Marketing Strategy · Business plan

Have you seen a simple, visual roadmap around building a marketing plan? If not, would it be useful?

Chris Taylor Director, Channel Marketing at Yuneec USA, Inc.

February 10th, 2016

I'm a marketing guy. I believe in the value of a marketing plan no matter how big, small, new, old a company is:
  • Look outside your company: market trends, competitive landscape, size of the opportunity
  • Look inside your company: positioning, unique value proposition, messaging platform, target market(s) / target audience, where to find the target audiences, financial projections, Strengths/Weaknesses/Opportunities/Threats analysis,
  • Look behind you: how did you get where you are? What marketing / selling activities? How did they perform? What are your financials to-date?
  • Look ahead of you: measurable objectives that roll up to support the overall corporate objectives, strategies/tactics to achieve those objectives, ongoing metrics analysis, optimize/revise...etc.
Now all that said, has anyone seen a simple roadmap that would lead an entrepreneur through this process with guidance and tips and questions along the way to help guide them? Simple example - one potential step might be trademarking your company name so there's a process: Google search, USPTO database search, use legal firm to do their preliminary search, do full search, file for trademark. Include general timeframes, tips about first usage, how to use TM and so on. That's just one example.

If you haven't seen one, would it be helpful to have something like that?

Reason I ask is that I've thought about creating something like that for years. Not as some kind of business but really has a side project. But don't know if there's already something out there. Could be simple and visual but interactive so for steps that are relevant to a particular business, such as the trademarking example above, you could get another level of detail.

Two of my favorite quotes that reinforce the importance of a plan:
"If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up somewhere else." Yogi Berra
"Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important." Stephen Covey


Michelle Bufton

February 11th, 2016

Hey Chris,

I just came across this, haven't had a chance to use it but it looks a bit like what you are asking:


Shereen Soliman Marketing Consultant/Project Manager/Sailor/Blogger/Beautician

February 10th, 2016

I've heard of the business model canvas which is similar but I think it's aimed at existing businesses -
I'm actually in the process of starting a business and I think something like this would be extremely helpful. 

Nigel Dessau Chief Marketing Officer at Wellsmith, LLC

February 11th, 2016

I think you are sort of asking - can some explain the whole of marketing in a simple set of graphics/charts. I think that's a huge and tall order - there is a lot to it. Also, it's reason why people get a marketing degree and then hired as marketing professionals! Have a go - it might make a huge different.

BTW - working with start-ups I think the biggest issue is around building realistic value proportions. Too many fail because they don't know how to do this. A great  idea and a great business is often separated by the ability to communicate the value. 

Kim Ellery Senior Director of Product Marketing at Absolute

February 10th, 2016

Interested to see what you find or what the community recommends 


February 11th, 2016

Chris: I think that visuals (especially maps) are amazingly powerful. I needed a map for purposes of building a network of people with 'common cause" - that cause being colorectal cancer. This map (attached) has done the trick. As you might imagine, I love maps. Erika Hanson Brown Mayor/Founder: COLONTOWN - the community of CRC patients, survivors & family members Managing Member: Patient Action League LLC 3800 Powell Lane, Ste. 1202 Falls Church, VA 22041 703.349.0880 303.780.9111 (cell)

Rob G

February 12th, 2016

I think it would be helpful. The Lean business model canvas is helpful at a high level, but there are many startups that don't have any experience or understanding of how or why to get to the underlying detail - identifying prospects, defining an ideal prospect, pricing, margins, sales models, etc. all of which influence a "marketing" plan.  A cursory look at Marketing Mentor (i didn't not join so i could drill down using their tool) indicates to me that their 'map' is targeted to more mature companies that already have products, pricing, customers, etc.  I could see value in an interactive tool that starts with the business model canvas and drills down into great detail with examples so that startups can get a flavor of how to think about building their sales/marketing/pricing/distribution/operations models. I don't believe you should not create a marketing model, but i do believe that any marketing model that is worth anything must not stand alone and must be tightly coupled to the entire business/operating model, at least for startups. 

David Wheeler Vice President of Operations at EdgeCore

February 10th, 2016

Very helpful!


February 10th, 2016

Yogi Berra got it exactly the other way around: if you don't know where you're going, that's exactly where you will end up. In fact, the only way to end up exactly where you are going is not to know where that is.

Chris Taylor Director, Channel Marketing at Yuneec USA, Inc.

February 11th, 2016

Thanks Michelle - that's exactly the idea. 

Francoise Luca CMO at Business Finance Solutions

February 13th, 2016

I've used my own modified version of the Business Canvas, that Shereen mentioned.  I like the "free form" design of it, and it seems less intimidating to my clients. I think the format that Michelle mentioned works better after you have gone through the business canvas style exercise and the client can see the bigger vision of the enterprise.