We all know that planning is important but the effort of putting together the behemoth that is a marketing plan can be worrying. It is easy to think that you must write a report that is pages long with graphs and embedded spreadsheets giving fine detail of every step of next year’s activity.
You don’t have to and even if you do I promise that only 5% of the people you share it with will read it all. It is a waste of your time. Even you will probably lose interest quite quickly. But listen – you can put together a marketing plan that is only one page long, that’s two sides of A4.
Before you start clapping too loudly the output might be simple, creating a one-page plan isn’t. It takes hard-work and proper thought to put your conclusions succinctly on one page. Just because it’s short doesn’t mean you can do it quickly.
The one page plan will cover all the basic building blocks of analysis and planning it just doesn’t put all the detail on paper. You are only showing an executive summary of your position and an outline of the tactics and budget you are going to use to reach the goals you have agreed with your colleagues. You will have done all the thinking and research and if anyone asks for it you should be able to show them.
So what does it look like? Your one-page plan will have at the top the following 5 statements.
The Business Objective – what are you going to achieve and why are you doing this now. ‘Because we have to’ is not the right answer but don’t waffle.
The offer – what are you marketing and what is the value proposition. You should be able to do this in a sentence for each product. If you can’t make it sorter. Remember your potential customers have a very short attention span.
The Target Market – who are you selling to and where are you going to find them.
The Marketing objectives – What goals are you trying hit and when do you intend to hit them. Be that sales quantities or market penetration. You need to make sure that these mirror the objectives in the business plan and that the sales team agree with them.
The Marketing budget – how much are you planning to spend and when are you spending it. No plan can be without a budget, it’s like expecting to drive a car without an engine.
Most importantly after these five statements you will have a table with four columns that shows by product to following:
1.What is going to be done and how, the marketing mix, Facebook, LinkedIn, Advertising, Conference attendance etc
2.When it is going to take place
3. Who is going to do it, people need to know who to talk to if they want to contribute or find out more
4. How much it’s going to cost
To be able to confidently put together a one page plan behind the scenes you will have done the following and should be able to show the evidence if anyone asks:
- an analysis of last year’s activity and outcomes, including analytics and ROI figures
- a SWOT so that you know where you stand in the market place (and if you have time a PEST is always useful)
- market research to make sure that you are communicating with right audience properly
- and most importantly you will have agreed and apportioned your budget
The one page plan you produce will be an easily digestible reference tool for you and your colleagues. Everyone will be able to see EASILY what is happening when and what the marketing team is up to. And because it’s so short and pithy making changes as the year progresses is easy.
Once you experience the one-page marketing plan you will never go back and absolutely nobody will miss the marketing tomes that you used to have to churn out. So try it and have fun with your marketing plans and turn them in to useful documents rather than doorstops.