There is a powerful new course being offered by Marketing Profs University between January 12 and January 25 on small business marketing. I’ve been asked to lead a group through the process of implementing their marketing plan.

In today’s post, I’m going to give you a flavor for what we’ll be covering in the course and if you’d like to hear the details, register for the course and you’ll get your marketing off to a powerful start.

Create a place for your ideas with a mind map

As I started thinking about the idea of putting marketing plans together, I started realizing that outlines on paper didn’t work for me. You can fill out all the outlines you want and all you’re left with is a document that feels flat and doesn’t inspire you to implement it.

Consider using a mind map to give yourself perspective on your marketing goals and what you intend to do to support them. I’m using Mindomo for this process and I’ve found it VERY helpful.

Here is an example of one that I did for a client of mine – where their marketing strategy was to become the obvious choice by creating the best experience for their distributors. In other words, their distributors would choose them BECAUSE their product was easier to access and to sell and to order.

When you start your mind map you can choose to put at the center a strategy like we did in the example, you can also put at the center a financial goal.

Regardless of what you put at the center – you will want everything that branches out of that center to SUPPORT the commitment at the center of your marketing plan.

In the example, we decided that we would do research (to find out what really mattered) and then we would create an online community – to support those things that matter to the distributors. Finally, we would create marketing and sales support kits and materials for distributors to make our product sell itself.

Notice how each of these strategies completely supports what’s at the center of the plan.

Here is a different example using DIYMarketers that has more of a financial goal –

 

The idea of the mind map is to give all your ideas a place to live and to make sure that they tactics you are considering fully support your marketing strategy.

If you’re focused on generating sales — then focus your marketing on that goal and choose tactics that will drive sales revenue and if you’re focused on experiences – then your strategies and tactics will be focused there.

Convert your strategies and tactics into projects

The other step in the process is to convert your strategies and tactics into actual projects where you can blow out specific tasks and assign them to team members or yourself. Doing this will help you understand exactly what skill sets you’ll need to achieve your goal.

For example, if we are focused on creating the best experience and then want to design a web site or portal or community to support that — “best experience” will pre-determine how you’re going to design this site and what functions it will have.

If your focus was on generating revenue — the same project of designing a web site will have a completely different focus to it.

How a visual marketing plan will inspire you

A visual marketing plan will inspire you in ways you may not have imagined. It will simplify all those words from your outline in a way that allows you to see the relationship between your activities and your results.

Another way that it will inspire you is that will give you freedom to explore other opportunities that may come up throughout the year and give you a place to put them. A visual marketing plan will make it easier for you to remember what you are working toward.

Give this visual marketing plan a shot and see how much faster your plan comes to life!