionnaire. Meanwhile, we turned our attention to the “back end” of The Mighty GPS—i.e., what happened when the questionnaire was completed.

To make The Mighty GPS as usable as possible, we decided each questionnaire submission should produce four distinct products:

  1. Overall Score - in which each organization would receive a marketing maturity score on a scale of 0-100. This was the easiest way to quickly convey where on the maturity scale an organization lives. Everybody could instantly “get it.”

  2. Score Per Category - in which each of the six categories was scored independently. This ensured that organizations could recognize their particular strengths and weaknesses without assuming everything they did needed equal attention.

  3. Four Stages of Marketing Maturity - depending on the overall score, each response would place the organization within one of four stages of marketing maturity: Crawling, Walking, Running, Soaring. This is simply another way to establish a status quo for the organization and a clear goal for what to accomplish next. After many iterations, we used this scoring for the stages:
    Crawling = 0-39
    Walking = 40-59
    Running = 60-80
    Soaring = 81-100

  4. Customized Report - in which the organization is given a complete accounting of what they do well, what they should start doing, what they should do more or better, and how precisely to move up the maturity scale.

We decided to produce all of these for three key reasons. First, we knew that those in the mission-driven space were often too busy to pause and do a complete evaluation. The Mighty GPS would be a shortcut to such an evaluation, and it would allow them to regularly chart their progress. Second, we wanted to empower communications professionals with a clear roadmap for where to devote their time, resources, and energy to produce a greater impact. And third, we wanted users to be able to articulate to their bosses why they deserved more support, a bigger budget, and a larger staff.

4. We Tested and Tested and Tested

As a marketing agency, Mighty Citizen believes deeply in experimentation, testing, iterating, and adopting a spirit of curiosity. We don’t presume to know everything before proving it in the real world with real users.

So, taking our own advice to heart, we tested The Mighty GPS for months. We interviewed our clients and organizations similar to our clients. We talked to organizations of every size from every sector. We gave dozens of people the chance to use the prototype and offer us their unfiltered feedback.

This testing revealed so much. It altered the topics our questions addressed, the number of questions we asked, and how the questions were worded.

In fact, we learned far too much to detail here. But as a “for instance:” In our first version of The Mighty GPS, we divided the 0-100 scale into four equal phases. So, for example, if a user scored between 0 and 25, we placed them in the first stage, Crawling, and so on up to 100. But as we analyzed the results of our beta tests, it occurred to us that the scale should be weighted. So, now, organizations are placed in the top stage, Soaring, only if they score between 81 and 100 (not 76 and 100). This helped make the tool far more sophisticated, nuanced, and true to reality.

5. We Launched It Softly

As the testing went on, we simultaneously worked on the branding of The Mighty GPS. We gave it a name, a visual identity, and built a fast, mobile-friendly version.

Then it was time to launch it, but softly. We sent access to the soft launch version to dozens of additional users—including more of our clients, industry influencers and thought leaders, key prospects, and “friends of Mighty Citizen.” This soft launch also allowed us to further test and refine all of the “stuff” around The Mighty GPS—e.g., how data was collected and stored, how automatic emails were sent, how the customized reports looked, etc. This soft launch phase, just as the testing phase before it, produced dozens of small improvements and tweaks.

After the soft launch, and with our quality assurance efforts completed, it was time to launch The Mighty GPS to the world.


If you have questions about The Mighty GPS, please contact us.

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