The 1-Page Marketing Plan

Marketing is the strategy you use for getting your ideal target market to know you, like you, and trust you enough to become a customer. This book teaches the principles of effective marketing.

The 1-Page Marketing Plan by Allan Dib

What is Marketing?

Marketing is the strategy you use for getting your ideal target market to know you, like you, and trust you enough to become a customer.

Focus on the specific problems of a specific niche and aim to solve these problems with education and specific solutions.

Many business owners fool themselves into thinking that if their product is excellent, the market will buy. It’s a terrible business strategy.

Marketing must be one of your major activities if you’re to have business success.

What is the 1-Page Marketing Plan?

My target market - Who are you trying to serve?

My message to the target market - What are you trying to sell?

Medium - How do you reach your target market?

Lead capture system - How do you get the leads?

Lead nurturing system - How do you build trust?

Sales conversion strategy - How do you make the sale?

Delivery - How do I deliver a world-class experience to the customers?

Value - How do I increase the customer lifetime value?

Referrals - How do I get referrals from existing clients?

A good product or service is a customer-retention tool

A great product or service causes our existing customers to buy more from us or to refer us to others. However, before customer retention comes customer acquisition, i.e. Marketing.

A prospect only finds out how good your products or services are when they buy. And if your marketing and sales systems aren’t in place, they will never buy in the first place and find out how good you are.

Good marketing takes the prospect through a journey that covers the problem, the solution, and, finally, the proof.

Marketing is a Journey

We want to guide our ideal target market through a journey, where they begin as a prospect and end up as a customer. We want to guide them from not knowing we exist right through to being a raving fan customer.

This journey consists of the following three phases.

Before (prospects)

  • Prospects don’t even know you exist.
  • Completing these phases results in a prospect knowing who you are and indicating interest.
  • In this phase, you identify a target market, craft a compelling message for them, and deliver your message.
  • Your goal at this phase should be to get your prospects to know you and respond to your message.

During (leads)

  • A lead has indicated some interest in your offer.
  • You nurture the lead, build trust, and develop a close relationship with them.
  • Completing this phase results in the prospect buying from you for the first time.

After (customers)

  • A customer has already given you money.
  • If executed successfully, this phase never ends and results in repeat business from happy customers who are such fans of your products or services that they consistently recommend you and introduce you to new prospects.

Identifying Target Market

By focusing on the right market, you get a better return on the time, money, and energy you invest in marketing.

Targeting everyone is a bad idea. Focus on a niche and become a big fish in a small pond. Find a highly targeted subsection of a category with a lot of people looking for a solution to a specific problem. Once you dominate a niche, repeat the process with another. But never do so all at once. This dilutes your message and your marketing power.

Make price irrelevant. A heart specialist is sought after rather than shopped on price. They are also paid more than a general doctor to solve a specific problem.

Go deep into the prospect’s mind to understand exactly what they want.

Craft a Compelling Offer

Don’t be the advertising equivalent of that person at the party obliviously talking about themselves the whole night while their uninterested audience looks for the exit.

A compelling message that grabs the attention of your target market. Once you have their attention, the goal of the message is to compel them to respond.

Most advertising is useless. It’s marketing by accident. A qualified prospect happening upon the right ad at the right time sometimes results in the happy accident of a sale taking place.

Start marketing on purpose. What is the purpose of your ad?

Stand out from the crowd by developing a unique selling proposition. Why should I buy from you rather than from your nearest competitor?

Join the conversations your prospects are having in mind or life. What do they really want? Usually, it’s not the thing you sell but the result and benefits they get from using it.

Craft your USP based on these results.

Effectively name your business, product, or service. Can you explain your product and the unique benefit it offers in a single short sentence?

Being remarkable when selling commodity

You don’t have to be unique, but you must be different. You can command premium pricing when selling a commodity by selling a remarkable experience. Not only is the customer happy to pay the premium, but they also spread the message about the product or service.

Because we all want to share things and experiences that are remarkable.

Don’t compete on price. You know you’re marketing your business as a commodity when prospects start the conversation by asking you about price. There’s always someone willing to sell cheaper than you. By charging higher prices, you attract better clients. Instead of reducing the price, increase the value of your offering.

If you don’t give your ideal target market a compelling reason why your offer is different, they will default to price as the main criteria for decision-making.

Target the pain.

People are much more willing to pay for a cure than for prevention.

You don’t care about the price and try to find a cheaper medicine if you have a splitting headache. You’re in pain, and you need immediate relief.

Whatever your product of offering, if you package it up in a way that takes away the prospect’s pain, you’ve won their business.

Sales Copywriting

Almost no other skill will reward you as richly as being able to write compelling words.

Clearly articulating why a prospect should buy from you rather than your competitors in a way that creates emotion and motivates them to action is the master skill of marketing.

Advertising Media

Rather than “getting your name out there,” you’ll fare much better by concentrating on getting the name of your prospects in here.

Social media is not a good place for making a sales pitch, but it’s a great place to create and extend relationships that can later turn into something commercial if there’s a good fit.

You can gauge customer emotions toward your business and engage with vocal customers who offer either praise or complaints in a public forum.

Email Marketing

Email is a direct, personal way to engage with prospects and customers. Building a database of email subscribers is central to your online marketing strategy.

A prominent part of your website should be an opt-in email form. This enables you to capture the email address of website visitors and nurture them from being prospects into paying customers.

An email lets you maintain a close relationship with your customer base and makes it easy to test and launch new products and services. Over time, as you build a relationship with your email subscribers, your database becomes an increasingly valuable marketing asset.

Hunting vs. Farming

Most businesses are hunters, not farmers.

A hunter goes out every day for a new kill. Sometimes they succeed, sometimes not. Every day is either a feast or a famine. On the other hand, a farmer plants the seeds and waits for them to be ready for harvest. In the meantime, they nurture the seeds and treat them with care.

It’s true that some people reading your ad or copy might be ready to buy immediately. Still, the vast majority will not be prepared to make a purchasing decision on the very day they read your ad—even if they are interested in what you do.

Sales conversion is all about creating enough trust and demonstrating enough value to motivate interested leads to become paying customers.

Positioning Matters

Positioning allows you to charge high prices for your products and services.

The real profit comes from the way you market yourself.

Don’t believe the above quote? Joshua Bell, a world-class musician who charges more than $1000 per minute, played a list of classical masterpieces at a local subway for an hour with a $3.5 million violin. How much did he make? A grand total of $32.

People will generally take you at your own appraisal - unless proven otherwise. Of course, you can’t position yourself as world-class and then show up and be unable to perform. But why sell yourself short if you are world-class?

Offer your quality product at a premium price and attract a much higher quality of customers.

Position yourself as a welcome guest rather than a pest.

A welcome guest brings value to your life, whereas the pest is just there to interrupt you and to take.

Most businesses try to sell without first creating trust.

The problem? You’re asking the prospect to decide when they’ve no idea who you are or what you’re about. They don’t know you, like you, and trust you.

Educate instead of Selling or Closing.

Offer something of value that educates your ideal customers about a problem they have.

Over the years, prospects have become more and more skeptical. They’ve been burnt by shady selling practices too many times, and they simply don’t believe you. The old-school ‘close and sell’ approach doesn’t work. You need to move towards educating your prospects.

With education, you build trust and position yourself as an expert. You build relationships and make the selling process easier for both buyers and sellers. Think of yourself as a doctor who diagnoses and prescribes solutions to people’s problems. An entrepreneur is someone who solves people’s problems for a profit.

You must stop selling and start educating, consulting, and advising prospects about the benefits of your products and services. Consultative, advisory selling is the most cost-effective, the most enduring, the most impactful, and the most powerful marketing strategy.

Pricing Strategy

The price of your product or service is a critical positioning factor. If you position yourself as an educator and a trusted advisor, the price becomes much more flexible.

Typically, business owners set prices based on either what competitors are charging or just take the cost price and add some reasonable markup. You’re leaving huge sums of money on the table if you do this. Do you think Rolls-Royce or Ferrari prices their goods like this?

A pricing strategy that works well is offering a “standard” and “premium” variation. If you offer too many choices, the fear of making a sub-optimal choice prevents the prospects from making any purchasing decision at all.

Close the Sales Prevention Department

Cash only. We don’t accept Amex.

Make it easy for customers to purchase. Offer your customer their preferred payment method, not yours. Also, don’t punish them for using their preferred method by adding a surcharge.

People often think of their income and expenses on a monthly basis. They are far less attached to future money than present money. If you are charging premium rates, consider presenting your offer in easy, bite-sized monthly installment plans rather than a big lump sum.

Turn Customers into Fans

Most businesses stop their efforts after converting a prospect into a customer.

Truly remarkable businesses get exponential results because they try to convert each customer into an evangelist who amplifies their marketing by spreading the word.

Content Marketing

Becoming a voice of value is hard work, and it takes time, but the time invested pays huge dividends.

People don’t find value from sources that haven’t been where they want to be.

A few voices who speak from experience and firsthand knowledge are infinitely more valuable than a multitude of voices that speak from theory and opinion.

The backstory to your product or service is an absolutely essential part of your marketing. Tell your audience about all the effort that goes into delivering your product or service. Tell them about your skills, how you acquired them, how you deliver them, etc.

Create Systems

Business systems are documented procedures and processes that allow you to run the business. The most valuable business systems are those which are replicable.

There are four main types of business systems you need to create:

  1. Marketing system: generates a consistent flow of leads into the business
  2. Sales system: nurtures the leads, follows up, and converts them into customers
  3. Delivery and fulfillment system: delivers the actual value you promised
  4. Administration system: supports all the above business functions

Building systems is a three-step process:

  1. Identify all the roles in your business
  2. Define what tasks each role performs
  3. Create checklists for properly completing these tasks

Increase Customer Lifetime Value

Getting new customers is only one way to grow the business. The other way is to make more from existing and past customers.

You can increase the customer lifetime value by either raising prices or upselling the existing clients. You can also move the existing customers to higher-priced, premium products and services.

Additionally, you can ease the process of future purchases by offering a subscription service and re-activate past customers by increasing the value of your offering.

Getting Referrals

One of the best strategies for getting what you want in business and indeed in life — just ask.

While word-of-mouth marketing is great, it’s an extremely slow and unreliable way of building a business. It puts the fate of your business in the hands of others.

Understand the psychology behind referral marketing. When you recommended some product or service, were you doing so as a favor to the business? No. You wanted your friend to have a great experience. You referred them because it made you look and feel good.

Follow up with new customers. If everything is going well, ask for a referral. If it isn’t, fix the problem and then ask for a referral.

One of the best ways to get referrals is just by asking them from customers for whom you’ve delivered a good result.

Who has your clients before & after you?

See where your business is within the bigger picture of your customer’s buying behavior. Your customer’s transaction with you is one of many they will make.

Finding other complementary businesses that your customer deals with before they deal with you can help you uncover untapped profits in your business.

Building Your Brand

A brand is the personality of a business. The best form of brand building is selling. If a brand is the personality of a business, what better way is there for someone to understand that personality than by buying from you?

Branding is something you do after someone has bought from you rather than something you do to induce them to buy from you. In the same way that you get a sense of someone’s personality after you’ve dealt with them, so too it is with your business and its personality or brand.

Brand equity is the goodwill you build that compels people to do business with you rather than your competitor.

I hope you learned a thing or two about marketing by reading these notes. But I highly recommend you go and buy this book. You will thank me later.

If you have any comments or thoughts about this post, please send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you.

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Written on January 8, 2023