Mind mapping has become a popular technique for organizing ideas, solving problems, and developing strategies among research and marketing professionals. It is a simple yet effective method of organizing thoughts and generating new ideas using keywords, images, and color-coding.

According to Psychology Today, multiple studies have found that mind mapping can improve the brain’s ability to comprehend, synthesize, recall, and generate ideas quickly. The technique is based on radiant thinking and was introduced in the 1960s by Tony Buzan, a respected psychologist and memory expert, in his book “The Mind Map Book.”

Market researchers use mind maps to bring marketing and research teams together to discuss the consumer journey and explore solutions based on the broader market landscape and actual consumer behavior and decision-making processes. Creating a mind map is not only a fun and creative experience, but it also helps to make complex issues easier to understand and quickly organizes thoughts during brainstorming sessions.

Here are five ways mind maps bring order to chaos:

  1. Focus on the outcome: Define one goal or purpose for the mind mapping exercise and agree on four to seven related topics to be the primary focus of the brainstorm session.
  2. Invite the right people to the party: Bring together a multi-disciplinary group to gain insights and perspectives from subject matter experts for each of the main topics.
  3. Branch out and explore: Document two to five main ideas to support each main topic, and branch out to explore related strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, or threats (SWOT).
  4. Keep it simple: Use just one word, doodle, or image to document each idea to make it easy to see themes and patterns as they emerge. Avoid writing phrases or sentences.
  5. Encourage free association and organize ideas right away: Ideas can flow freely and do not occur in any particular order. Just use one color for each primary topic, use lines to connect all related ideas, and color-code all ideas related to each primary topic.

Creating a mind map is easy and can be done in three simple steps:

  1. Determine the purpose: At the center of the page, draw a doodle or use an image depicting the subject or the goal of your mind map.
  2. Identify four to seven main topics to map: Draw four to seven thick, curved lines extending from your illustration at the center of the page, radiating outward toward the edges. On each line, write one main topic (try to use just one word). Color each branch a different color and use this color code for all related ideas.
  3. Branch out and explore related ideas: Only use one word, doodle, or image to record ideas. Inspire free association and organize ideas using lines and color coding linked to the main topics.

Mind mapping, in combination with qualitative and quantitative research methods, can deliver actionable marketing insights and provides businesses the data they need to make intelligent marketing decisions. So, if you want to organize your thoughts, generate new ideas, and make intelligent marketing decisions, try mind mapping today!

Want to try it out? Download a complimentary blank mind map below.

Insights In Marketing is the marketing research firm that delivers in-depth and actionable insights so you can have every confidence your decisions are inspired by the consumer voice. Our  team has decades of client and supplier side research experience, and our marketing expertise spans across various industries and consumer segments.  Schedule a Free Consultation. 

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