Allan Dib’s book, The 1-Page Marketing Plan, defines marketing as “the strategy you use for getting your ideal target market to know you, like you and trust you enough to become a customer“. The book guides you through a 9-step process to design your marketing plan. The 9 steps are further divided into three phases:
In this phase, you identify some prospects who might be interested in your product or service. The “before” phase consists in:
- Identifying your target market by being as specific as possible and constantly refining your audience (as opposed to targeting anyone willing to look at your ad, which is a terrible strategy unless you have a huge marketing budget).
- Crafting a message that really speaks to your target audience and compels them to respond in some way.
- Determining the ideal media to reach your target market (i.e. email marketing, social media, snail mail, printed ads, etc.).
If a prospect responds to your marketing message, he becomes a lead. It’s important to note that you are not yet selling anything in this phase. Instead, your goal is to capture the lead’s contact information in a database and then earn their trust by regularly providing them with valuable information. This is based on the principle that only a small percentage of interested leads are ready to make a purchase when they first see your message.
The steps are in this phase are:
- Obtain your lead’s contact information, using an “ethical bribe” (such as by offering a free ebook or a free DVD), if needed.
- Nurture your leads by regularly keeping in touch. This can be done via a free newsletter, a postcard, or even mailing them gifts. The idea is to let them know that you appreciate them as customers.
- Convert your leads into paying customers by providing them with tons of value, earning their trust, and reducing their perceived risk of buying from you.
Once a lead becomes a customer, they enter the third phase. The idea is to turn them into raving fans who will not only continue to do business with you but will also continually bring you new referrals. To accomplish this you need to:
- Deliver a world-class experience by identifying the result your customers are after by purchasing your product. Once you’ve identified it, you need to ensure that they achieve their desired result, rather than just focusing on selling a product. Obviously, this may not apply to all businesses, but this is certainly worth exploring. Allan Dib provides some guidelines on how to achieve this. For example, if your product requires customers to follow a specific process to achieve a result, you might need to break your product down into “smaller pieces” that are more manageable.
- Identify strategies to get customers to do more business with you by upselling high margin “ad-ons” or having a category of higher-priced products or services. Allan Dib also talks about the importance of being able to raise prices over time to keep up with inflation.
- Position your business to stimulate referrals. Some businesses try to offer a world-class experience to their customers, hoping that this will encourage them to refer new customers. Dibs argues that relying on word-of-mouth referrals is a slow and unreliable strategy. Instead, referrals should be actively sought and orchestrated. One strategy is to find businesses that offer complementary services (but not direct competitors) and work out a deal with them to offer coupons for each other’s services.
Book Review: The 1-Page Marketing Plan
The 1-Page Marketing Plan is a great read with solid advice for entrepreneurs. Dib emphasizes that small and medium-sized businesses cannot market their products and services the way large companies do because of their limited budgets. So they need to spend their marketing dollars strategically, rather than just placing a random ad on Google or Facebook and just hoping that someone will click on it. Businesses with a limited marketing budget must clearly define their target audience and find their niche (which is ideally underserved by their competitors).
Allan Dib’s 1-Page Marketing Plan is filled with useful marketing ideas all throughout the book and you will likely need to read it more than once to figure out ways to apply them to your business. The book does, however, have a few minor flaws:
- In the beginning of the book, Dib talks about the often-repeated “80/20” and the “64/4” rules. These rules sound good in principle but are of limited practical application. In my opinion, this is unnecessary “filler” information that can be skipped.
- The “action items” listed as the end of each chapter could have been developed a bit more. The author throws a lot of information at you and it would have been helpful to list a series of questions at the end of each chapter to help you apply that information in your business.
- A few chapters are surprisingly short (such as chapter 4, “Capturing Leads”). They contain useful information but they could have been expanded a bit.
- This is a minor pet peeve of mine but the book summary mentions things like: “WARNING: Do Not Read This Book If You Hate Money”. That type of “marketing” was found on many self-help books in the 90s and it’s just plain obnoxious.
Marketing has undergone a huge transformation in recent years with the advent of the internet, social media, and microtargeted ads. Many small business owners don’t know where to start when it comes to marketing their business. The amount of competition in most industries is fierce and entrepreneurs need to stand out if they are to succeed. The 1-Page Marketing Plan provides excellent strategies to get started. If you’ve been marketing your product or service with little success, this book could help you evaluate why you are not getting the results you are after. Almost every page in the book has some sort of actionable advice. You will likely need to read it more than once to truly implement all the tips. If you’ve been looking to improve your marketing, The 1-Page Marketing Plan is a great place to start. As a side note, the book gets a Fakespot Rating of A, which indicates that most of the reviews on Amazon appear to be legitimate.
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