Creativity expert recommends Mind Mapping as virtual teams grapple with marketing problems

Creativity expert recommends Mind Mapping as virtual teams grapple with marketing problems

We may all be working from home and facing a different set of circumstances than any of us ever expected to face; but as marketers, we are still problem-solvers. That means we need to be creative in a lot of what we do.

It’s no secret that the best marketing teams thrive off creativity. People respond to novelty, original ideas, and marketing which hits on key pain points. Regardless of your product, service or target market, keeping up a continual stream of new ideas can be a challenge – especially working remotely.

After a while, brainstorming sessions end up going in circles. By the end, no one knows how to construct a meaningful marketing strategy from the accumulation of sticky notes and flip chart paper left at the end of an idea session. This is exactly why all marketing teams need to use Mind Mapping to streamline their processes and improve their overall ideas.

Mind Mapping: A brief intro

For the uninitiated, Mind Mapping is a visual thinking tool (also known as a “spider diagram”) which starts with a central idea or topic. You should then use radiating branches which stem from this central idea to explore and develop related key themes and ideas. It’s a technique which can be executed easily by hand, or with software.

It may sound very simple, but the Mind Map has been proven to boost cognitive function, creativity and the retention of ideas. Why? Simply because it mirrors the way you think. Your brain doesn’t think just up and down, but side-to-side and all around, with one thought leading to another. Working with a Mind Map, you stoke your brain's natural propensity for idea association so that you can uncover (and capture) all of your best ideas.

Using this tool in marketing

So how can marketing teams make the best of Mind Mapping? The most obvious – and potentially beneficial – use of Mind Mapping is to begin all campaign planning in Mind Map form. You can start with an ideation session in which you capture all the ideas for your next campaign into the one map. Then, vote to bring the team’s favourite ideas forward. From here, you can use the radiating branches to give structure to your campaign. With one branch for content planning, another for social media, another for PR and a final one for tracking and measurement, everything is clear and organized.

This is a great way of seeing your entire campaign at a glance – and, subsequently, an effective way of presenting your campaign to others. The visual nature of the Mind Map is one of its key benefits; it communicates ideas and structure with clarity. Just as infographics are used to make data more digestible, Mind Maps give clarity to what can sometimes seem like an overwhelm of information. With the ability to make connections and relationships clear via relationship arrows, the way one element of a campaign feeds into another is easy to see, and recurring themes are easy to spot.

While Mind Mapping by hand is quick and effective, using software tends to be even more useful in a work environment. This is because a single Mind Map can be shared, edited and updated between the team. If things need to be rejigged or changed, this can be done with ease. Plus, your Mind Maps are safely stored – so you can always refer back to previous effective campaigns when planning new ones.

To quote Maya Angelou: "You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have."

So, get Mind Mapping and you’ll soon find your most creative marketing ideas will just keep coming.