What is it?
I think it’s safe to say that we’re all familiar with the process of mind maps. Recently we’ve been using this highly organised system of planning and note taking more and more to help us in our client situational analysis and briefing work.
Mind mapping is the easiest way to put information into your brain and to take information out of your brain – it’s a creative and effective means of note taking that literally maps out your thoughts.
Situation analysis is the marketing tool commonly used when auditing an organisational marketing strategy – finding out point A of a company in order to move them to point B. When Studiowide begins working with a new client we like to undertake some form of analysis to understand their current segmentation, targeting and positioning – this allows us to provide work that integrates seamlessly with their current communications and strategies.
As a creative company underpinned by the Chartered Institute of Marketing professional codes of conduct, we have created what we like to think as a unique way of conducting a formal situational analysis using mind mapping.
Company A requested for Studiowide to provide them with a corporate brochure. Following our initial briefing meeting it was agreed that in order to create the exact communications we needed to understand more about the organisation; products, services, markets and competitors. In order to obtain this information in a creative and visually engaging way we employed the use of a mind map (above).
The map began with the company at the centre and then all of the information that will make up the current situation branches out from the centre – starting with market orientation at number 1 and ending up with marketing strategy at number 7. Each route then has second and third level branches associated with that topic.
The event covered a 4 hour morning and was conducted to 10 key decision makers within the organisation. We utilised a white board to draw the map on, which remained front of view for the whole event. We also used a flip chart which allowed us to tear off the sheets and blue tack them around the room.
This format proved to be highly engaging and allowed the group to arrive at the key deliverables which are marked on the map with ‘Key’ symbols.
The event was of real benefit to our client not only because it provided current information to allow us to produce the corporate brochure, but by focussing the morning on the current marketing strategy some issues where flagged up for further investigation by the company.
Why not give this format a try at your next planning meeting. It doesn’t have to be presented to a room of delegates on a flip chart and whiteboard, it can quite easily be done one-on-one with an A3 sketch pad, and will leave a lasting memory both for you and other participants.