Creating a Visual Marketing Plan

visual marketing plan

visual marketing plan

Creating a Visual Marketing Plan

For those of us who are visual thinkers and learners, trying to write out a linear marketing plan can feel like pulling teeth. That’s why I personally love mindmaps as a tool for visual brainstorming and a way for my scattered mind to begin to organize thoughts. But for my marketing plan, even that didn’t feel as much fun as the mandala* I created below, based on the color wheel mix and match marketing plan I have been developing over the past few posts. If you are new here today, see the links at the bottom of this post.

Visual Marketing Plans

visual marketing plan

I promised yesterday that I would share a couple of ways to create a visual marketing plan. Here is one way to do that, tomorrow I will talk about how to create a collage of images to graphically represent your marketing and bring it to life even more through the power of imagery.

Notice how I stacked the colors inside the center of my color wheel, with me in the center, then my client and then the problems that I solve. I love the flow of this pattern from the inside out. It’s how most entrepreneurs build our business, it starts with what we are most passionate about. Looking at it now, I also love that it looks like a flower, geeky I know 🙂

But knowing what you are passionate about is not enough for business success. There have to be enough people out there who are hungry for what you have to offer and you have to be super clear about what particular problems you can solve for them.

Once these three colors are crystal clear for you, it’s easier to start building out your marketing plan with the specific tactics and strategies that are one: a match for your personality and two: a perfect way to reach your target audience.

You can see in my personal marketing mix, that I have incorporated all three marketing strategies: referrals, online tactics and offline tactics. Notice that in my particular business, the majority of my marketing is happening on the internet through my website, my blog, virtual programs and social media. This works best for my business model but your color wheel mix has to be unique to your business.

This is not a marketing plan in a box, this is a creative approach to clarifying the perfect palette for your plan. So go grab some crayons, markers, something to draw circles with and start playing.

Notice how around the edges I have added goals, plans and places where I know I need to stretch and grow. Be as detailed or general as you want to at this stage and just have fun with your plan.

On another note, notice in the center I have all these words written. The yellow should reflect your unique brilliance. I am currently working on a new business plan so I asked my clients to share three words that describe me, these are few of my favorites.

Same thing in the problem solving section, the blue circle, I took specific words from my clients about what problems they had when they started to work with me. What were they struggling with? What did they need in their life and business? Almost all of them said they lacked focus, clarity and direction in their business. They couldn’t even see what was possible for them or how to get unstuck and motivated to take action. Having them share this information was way more powerful than any guesses that I might make.

If you are new to business and don’t know – make some guesses, ask your friends, be creative but start to really dig into the specific problems you can solve and how you solve them in a way no one else does.

Here’s the image of the color wheel with all the different levels of colors, strategies and tactics to help you get started.

marketing plans for creative entrepreneurs

*What is a mandala?

The word Mandala (pronunciation mon- dah- lah) means “circle”.  A Mandala represents wholeness, a cosmic diagram reminding us of our relation to infinity, extending beyond and within our bodies and minds. Mandalas are circular designs symbolizing the notion that life is never ending.

I love the concept of adding the mandala to our vision of creative marketing plans – our marketing plan should represent our wholeness, plus when done well it works all by itself, rippling out into the world and extending far beyond our point of origination.

I encourage you to create your own wholistic color wheel of marketing. I would love for you to share any images you do create on my Facebook page.

© 2014 Dr. Minette Riordan. All rights reserved.

Here is the rest of the series on Mix and Match Marketing Plans:

1. Mix and Match Marketing Plans for Creative Entrepreneurs

1. Create a Colorful Marketing Plan: Secondary Colors

3. Tertiary Colors of Marketing Part 1

4. Tertiary Colors of Marketing Part 2

5. Make Marketing Plans Fun

6. What is a Marketing Plan?

7. Completing Your Color Wheel Marketing Plan

8. Create the Perfect Marketing Mix

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48 Comments

  1. Betsy Jabola on July 15, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    It is always refreshing to see the Colorful Creative Approach from someone whose Brain Bent is on the Right Side. I definitely relate to your free flowing Visual Marketing Plan. Thank you.

    • minette on July 16, 2014 at 11:11 am

      Thanks, Betsy! You nailed it: colorful creative approach from a right brain creativity junkie 🙂

  2. Amaia - You Made My Day on July 15, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    Thank you for sharing this, it is very clear and useful. I think I am going to give it a try and set down my priorities and goals.

    • minette on July 16, 2014 at 11:07 am

      Beautiful Amaia, have fun!!

  3. Chara on July 16, 2014 at 7:26 am

    Minette, I love the color, vibrancy, uniqueness, and flow of your marketing plan. This looks like a method for bringing one’s most authentic energies, hopes, and needs onto paper in an engaging and inspiring way.

    • minette on July 16, 2014 at 11:07 am

      Thank you so much Chara for that feedback, and for capturing my intent so beautifully.

  4. Debra Oakland on July 16, 2014 at 9:42 am

    Minette, you make this look so fun and bright! The inner child emerges to embrace adult marketing and takes the dread out of it. The mandala, well, that’s just downright sexy!

    • minette on July 16, 2014 at 11:06 am

      Great way to look at it, my inner child craves color and playfulness and crayons make her sing and dance with glee.

  5. Sheila Callaham on July 16, 2014 at 9:58 am

    What a wonderful post — wonderfully visual and wonderfully inspiring. Thanks Minette, I’ve got my paper and pencils out!

    • minette on July 16, 2014 at 11:05 am

      Hooray for you Sheila! Be sure to share your success on my FB page or in our Visionary Authors group 🙂

  6. Peggy Nolan on July 16, 2014 at 10:23 am

    Oh. My. Gosh. I love the color wheel approach. LOVE this. I am going to find my color pencils and get to work following your awesome example!

    Thank you!
    Peggy

    • minette on July 16, 2014 at 11:05 am

      Thanks Peggy, I am giggling thinking of all of you spending time coloring today 🙂

  7. Debra Reble on July 16, 2014 at 11:53 am

    Thanks Minette. I love these tools especially the mandala as I am such a visual person. This is a step in my business that I have yet to do and you are motivating me to get going on it. Hugs and blessings

  8. Mary Robertson on July 16, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    Minette I love this amazing tool that you have created. It is not only fun but it has given me clarity about what I am trying to do. I just got off a long call about marketing and I am going to send the coach your link for this. You are one smart lady!!!

    • minette on July 16, 2014 at 2:43 pm

      Thank you so much Mary, that means a lot to me!!

  9. Shelley Lundquist ( on July 16, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    What a wonderful idea! I totally love the concept of using a mandala colour wheel for marketing. Awesome!

  10. Candi Deal on July 17, 2014 at 5:20 am

    Good stuff here, Minette! Love this approach because a marketing plan is not linear; it must be recursive and the wheel approach allows for this.

  11. Joan Jakel on July 17, 2014 at 10:01 am

    I love the creativity and the boldness in the color. In fact, the use of dynamic color immediately makes me feel more passionate and inspired to powerful work on my business plan. Thanks for sharing a right brain approach to help left brainers access some practical creativity to enhance their business – and have some fun in the process!
    Carpe Diem!

    Joan

  12. Laurie Seymour on July 18, 2014 at 9:52 am

    Minette, this is so much fun! I love what you have created for yourself. And I rarely get inspired to create something like this–but I am! This is a great “return to” piece. I also love that the center “flower” is a representation from the Inside Out. I wrote a post about that recently…

    • minette on July 18, 2014 at 4:03 pm

      Thanks, Laurie, for the great feedback. I am definitely having fun and I always have my clients work inside out. As entrepreneurs, I think that’s what helps us stay focused and on track, even when it’s hard!

  13. Robbin Simons on July 22, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    I LOVE this! It’s so creative and beautifully combines one’s inner creativity with the process of planning your marketing activities in a very visual medium. Well done!

    • minette on July 23, 2014 at 6:13 am

      Thanks so much Robin, I am definitely having fun with this theme.

  14. Sarah Arrow on July 23, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    I love this! This is really creative and I want to crack out the crayons and create my own marketing mandala. Thanks for this post, have shared it via Buffer.

    • minette on July 24, 2014 at 5:53 am

      Sarah, I hope you did crack out the crayons and start playing right away!

  15. Joanne on July 23, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    Wow, this is an awesome way to put it into one simple organizational representation. Thanks for sharing.

    • minette on July 24, 2014 at 5:52 am

      Glad you found the information helpful, Joanne. I loved the synergy between your post and mine today – you shared a great list of tactics that all have their place on my color wheel 🙂

  16. Henry Matlock on July 23, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    Minette, admittedly marketing is far from being my first love and creating a marketing plan has been a challenge. But the concepts in this article make it manageable and easier to digest than the traditional marketing plan concepts I encountered in business school. Very helpful. Thanks for sharing this information.

  17. Nancy Seeger on July 23, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    Great way to simplify something that stumps a lot of people. I love the colorful approach.

    • minette on July 24, 2014 at 5:51 am

      Thanks Nancy, my aim is to simplify marketing and chunk it down into bite-sized, colorful pieces that make sense to people.

  18. Henry Matlock on July 23, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    Minette, admittedly marketing is far from being my first love and creating a marketing plan has been a challenge. But the concepts in this article make it manageable and easier to digest than the traditional marketing plan concepts I encountered in business school. Very helpful. Thanks for sharing this information.

    ——–
    Henry Matlock
    The Writer Re-Igniter
    http://henrymatlock.com
    Facebook: https://fb.com/HenryMatlock
    Twitter: http://twitter.com/henrymatlock
    Does your business need a boost?
    Let’s talk: http://calendly.com/henrymatlock/30min

    • minette on July 24, 2014 at 5:51 am

      Thanks for being honest, Henry! Glad you found this information helpful and I hope you have fun playing!

  19. Leanne Chesser on July 23, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    I love the idea of a visual marketing plan. My business plan is a combination of mind maps, Leonie Dawson’s planner, colors and collage. I like the color wheel and info you shared about it. When I re-evaluate my plans for the last quarter of this year (soon), I’m going to use that framework. We’ll see how it turns out :).

    • minette on July 24, 2014 at 5:50 am

      I have just been looking at Leonie Dawson’s work and I love her style! I also use mind maps all the time in my work and planning. Another great one is The Right Brain Entrepreneur by Jennifer Lee.

  20. Tamay on July 23, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    Happy dance! I love the idea of using colors and a mandala to create your marketing plan. It visually allows you to see where your time and effort is going to and to keep you on track. I’m going to break this out with my colorful sharpie set.

    • minette on July 24, 2014 at 5:49 am

      Ahhh, thanks Tamay! I am doing a happy dance, too! I am a Sharpie junkie. One of my friends even gave me a set with my name on them, woo hoo.

  21. Ruzica on July 23, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    Circle is my favourite shape (never knew why) and colours are so much fun. What a great way to to make marketing fun. Thank you!

    Ruzica Kozul
    LOA Life Coach

    Grab your free report:
    ~Unshakable Happiness You Want & Deserve~
    http://eepurl.com/LTmt5

    • minette on July 24, 2014 at 5:48 am

      Thanks Ruzica and yes, the circle is pretty amazing for it’s historical significance! Plus, I find creating and coloring them very calming.

  22. Kimberley Wiggins on July 23, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    Yes, this was wonderful. I love the idea of doing this. I have to bookmark this and come back to read the article. My social media calendar is color coded and it makes it so much better for me to work with. I love this.

    • minette on July 24, 2014 at 5:47 am

      Thanks Kimberley, isn’t it amazing how adding color to our work can help us stay organized and make it more fun? I love that you color code your calendar, great idea!

  23. Renae Whitacre on July 23, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    Beautiful commentary on constructing a visual illustration of a marketing plan. Thanks so much for sharing this with all of us. Congrats on getting “moved!”

  24. Nela Dunato on July 24, 2014 at 4:50 am

    Great technique, thanks for sharing!

    I love making colorful diagrams for my business planning. I’ve learned some useful techniques from the Right Brain Business Plan, as well as Creative Entrepreneur book, and I’ve also developed some of my own in a strike of inspiration…

    I’m looking forward to seeing what else you have in store for us!

    • minette on July 24, 2014 at 5:40 am

      I love both of those books as well, Nela. Would love to see some of your ideas!

  25. […] have been writing a lot this week about marketing plans and using the color wheel as an analogy for creating a visual marketing plan that is fun and funtional. I have been having fun being creative and exploring this topic. Now […]

  26. Nelda Choate on July 27, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    As a “marketing nerd”, I could have read every one of your posts around the marketing visual. Colors were catching, info terrific. Great job, Minette. so glad we connected.

    Nelda

    • minette on July 28, 2014 at 10:29 am

      Thanks, Nelda, glad to meet a fellow marketing nerd 🙂

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