The Marketing Map

A great way to review your marketing efforts.

In the business-to-business sector, gaging the ROI of your marketing efforts is never easy. B2B companies often have several points of contact that can range from face-to-face networking to a web banner. How do you know if the tools you spend time and money on are working well for you? A Marketing Map is a great visual tool. You can do it yourself with paper and a pen.

Begin by identifying what you want people to do; the action step before the ‘sale’. For example, you may offer a free consultation. Place it in a circle at the centre of the page.

Then, space out all the marketing tools you use around the action item. These are the different things used to represent or market your company, i.e., business cards, networking, brochures, web sites, newsletters, email signatures, tradeshows, speaking gigs, Twitter, CRM systems, ads, web banners, etc. Draw circles around them. Then, pick an entry point (ie face-to-face networking) and draw an arrow to the next thing they’re likely to see (ie: business card). Then, they may visit the website, sign up for a newsletter, and so on.

Consistency, what next? and does it lead to the action point?

Consistency means both look and feel, as well as messaging. When you meet someone while networking and then hand them your business card, does the level of quality of the card or the tag line support what you just told them about your company? For example, you say ‘I’m a high-falutin consultant working with corporate lawyers to blah-de-blah’ and then your card is amateurish, printed poorly, with a tagline that says differently.

Look at any step in your marketing map, think where it leads next: what do they see/read when they get there? Even though each piece will have it’s own unique purpose, they should clearly reiterate the same brand messages. What is the experience as people make their way through your map? Note how you can improve on consistency.

Secondly, all marketing pieces are potentially a first point of contact, so what does one piece lead people to next? For example, a business card would be early in the chain and not likely lead directly to the conversion point. However, provided it includes the url, it would likely lead to the web site. An ad could direct people to a specific page on the web site or to an event. If prospects don’t tend to make a decision right away, is there a way to keep them in your funnel, like a monthly newsletter?

Repeat this for all points of entry and you should be able to draw arrows from one thing to the next throughout the map. Gaps, or a loner, do not work efficiently for you. There are likely small changes that would connect more points of contact. If you find a way to do this, you will have better ROI. A very simple example is adding the URL to the logo on branded gifts.

Finally, look at all the paths in your marketing map and see if they lead to the action point. Does it make it clear what to do next for people who’ve never worked with you?

Much time and money is spent on marketing efforts. Review them for consistency, the path between them and to action. Reviewing your tools this way may reveal small changes that could make all the difference in the world.

Please contact if you have any questions at all.