Do you fall into the trap of trying to do too much as a brand? If I asked you to keep your strategy to one page, could you do it?
That’s the challenge laid out by the 1-Page Marketing Plan, written by Allan Dib. It’s pretty normal for marketing books to expire quickly – best practices change faster than my mind when I think about what I want for dinner. However, even though this book was written in 2016, it’s one I’ve gone back to time and again. Here’s why.
You’re forced to keep it focused
One page, even if you write REALLY SMALL, doesn’t leave a lot of room to scatter. When I applied this book in a former role, I realized quickly that I wouldn’t be able to fit the current marketing plan in the allotted space. That alone told me I had some chopping to do.
If you’re looking for focus, creating a 1-page marketing plan will get you there, guaranteed.
You’ll think about your target market differently
Almost everyone I work with has a pretty broad target persona. I believe it stems from a fear of closing the door on potential business. Instead of going narrow and crafting a detailed persona, complete with demographics, behaviors, and aspirations, it’s easier to say things like “Our target is anyone with money.”
Even if you are somewhat specific – say you are looking to sell to small-to-medium-sized businesses in 5 different industries – you’re still speaking to an incredibly wide range of people who won’t all respond the same way to your messaging.
Without getting clear on a specific persona, you may end up speaking to nobody – you risk having content that doesn’t resonate with anyone.
You’ll plan for each stage of the marketing cycle, not just one
Because people gravitate to different marketing models, I’m not here to tell you (yet) whether a funnel or a flywheel or a linear journey is best.
However, I do believe that regardless of the model you use, businesses do need to put in effort at each stage of a marketing lifecycle to effectively keep the process running. I’ve talked to prospects who are heavily conversion-focused, but they’re not thinking about the upfront work that needs to be done to get people in the door and convert them in the first place.
On the other side of the coin, I’ve worked with clients who are heavily focused on awareness, but they don’t have a strong offering that can be used to convert visitors, potentially losing future clients before they even have a chance to get a foothold.
Going through the plan and seeing each stage of a marketing cycle represented in one place can help you connect the dots between parts of the journey, making sure you don’t lose people along the way.
You’ll spend time thinking about the all-important customer lifetime value
Based on the career I’ve had, I would say with a high level of confidence that most businesses don’t take the time to calculate the lifetime value of their clients or customers.
In recent years, I’ve pushed to gather a few metrics that I think should be mandatory to know in a business:
- Lifetime value
- Churn rate
- New versus recurring revenue
- Products/services that provide the best profitability.
Tracking these KPIs can help you develop a smarter strategy, one that focuses on bringing in customers that will provide a higher lifetime value, leave less frequently (driving a lower churn rate), give recurring revenue, and be more profitable overall.
Dib encourages business owners to think about what they’ll do to increase the lifetime value of their customers – what they can to do upsell, improve the customer experience, make it easier to re-order or recommit to additional services, and so on.
Optimizing your business in this way is a great example of “work smarter, not harder,” but it gets skipped all the time.
You’ll go from having something “all up here” to something on paper
You know your business inside out, and even if you don’t have a formal strategy written down, I’m sure you have a basic idea in your head about how you want things to go, what you want to grow, and how you’re going to try to reach your goals this year.
Imagining and visualizing your success are good first steps to growing in a new direction. I spend a not insignificant amount of time thinking about what it would look like to complete the goals I have and experience the subsequent success from executing those to-dos. However, if the “plan” is nebulous and all in your head, you may start shifting things without even realizing it. Or worse, some of your best ideas might fall through the cracks as the year progresses.
I can’t tell you every idea I had for a lead magnet over the past year unless I wrote it down. Even if you think you’re totally solid in your marketing plan, humor me. Give this book a try, write it down, and see if it makes a difference.
I feel like it’s important to state that I’m not getting paid to say any of this. There’s no affiliate link on this blog, I don’t gain anything from you buying the book, I just think it’s worth reading.
If you’re looking to start off the new year (or depending on when you’re reading this, the new quarter, month, or heck, even week) on fresh footing, I would encourage you to pick it up. If you liked it, let me know!
Comment or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to know what you thought!
What marketing books would you like me to review next?