Posted January 30, 2010 7:17 am by with 4 comments

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So the other day, I was talking to a client about a new project they want to begin in the next couple of months. From their mindset this project is going to be huge and may redefine their organization in the coming years. As part of this new project they want a sophisticated web presence. They read off a list of different social networks and services that they want their new site to engage. My first thought was Wow I am going to bill them out the ying yang for all this! But, then my conscience kicked in (yes, I have one), and I had to ask, “do you think all of this is necessary?” They were kind of surprised with my question and responded, “well yes, why wouldn’t it be?”. I then asked them, “well. what are your goals with each service?” They didn’t really say much after that.

We are all quick to jump the gun and want our brands to be engaged with every network, every outlet, and be plugged into every gadget. But, sometimes we loose sight of our goals and dive right in head first. Some believe that you can define your goals later, after you have built your brand. But others understand that having too many points of contact can confuse your base and scare away those that want to engage.

Building a clear and concise strategy is key to every successful internet marketing campaign. Without a strategy you risk wasting resources and missing the folks that matter.

I am a very visual thinker. So when I am building a new strategy I like to create a “mind map”. A mind map is basically a diagram of thoughts. By putting your thoughts in a visual format you can see parallels and patterns that might reveal your strongest ideas. Below is an example mind map that I created just for this post. I like to start with a main idea like “Brand Building” and then work on supporting ideas. You can see from the example mind map below that Twitter will play a large roll in this strategy. Which means that I need to put more resources into managing the brand’s Twitter account versus starting a LinkedIn account. By building this visual strategy I am preparing myself to succeed by identifying the strongest areas and eliminating the others.
Brand Building(click to enlarge)

Building mind maps are a quick and easy way to see your thoughts and minimize wasted resources as the campaign grows. However, it can also serve as an excellent brainstorming activity for team of people that need to manage branding efforts as a whole. By doing this you can get everyone on the same page and develop a framework for moving forward. So before you start your next project consider mapping out your thoughts first! I guarantee doing so will create a more efficient and targeted strategy!

  • This is exactly how we approach projects and a great article – I have a ‘process document’ that I share with clients at the outset of new projects that includes this sort of mapping. So much time can be wasted developing features or functions that are ‘cool’ without considering what the target audience really wants or needs to complete the site’s key goals. Good stuff 🙂
    .-= Andi´s last blog ..Server Migration Woes =-.

  • Brilliant stuff there,I think the point of getting in all the social networks is all 2007ish as the number of social sites which are there, but most of them usually have different audiences altogether So we need to match our goals with the people out there and then begin engaging .
    You image above has great visual impact there.
    Thanks for sharing the idea!!

  • Joe – a recession-proof conscience – quality! If people come from a big brand business they will assume that they will need to feature everywhere to be successful. Your diagram is a good way of focussing them on the outcomes that they are looking for.

  • Sure thing !
    MInd mapping plays a vital role in stimulate whole brain thinking, which sparks the creative thinking abilty of a person. The underlying concept of mind mapping is to generate ideas by branching and learing to think in a new way.