Interests, Behaviors and Beliefs
To work efficiently and effectively as a marketer (whether independently or as part
of a larger group) you need the right tools and the right approach.
As most readers are likely aware, platforms and services
exist in abundance to help improve marketing
campaign performance — just read Website Magazine’s
Big list of Marketing Automation Software. For those more involved
with strategy than execution however, a powerful
opportunity exists in mind maps.
Defining Mind Mapping
Mind maps are visual diagrams which represent concepts
and/or tasks that can be, or are by their very nature,
connected. Using the many available solutions
on the market such as Mindomo, Mindmesiter, or
FreeMind will provide Web marketing teams a way to
understand these connections, a framework to generate
ideas (brainstorm), and a means to prioritize tasks
and visualize progress. The ways in which mind maps
can be used are many.
Website Magazine reader Dave Gammage for example
commented on a recent Facebook poll that
“Mind mapping is a great technique for just about any
type of individual or team brainstorming — site creation,
product creation, or problem solving.” Most
marketers, to their own detriment however, opt to
work from “experience” and “intuition” — and often
do so in a vacuum.
Mind Maps in Action
When applied to messaging and content development
however, few tools are more useful than mind maps.
Web marketers can employ mind maps to identify not
just the primary groups or audiences but drill down into the sub-groups to more accurately explore the
interests, behaviors and beliefs of these future
clients/customers — which is what can really move
performance indicators in a positive direction. Let’s
take a look at a practical example.
Interests: Consumers have a broad range of interests
which typically have relationships all their own. One
of the best ways to reveal these relationships are to
map them out.
For example, if you sell a product to healthy living
enthusiasts, not only do you know it is important to
produce content for those interested in physical fitness,
but drill further (or in a different direction) into
healthy living and you might find some association
with a macrobiotic diet as well — another sub-group
to explore. Visually mapping out relationships early
on will reveal not only the destinations to promote a
product or service but entirely new opportunities for
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Behaviors: While consumers have a broad range of interests
which can help marketers develop appropriate
product/service specific content, their behavior is another
aspect with which it is important to become familiar
and use in content development efforts. Are
these prospects only casually interested or are they
hard core, power-users? The answer is important as
it provides us guidance as to how content might be
developed and structured. Let’s return to the healthy
living example. Creating a mind map could reveal that
many physical fitness enthusiasts are only casually
involved. This might provide a signal to a content
marketing team to create blog posts for these casual
enthusiasts — for example, “Three Exercises You Can
Do at Your Desk” or “Get Fit from Your Couch”.
Beliefs: The worldview or belief system of your audience
is also important in determining the best possible
acquisition approach through content. When a
marketer can understand “why” consumers are interested
and can craft messages which resonate with
these beliefs, message effectiveness can go through the
virtual roof. Once again returning to our example, we
know that in order to sell our health living products,
we will be pursuing those interested in running/jogging
that do so casually. But why are they interested in
casual jogging? Dig deeper and you might one possible
answer is “longevity”. An entire series of articles
could be created around longevity and health living,
taking cues from interests and beliefs at the same time.
One possible post — “How to Live to 100 in Fifteen
Minutes a Day.”
Get Started with Mind Maps
Mind maps provide the ability to foster an environment
of collaboration, help identify the most practical
solution, and provide a structure wherein an action
plan can be created. When it comes to message-based
marketing, seriously consider the use of the solutions.
While considered to be nothing more than a creative
exercise by some, these offerings do help improve the
effectiveness and efficiency of your Web enterprise.
Focus not just on the needs or wants of your prospective
clients, but also on the interests, beliefs and behaviors
of users for the greatest impact.
The Top MindMap Software Solutions
Mindomo: Features include team
collaboration tools for teams, video,
audio and image embeds, commenting
and voting, spell-check, contact import, mind map exporting and more.
Mindomo stands out with a desktop version which can sync with mind
maps hosted on the Web allowing users to work from anywhere.
Price: A free version is available (limited to three maps). Mindomo’s also
offers a premium version $6/mo and a version for teams which features
a customized interface and a secure connection via https.
Mindmeister: One of the most
prominent and popular mind map
software solutions is Mindmeister.
Features include sharing/collaboration tools, offline mode and handy
browser widgets, ability to import maps from Freemind and MindManager,
and map exporting and publishing to blogs and websites. Users of
the business and enterprise levels have access to branded login and
Price: Free version (limited to three maps). The premium version costs
$59/yr and business and enterprise plans start at $9/mo. A version for
educational institutions is also available for $18/yr.
MindJet: Another of the premier mind map software solution for the enterprise is MindJet. Features include integration with Microsoft office, customizable slide shows and presentation views, strong navigation and viewing controls and much more. MindJet has been used by some big brands including IBM, Coca-Cola, Siemens, Wells Fargo and many others. Price:Available for both Mac ($249/license) and PC ($349/license).