Marketing Canvas tool has been designed for one brand and one line of products serving one market. If you are operating in different markets with different brands, you can still use the tool but you should apply the below process for each market and brand, one at a time.


A set of 60 cards have been specifically created for this method. This set is composed by recto-verso cards (format A6) specifically treated for intense usage. In this set, you will find cards about the context (Market, Competition, Trends), goal (your ambition), the 24 marketing dimensions and assessment cards for each dimension (brake or accelerator).


The process is composed of 5 steps that are described below. 


You should as first step define the environment where you will compete. You can do that by discussing the 3 following topics:

  1. The industry/category where you will play. (3 cards for Market)

  2. The next best alternatives for these personas in terms of offer (1 card for Competition).

  3. The trends influencing your market (1 card for Trends)

This first part of the process is very important because it defines key external elements that influence your marketing strategy. I advice you take enough time to do this. For the category, as an example, I use Tesla for illustrating this concept. Indeed, in which category Tesla decided to launch its model S. Most of the time, first reactions were electrical cars which is not correct as Tesla was proposing a product in the luxury sport cars category (main competitor: Porsche). Key attributes in this category are Speed and Design with an average price around 100k€.

STEP 2 - Set your goals

Why should you have a strategy if it is not for achieving an intended goal? Larry Keeley, in his seminal book The ten types of innovation, said: “Declare Intent, by being clear about where and how you will innovate, you massively increase your odds of success”. This is completely true and fully applicable to your Marketing Strategy because one of the usual mistake when doing a marketing strategy exercise is to not properly link the marketing actions with the financial consequences.

  1. You should define and agree alone or with others on a clear and articulated goal (S.M.A.R.T.) that you would like to reach with your Marketing Strategy. This goal is about growth and thus the canvas is about growth hacking your marketing strategy. It is an important step of the process because these goals will be the reference for the 3rd step of the process.

  2. This goal should be expressed in terms of revenue split between customers and the average spent per customer. Usually, goals are set for the next 12 months (one year period). I posted an interesting hack for this where you can also set goals for the 3BL (Triple Bottom Line) if you want to assess the sustainability for your marketing strategy.

  3. You can record your answers on the Marketing Canvas (Goals), on the template Goals or on a post-it.

STEP 3 - Assess your goals readiness.

Alone or with your team, go through the 24 dimensions of the Marketing Canvas and assess if these dimensions are currently playing in favour of your goals (accelerators) or against it (brakes). For each dimension, you can find a card describing it and another card for your answer (brake/accelerator).

  1. It is important to do the assessment for your current situation (now) and in function of your goal, you would like to reach (in 12 months). You have cards for each dimension with the accelerator (recto) and brake (verso) description that you can use for visualising your answer.

  2. Discuss and decide if you have a brake or an accelerator, place your answer on the dimension and go to the next one.

  3. Capture the conversation on a post-it or on the template as it will be useful information for the future. You can also place a green or red sticker on the canvas for recording your assessment.

  4. This step can quick (you present the dimension and you use the assessment method for brakes and accelerator), or it can be much longer if you want to deep dive in each dimension and explain them in details.

STEP 4 - Ideate

How can you reach your goal? How to remove your brakes and leverage on your accelerators? Brainstorm and generate as much as possible ideas! As inspiration, you can use the SHIFT-REDUCE-AMPLIFY model.

  1. SHIFT: What should you do for shifting this brake into an accelerator? A brake is not irremediable. You can certainly find actions that will help you eliminate this brake. Don't forget that when you have eliminated a brake, you have a new accelerator.

  2. REDUCE: What should you do for reducing this brake? A brake is not irremediable. You can certainly find actions that will help you reduce this brake. Don't forget to use some of your accelerators when looking at brakes.

  3. AMPLIFY: What should you do for amplifying this accelerator? An accelerator can be reinforced and potentially becoming a strong differentiating factor. You can certainly take this accelerator to the next level, reinforce, raise it and transform it into a key cornerstone of your marketing strategy

Brainstorm and generate as much as possible ideas! You can also group dimensions and discuss potential ideas. The options are infinite.

STEP 5 - Prioritise

Congratulations, you have discovered many actions that will help you with your goals! Now you should prioritise them by drawing a large “+” sign on any spare wall space/paper you can find. Mark “Contribution to goals” and “Effort” along the vertical and horizontal axes respectively. You have now 4 quadrants:

  1. low contribution/low effort (-): worth working on it if you have time

  2. high contribution/low effort (+): start working now on it

  3. high contribution/high effort (+): you should plan it

  4. low contribution/high effort (+): forget it


You can use the following template for recording your discussion as a complement of the cards.




You have finished the process and you should have now a better understanding of your marketing situation, your readiness for your goals and a list of actions for reaching these goals.

Thank you again for using this tool and share with us your experience, your remarks as we value your feedback.