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The Four Colors of Market Planning

by Michael Fischler  |  
March 28, 2006

Allow me to introduce you to what was, for over 100 years, the Four Color Conjecture—that is, until the mid '70s, when mathematicians Appel and Haken made it the first major mathematical concept to be proved by a computer—turning it into the Four Color Theorem.

From Wikipedia: "The Four Color Theorem states that given any plane separated into regions, such as a political map of the counties of a state, the regions may be colored using no more than four colors in such a way that no two adjacent regions receive the same color."

To create a complete marketing plan, one that drives near and longer term marketing action, I need only four colors as well. Those colors are created through a set of analyses that we perform:

1. Customer analysis

2. Competitive analysis

3. Whole Product analysis

4. Forces analysis

Now, I mention this because I'm working these days on a series of Marketing Plan Templates for the folks here at MarketingProfs. (You can see the first one here). As with all templates, the value lies primarily in providing—imposing—a structure on the process, to facilitate thinking and cut some organizational corners.

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Michael Fischler is founder and principal coach and consultant of Markitek (, which for over a decade has provided marketing consulting and coaching services to companies around the world, from startups and SMEs to giants like Kodak and Pirelli. You can contact him by clicking here.

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