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Using Mind Mapping to Create a Marketing Plan
Tools to Help You Improve Your Marketing

If creating a marketing plan seems overwhelming, consider a tool that may make it easier for you to organize your thoughts into a workable plan. Mind Mapping is a visual tool that works the way our brains work. Instead of linear thinking, you start at a center point and work your way outward, organizing your main ideas first and then adding details as you move outward.

Here's a screen shot of the mindmap I created initially when I planned this website.

Mindmap I created to plan this website. 
 
Click here to see a more detailed version of this mindmap.

To create a marketing plan, you could use one of two formats. You could create a map showing your activities for each quarter, that combine to form one annual map, or you could do a topical map first based on the issues you want to consider. Then you could link the first map to a second one based on quarterly performance goals, as Author Roger Parker does with his 2007 Planning Catalyst. For more information, click on the links in the box at the bottom of the page, to visit a special section in Squidoo where Parker talks about mind mapping and how you can use it to plan everything from your overall marketing to specific activities, such as a blog, newsletter or even a book.

Origins of Mind Mapping

Created by Tony Buzan more than 20 years ago, there are many ways to use mind mapping to jumpstart your planning process. Some people still use large sheets of paper and colorful pens or crayons. But now you can enjoy the power of software that lets you create sophisticated maps that link to and incorporate many of the software tools you currently use.

Using Mindjet Mindmanager, you can create a map and link it with your favorite Microsoft Office Tools or any page on the Internet. You can develop a project within your map that includes an overview, deadlines, action steps and the person or persons responsible for making it happen. Some mindmaps can be converted directly to project management tools

More importantly, the topics used in your mindmap become an outline that you can export to Microsoft Word. So once you've completed your planning, it's a relatively simple task to convert your mindmap into a written document that you can take to the bank. Better yet, you have a well developed tool to follow as you implement the elements of your marketing plan; whether its creating a blog, a monthly email newsletter, or a postcard campaign.

This more detailed view of my website marketing plan (below) incorporates, an Excel spreadsheet, links to Microsoft Word documents, notes and hyperlinks to related websites. I also have incorporated timelines for my projects, with priorities and resources.

Marcia Ming

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