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  • Writer's pictureLiz Maguire

Making a Marketing Map

What do cartography, the art of map making, and marketing have in common? A lot more than you'd maybe imagine! Before you start out on any road trip you're sure to check out a map first. That should be the case when marketing for your business, too. Pre-plotting points on the map can help you avoid problems and get to your destination efficiently.


A marketing map, or plan, outlines the broad strokes of how you will market your good or service while marketing strategies are the campaigns which are optimized for performance and result.



What Goes into a Marketing Map?

A marketing map, or plan, is how you intend to bring your good or service to the market. Crafted with an understanding of the existing climate and competitors, and an image of potential customers or clients, your marketing plan should have clear, trackable goals. The marketing plan should be part of your bigger business plan because this is where you will allocate the time and resources to be spread across more niche, targeted marketing strategies later in the process.


Research:

Before you bring your product or service to the public, you'll want to observe the market you're entering. How densely populated is the ecosystem? Who are your competitors? What do they offer? How do they market their offerings? What does your product or service do differently? What value does your business bring? Before you can start to communicate your value to future customers or clients you have to understand it yourself.


The research phase can and should take time. Really educate yourself in what's out there with regards to your business. One of the best things about the online ecosystem is that you can observe competitors and take inspiration from industry adjacent businesses too.


Identify Customers:

There's an adage in marketing that you don't have a business until you have a sale. Work on defining your potential customers from the get-go. Who is your ideal customer or client? Why do they need or want your product or service? Creating a persona is a great first step in crafting a vision of your future customer. By having a customer already in mind you can narrow your focus on where and how to target your marketing. Rather than throwing a big net, throw one over a school of potential clients for a bigger return.


Set Goals:

Goal setting at the marketing plan level is different than at the strategy level. At the plan level your goals should be departmental, i.e. Marketing bringing in XYZ% of sales a quarter against the ABC% from Sales. (It should go without saying that in this example and in practice, Marketing and Sales are different entities!).


Budget:

Determining your marketing budget as part of your business plan from the start means that you have the space to experiment with strategies when they come together.



And now for the Marketing Strategies...

A marketing strategy is one of the building bricks of your marketing plan, but a marketing strategy is not your marketing plan. You might have two or three marketing strategies from paid advertising, to organic social media, and beyond. Strategies should be results driven. Before you begin to outline any strategy you can look to your marketing map to see what area your strategy can reinforce. It's important to operate your strategies across platforms or channels to reach a range of potential leads at different points in their customer journey.


If all this sounds like a lot, trust us, we understand! But once you have an idea of your marketing map you can really start to play and have fun with your marketing strategies. That's where the fun and creativity really puts your brand on the map.



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