Todd Martin

Todd Martin

Sales Strategy

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Just the Facts: Creating a One-Page Marketing Plan

August 3, 2016

You don’t have to create a lengthy tome to spell out your marketing plan. These days, briefer is better.

Todd 080316 image 1

Your company, large or small, probably created a business plan when it launched. If it didn’t, it’s not too late to develop one. You can read a book or use a template to understand what should be included. One of the best resources comes from Palo Alto Software, which started selling business plan software a couple of decades ago, and now hosts a website whose information can get you started.

If you were employed by your company when its plan was formulated, you probably had a hand in the section on market definition and analysis, and marketing strategy. Whether or not you were, now would be a good time to dust off your business plan and focus on that section.

Why? To condense it. Edit it. Update it and hack away at it until it’s been boiled down to one page.

Why? Because today, the average attention span of human beings has dropped below thatTodd 080316 image 2 of a goldfish.

Why? I think you all know the answer to that: the internet and social media. We’re used to getting our information in small, quickly-digested bites now. By condensing your marketing plan to one page, you’re increasing the likelihood that it will be read in its entirety by your potential audience, which probably consists of:

  • Your chief decision-maker (CEO? President? Founder?),
  • Your sales staff,
  • Consultants or contractors or any other internal or external parties who contribute to your marketing efforts, and,
  • You. The biggest reason to create a one-page marketing plan is that it’s short enough that you can practically memorize it. You probably don’t have a copy of your comprehensive business plan sitting on your desk, waiting to be picked up and read. But you can laminate one sheet of paper and tack it to your wall, consulting it when you’re having one of those What-the-heck-am-I-doing moments.

Todd 080316 image 3If you don’t have a marketing plan or just want to start fresh, here’s what I would recommend including. Provide answers to these questions. And for the sake of brevity, follow Twitter’s character-limit guidelines.

  • What are you selling, and why?
  • Who do you think will buy it, and why?
  • What are your three most critical goals over the next 12 months?
  • Who else is selling what you are, and how are you different?
  • How much will these marketing tasks cost?
  • Who’s going to do all of the work?
  • How will you know if you’re succeeding?

Once you’ve answered all of these questions (and learned more about condensing your own writing than you ever thought you’d want to), go back to the top of the document and write an overall summary of the rest of the document (you can go over the Twitter limit for this, but not any more than you have to).

Wanna know a shortcut/practice tool? Look back over the last year and write a marketing plan for what was already done. You may be able to tweak that and use it for the next 12 months. And keep tweaking. Like a business plan, a marketing plan is a living, evolving document.

 

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