You can’t effectively market a business without creating a useful marketing plan. A strategic roadmap that’s used to organize, execute and track marketing strategies over a specific time period, a marketing plan serves as a crucial guide for any small business.
Tons of marketing plan outlines are available online, but they are usually just broad, unhelpful lists with vague headings. It’s little wonder, then, that only 40 percent of B2C and 37 percent of B2B businesses have one. Even when they do, their marketing plans are usually ambiguous, long-winded, unwieldy and – more than anything – pretty much useless.
Enter the one-page marketing strategy: A concise marketing plan that is boiled down to the most crucial and actionable components. Establishing one is among the best ways to kick-start and optimize your marketing efforts. The risks of going without one are considerable, and they include:
- lots of wasted time and money on ineffectual techniques
- uncertainty about why your small business is engaging in marketing at all
- a disjointed approach across media platforms, creating brand confusion
- inconsistent marketing messages that confuse and alienate prospects
- stagnated growth due to disorganized and scrambled marketing efforts
Top Benefits of a One-Page Marketing Plan
Some of the top advantages of a one-page marketing plan include:
- provides clarity and direction for your marketing efforts
- results in a visually stunning document that provides succinct guidance
- creates loyal advocates and “super fans” who become repeat customers
- provides a more agile way of marketing a small business
- keeps you and your team focused to meet objectives more easily
- can be revised and optimized continually and with ease, ensuring timely marketing efforts
Seven Questions to Ask When Establishing a One-Page Marketing Plan
Ask yourself these seven questions when attempting to develop an effective one-page marketing plan:
- Who is your audience? – Be specific. For example, “men between the ages of 35 and 55” is too vague. Instead, something like “men ages 35 to 55 who are fathers, heads of household and who possess advanced degrees” works better.
- What are their concerns? – What keeps your target audience up at night? What do they need to achieve to resolve those worries? Again, be specific. For example, if you sell makeup, you’re not just selling cosmetics – you’re selling self-esteem and confidence.
- Can your company address their underlying needs? – Using the above example, ask yourself if your products or services can actually improve your target audience’s self-esteem. Articulate your offerings, and explain how they address the underlying problem. For instance, your makeup is designed for specific complexions, making it fast and easy for people to look their best.
- What is your core marketing message? – You should be able to describe it in just one or two sentences.
- What are your specific marketing goals? – Be very specific; include actual numbers and timelines. For example, perhaps you want to add 500 new followers on social media within a three-week period.
- What are your key performance indicators? – How will you know that you have achieved your goals? Aim for a specific number within a defined period of time, whether it be a desired number of page views, conversions or followers.
- What is your marketing action plan? – How will you achieve your goals? Define whether you will focus on something like email marketing messages offering special deals or on paid advertising on platforms like Facebook and Google.
Elements to Include in a One-Page Marketing Plan
When crafting your marketing plan, be sure to include these elements:
- Title: Include the name of the product or service and the time period for your strategy.
- Product or Service: Describe the offering and the benefits that it provides.
- Target Audience: Define your target audience based on fleshed-out buyer personas.
- Key Differentiators: Specifically describe how your product or service differs from others in your niche.
- Benefits: Outline the primary benefits of your product or service.
- Customer Evaluation: Which attributes of your target audience matter? For example, are they primarily located in a specific geographical region?
- Marketing Strategy: List one or two primary marketing techniques and how they will be executed.
- Special Offers: Will you be offering special pricing or other deals as part of your marketing plan?
- Creative Elements: Which elements should your marketing team focus on? For instance, list important keywords, phrases or topics to include in marketing materials.
- Media: List the key forms of media that will form the basis of your plan. For example, you might cite paid advertising or social media channels.
- Profit/Loss Projection: Include the estimated profit or loss for the targeted products over the defined marketing period.
- Assessing Results: How will you determine how each customer learned about the product or service? Which platforms were they on?
Nine Things to Consider When Formulating a Marketing Strategy
- What is your specific, niche target market?
- How can you reach them through digital marketing – i.e., through Facebook ads?
- What types of messages are they most likely to respond to?
- How will you capture leads to develop effective lists of contact information?
- How will you follow up to nurture those leads?
- How will you convert prospective customers into paying ones – i.e., how will you move them from being aware of your brand to trusting it?
- What kinds of experiences will you offer to produce a loyal tribe of followers?
- What methods will you use to increase lifetime customer value? It’s easier to convert an existing customer than a new one.
- How will you develop a strategic system for referrals?
10 Tips for Developing an Effective Marketing Plan for Your Small Business
Keep these tips in mind when developing a marketing plan for your company:
- Keep it simple and scalable. For example, for every $5 in revenue generated from your strategy, you might add $2 to your marketing budget.
- Provide your content creators with copies of your one-page plan.
- Print out large-scale copies of your marketing strategy for at-a-glance information.
- Fill in thoughts and ideas on your plan using Post-It notes that can be easily shifted and switched around as it evolves.
- Move sequentially down each column of your one-page marketing strategy before moving on to the next.
- Move quickly through your plan so that your freshest ideas emerge first.
- Involve others in developing your plan, presenting it to them for feedback and additional brainstorming.
- Treat your one-page plan as a live document that’s constantly evolving – not as a static thing that is set in stone.
- Create unique one-page marketing strategies for each product, product line or service.
- Establish a concise company statement to include across various marketing channels. For example, “We are the most trusted source in the southwestern U.S. for quality, cruelty-free cosmetics.”
Top Tips for Your Marketing Plan’s Content Strategy
Your marketing plan should include specific instructions regarding the content that will be used to drive your efforts. Some tips for creating an effective content strategy include:
- Content Initiatives and Strategies – Which topics and themes will your content strategy revolve around?
- Types of Content – Which types of content will primarily be used? For example, you might focus on blog articles or YouTube videos.
- Volume – How much content will you use, and how often will you share it?
- Goals and KPIs – Which key performance indicators will you track to assess progress toward your goals? These might include things like organic search traffic, email traffic, referral traffic and social media traffic.
- Channels Used – Which media channels will you use to distribute your content? Options like YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram are all good examples.
- Chief Competitors – Identify your top competitors, and research the ways in which they use content to market their goods and services.
- Contributors and Their Responsibilities – Who will be doing what? Identify the sources that you will use for your content, the types of content that each will create and how often they will create it.
Creating a Single-Page Marketing Strategy in Four Simple Steps
Step One: Identify Your Goals
Your marketing plan won’t get you anywhere if you don’t define your goals for it first. Ask yourself what your small business needs to accomplish over the defined period. These points will be listed in your plan as objectives. Define specific goals and how progress toward them will be measured. Establish a content marketing strategy, and refer to the above section for tips.
Step Two: Define the Three Pillars of Your Marketing Plan
Your marketing strategy should consist of three pillars, or columns: Audience, Strategies and Activities.
Your plan should define the audience that you are selling goods and services to. It should help you to define, profile and understand their behaviors and motivations and should consist of these elements:
- Target Personas
- Customer Journey
- Value Proposition
List the strategies that will be used to educate, engage and convince your audience. This column should include the following elements:
- Marketing Goals
- Primary Strategies
- Pricing and Position
The final column should explain the actions that will be taken as a result of the marketing plan and to execute the defined strategies. Each should be quantified clearly, and the following elements should be included:
- Marketing Channels
- Techniques and Actions
- Measures of Success
Step Three: Establish a Content Strategy
Work with others, including mid-level marketing, product and sales leaders, to establish an effective content marketing strategy for your one-page plan. Define what your content will deliver. For example, will it increase brand awareness through efforts like Yelp branding, raise awareness about a new product or help to generate social proof? Which metrics will be assessed to gauge the effects of the strategy? You might look at things like delivering a specific number of leads to sales; producing a certain amount of revenue; or increasing brand awareness by a certain percentage.
Step Four: Refine and Optimize
Finally, present the draft of your one-page marketing plan to executives and mid-managers. Go over it step by step in person with them to gain feedback. Use their input to hone the strategy. Be prepared to provide information like the costs of the content marketing plan; the revenue that’s expected to be generated by a specific date; and the targeted ROI of each marketing effort that is outlined in the plan.
How E-Marketing Associates Can Help
So, how is your business doing online? Without a well-defined and succinct marketing strategy, you’re unlikely to have a useful answer to that question. Creating a single-page marketing strategy now and developing it continually is one of the best ways to organize and optimize your marketing efforts. Additionally, a reputable digital marketing agency like E-Marketing Associates can help you to achieve your short-term and long-term marketing goals, so contact us today.