The One-Page Marketing Plan

It’s no news that one of the biggest challenges business owners face is marketing. A scattered and unorganized approach can make it very difficult for them to stay focused on the activities that matter most. There is so much information out there, and it’s easy to be pulled in a million directions.

To help busy entrepreneurs not only select the right marketing channels, but also to get a better return, I’ve created a planning framework that has helped thousands of businesses to stay focused on growth. We use this exact framework for our own businesses Basic BananasThe Business Hood and Oceanlovers at the start of every quarter.

It’s a slightly different approach to the conventional methods you find in textbooks— and it works. The good news is you don’t need a 50-page marketing plan to grow your business exponentially. So, grab a pen and paper (yep, totally old school), a glass of wine, put on your favorite music, and let’s go! Please note that the first three points in your one-page marketing plan are just as important, if not more than, the actual marketing strategies themselves. They are here to make sure your business is positioned to attract the right people.

Part One: Your WHY

Understanding the why is the most important piece when it comes to creating outstanding marketing. It will help you produce campaigns that are not only engaging, but also memorable and sharable. I’m not talking about your vision and mission here, although those are important. I’m talking about the solutions people come to you for. If you start talking about the why or the outcomes of working with your business, your audience will pay attention.

Why do people come to you? What is it you are really selling. It’s usually not the most obvious answer.

A book-keeper doesn’t sell book-keeping, she sells piece of mind. Harley Davidson doesn’t sell motorcycles, they sell freedom (or they wouldn’t even be in business anymore!).

Your turn! Crank up the music and write down your WHY before moving on to the next step.

Part Two: Your WHO

One thing I love about being an entrepreneur is that you get to choose who you want to work with!

Most business owners stop at the demographics, but to truly create extraordinary marketing, you need look into the psychographics. Divide your page into two with a line down the middle. On the top left, write the words “hopes and desires,” and on the top right, write “fears and frustrations.” Now, think about your favorite customers and write down everything that comes to mind regarding their frustrations and desires. Make sure you go deep and think of things they might not even talk about. This information will be invaluable once you create your marketing campaigns.

Your turn! Put yourself in the shoes of your customers.

Part Three: Your UNIQUENESS

In today’s busy market, blending in just doesn’t cut it. You have to be ‘talkaboutable’ to be talked about. Think about what differentiates you from your competitors. Maybe you have an amazing satisfaction guarantee. Or you provide freshly baked muffins in your waiting area. Also, ask yourself—What are some of the frustrations people have in your industry?—and then see how you can overcome them in your business. For example customers may be frustrated about the long waits on the phone, so you focus on making your phone communication quick and sleek. Write down three things that make you unique! Remember they don’t have to be big; the magic is in the details.

Part Four: Your Marketing Strategies

Only once you’ve worked on the first three parts of your one-page plan will you choose your marketing strategies. There is no point in selecting your channels without truly understanding your positioning in the market, your core message, your customers and your differentiation. Your business has to be positioned to be attractive to your ideal market, or else you’re just wasting time, energy and money on marketing that won’t give you a great return.

You did it! It wasn’t that difficult, was it? Something that has worked exceptionally well in my businesses is to review this one-page marketing plan at the start of each quarter. This way, we can ensure we’re staying focused and aligned with our overall twelve months goals.


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