Mind Maps: The Importance of Using Visuals to Strategize Your Marketing

by Michelle Salater on October 15, 2012

When it comes to online marketing, harnessing the power of images and visuals makes your content more powerful and more memorable. Images can turn concepts, abstractions, and intangible things into something concrete. And the same is true when you’re strategizing with your team and creating a marketing plan.

About 60%–65% of people worldwide are visual learners, which likely means you (and your team) will better absorb information from diagrams, charts, pictures, or written directions. Not to mention, visualizing your strategy will help you sort and organize the intricate goals you want to accomplish, like attracting new clients and building your brand.

So head to the whiteboard with these tips in hand. It’s time to make a mind map—the perfect tool for visualizing complex topics and creating logical structure to achieve your goals.


  • Play: The best way to begin the process is to get comfortable and have some fun. If you prefer to use pen and paper or dry-erase board to doodle your ideas, then dive right in. If you’re more digitally oriented, you can find some terrific free mind-mapping applications, such as MindMeister and XMind.
  • Draw: Don’t limit yourself (or your creativity) to one single map. If your thoughts need room to breathe and develop, feel free to create more maps as you need. The key here is to get your ideas together and see where your goals really lie and how to best achieve them. The center of your map can be anything you’re focused on at the time: a financial goal, your positioning statement, or a specific target market that you want to focus on. Start by drawing a series of circles for each potential mind map, which represent the specific areas you are thinking about for your marketing plan.
  • Focus: After you’ve brainstormed with your multiple circles, pick one idea to focus on. For example, you might choose to hone in on your target market. Ask yourself, what are the elements that go with this? What do I want to achieve? How might I best achieve it?
  • Connect and rearrange: Don’t fear a little chaos during this process. Make connections between ideas and feel free to rearrange thoughts as you see fit. The aim of the visual exercise is to bring out connections you may not have realized existed.
  • Visualize: Mind maps thrive when you use visual elements, such as drawings, colors, or pictures. Get creative and see where images lead you. For example, try using a photo to represent your ideal customer.
  • Step back: Look at the inner-workings of your mind! Does your map keep your ideas simple enough and focused on what matters? Does it allow you freedom to adapt to new opportunities or changes in your market?
  • Convert: Flesh out the details of your mind map in a more traditional marketing-plan outline. Try to summarize it into a one-page plan that focuses on target marketing, market research, positioning, offers, and pricing, distribution, sales, and promotion strategies. This process should be much easier, thanks to your mind-mapped marketing plan.

Remember, creating a mind map before you develop a marketing plan activates the creative visual part of your brain, allowing you to see patterns and opportunities you may not have noticed. Treat this exercise like a game, and don’t try to make it perfect the first go-round!

Have you tried creating a mind map for your marketing strategy? If so, how did it work out for you and your team?

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