Book Review: 1-Page Marketing Plan by Allan Dib

1-Page Marketing PlanThe 1-Page Marketing Plan subtitled, Get New Customers, Make More Money, And Stand Out From The Crowd, was written to give small businesses a straightforward way to create a marketing plan that is effective. The 1-Page Marketing plan which the book is based on is divided into three phases and each phase has three components. So the book is structured into three main sections and each section focuses on a phase of the 1-Page Marketing Plan. One thing this book also makes clear is how important marketing is. In fact it stops short of telling us that without marketing, you cannot succeed in your business.

In the following sections, I have briefly reviewed each section of the book.

ACT I – THE “BEFORE” PHASE

The “Before” Phase or Act 1 has three chapters titled, ‘Selecting your target market, ‘Crafting your message’ and ‘Reaching prospects with advertising media’. In Selecting your target marget the clear message is for you to choose a niche market to focus on. Why? Because according to Allan:

Selecting your target market is a crucial first step in the marketing process. Doing so will ensure your marketing message resonates better, which in turn will make your marketing far more effective.

If this advice is great for small businesses, it’s even more important for side hustles who have way less resources to invest on marketing. To identify a niche target market, Allan provides some helpful tips which include:

  • Identifying your ideal customer by using the PVP index which he defines as Personal fulfillment (how much do you enjoy dealing with this type of customer?), Value (of your product or service) to the marketplace and Profitability (how profitable is the work you do for this market segment?).
  • Asking and answering a couple of questions about your ideal customer to get a better picture of them such as, who are they angry at, what are they angry about and what are they afraid of? There are many more.
  • Temporarily become the customer by creating an avatar about them.

The second chapter, ‘Crafting your message‘ is about exactly that, creating your marketing message. This chapter focuses on the following:

  • Why most advertising is totally useless and what to do instead.
  • How to stand out from the crowd even when you’re selling a commodity.
  • Why you should never compete soley on price.
  • How to craft a compelling offer for your target market.
  • Examples of some of the most successful advertising headlines in history.
  • How to enter the mind of your prospect and join the conversation going on in there.
  • How to effectively name youe business, product or service.

Quite a bit of the information here resonated with me. For instance, the fact that a lot of what we typically focus on as advertising such as our logo, list of services we provide and price offers do not necessarily make for a good marketing offer. Allan challenges us to identify what our USP (Unique Selling Proposition) is. How does your business stand out from your competitors? What is it you do that will make someone choose to buy from you instead of someone else?

The entire goal of your USP is to answer this question: Why should I buy from you rather than from your nearest competitor?

While there are lots of good information in this chapter, some other things that stuck with me are:

  • Saying you offer a quality service is not a USP. Quality is an expectation and people only find out about the quality of your product or service after they use it.
  • Your marketing message should be easy to understand. If you confuse people you will lose them.
  • Target people’s pain.

The final chapter that makes up the ‘Before Phase‘ is ‘Reaching prospects with advertising media‘. Here you will read about information on:

  • Why getting your name out there is a losing strategy.
  • How to get a good return on investment (ROI) when advertising.
  • The lifetime value of a customer and how this is split up between the “front end” and the “back end”.
  • The role that social media plays in your business.
  • How to effectively use email and postal mail as part of your media strategy.
  • How to protect your business from a “single point of failure”.

The beginning of the chapter has lots of advice on ROI from a marketing campaign, so if you are interested in that you will learn a lot here, especially if you are operating a small business.

Allan also makes sure that we understand what is required to run a successful marketing campaign. He splits the required success factors in to three components:

  1. Market: the target market you are sending your marketing message to. This aspect was covered extensively in the first chapter.
  2. Message: the marketing message or offer you send out which was the focus of chapter 2.
  3. Media: the vehicle that you use to send your message to your target market such as radio, direct mail or internet, the subject of this chapter.

Expect to read information about how to use some of these media outlets and there is considerable amount of information on email marketing here. There is also some information on snail mail or postal mail because as Allan asserts, even in the age of the internet, it’s still useful.

There is an interesting section titled, ‘How to have an unlimited marketing budget.’ A very catchy title for some simple and streightforward advice, if your marketing is working you shouldn’t limit it by setting a budget.

ACT II – THE “DURING” PHASE

This phase deals with the second part of the 1-Page marketing plan and it’s when you are dealing with leads. Allan describe leads as:

Leads are people who know you and have indicated interest in what you have to offer by responding to your marketing message.

This is the phase when you capture those leads in a system, nurture them and turn them into paying customers. According to Allan, the goal of this phase is to get leads to like you. Just like the previous phase, this one also has three chapters which represent the three components of this part of the plan. They are:

  • Capturing Leads
  • Nurturing Leads
  • Sales Conversation

In capturing leads the key lessons you will learn are:

  • Why you should never try to sell directly from an advertisement and what to do instead.
  • How to transition from “hunting” to “farming” and ensure you always have a full pipeline of new business.
  • Why you shouldn’t treat all prospects equally.
  • How to use an “ethical bribe” to uncover high-probability prospects.
  • How to instantly increase the effectiveness of your advertising by 123%.
  • Why some businesses get a constant flow of leads and prospects while others struggle.
  • How to be seen as an expert and authority by your target market.

In explain the difference between hunting and farming, Allan states that, those in hunting want to make an almost immediate sale as soon as they discover a lead while those in farming take the time to nurture the lead, build value for them so that the sale can come naturally later. In essence he is advising us to be farmers rather than hunters.

The concept of ‘ethical bribe’ is about identifying who your high-probability prospects are and investing more of your marketing resource on them, in other words, don’t treat all leads equally. The importance of managing leads properly through an effective system is also discussed.

The next chapter, Nurturing Leads, carries on from the previous one. Allan describes the process of nurturing leads this way:

Nurturing leads is the process of taking people from being vaguely interested in what you have to offer to desiring it and wanting to do business with you.

The lessons in this chapter include:

  • The secret behind the ‘Guinness World Records’ “world’s greatest salesman”.
  • Why the money is in the follow-up and how to leverage this.
  • How to annihilate your competitors and put yourself in a class of your own.
  • A simple strategy for quickly moving prospects further into the buying cycle.
  • Why a “marketing infrastructure” is critical to your business success and how to create one.
  • The three major types of people you need on your team to make your business work.
  • How to leverage international talent to ensure your business success.

The secret behind the world’s greatest salesman reviews the story of Joe Girard who sold 13,000 cars at a Chevrolet dealership between 1963 and 1978. Joe used many tactics to achieve such an amazing sales record but one that stands out is his ability  to keep in constant contact with his customers. For example, he sent monthly personalised greeting cards to his entire list of customers every month.

The idea of marketing like a customer is again mentioned and an image is used to illustrate the concept which shows that marketing like a customer involves following up on leads, building immense value for the customer and not giving up early in the process.

Allan introduces a three-step process to become a marketing farmer. The steps are:

  1. Advertise with the intention of finding people who are interested in what you do by offering them value.
  2. Add them to your database.
  3. Continually nurture them and provide them with value.

Building your a marketing infrastructure is about creating a system that enables you to market effectively and consistently. Allan says that a marketing infrastructure is made of assets. Some of the assets in his marketing infrastructure are:

  • Lead capture websites
  • Newsletters
  • Blogs
  • Free reports
  • Email sequences
  • Social media
  • Handwritten notes

This section is definitely worth reading if you want to start learning how to build your own marketing infrastructure.

One aspect of this chapter that I really like is the marketing calendar which I see as a simple tool to help anybody replicate their marketing strategy. It outlines what you will do daily, weekly, quarterly and annually. It helps you define, what you want to do, by when and then you need to work out to who.

In addition to having a marketing calendar, Allan also writes that we will also need to be mindful of event-triggered marketing activities which will require marketing action outside of the calendar such as, meeting a potential prospect at a business event and a customer complaint.

The last chapter in this phase is Sales Conversion. As stated previously this chapter deals with what it takes to make leads paying customers. Highlights covered in this chapter:

  • Why positioning is the critical factor when it comes to charging high prices for your products and services.
  • How to position yourself as a welcome guest rather than a pest when selling.
  • Why the odds are stacked against you if you’re a small to medium business and what to do to level the playing field.
  • How to massively reduce the perceived risk that customers see when it comes to buying from you.
  • How to instantly generate trust and credibility when selling.
  • How to remove the roadbloacks that are preventing people from buying.

Without spending too much time reviewing this chapter, the main question it helps you answer is – What is your Conversion system?

ACT III – THE “AFTER” PHASE

What do you do with people who have become your customers? That is what this phase and the final part of the 1-Page marketing plan is about. Just like the other phases, it has three chapters representing the three last components of the plan.

The first chapter in this phase titled, Delivering a World-Class Experience. The highlights of this chapter as discussed by Allan are:

  • Why having a tribe of raving fans`is crucial to your business success and how to do it.
  • The two critical functions of your business.
  • How to innovate, even when the product or service you sell is boring and ordinary.
  • The purpose of technology in your business and how to leverage this in your marketing.
  • Why systems are the key to uncovering a fortune that lies hidden in your business. The four main systems in your business that virtually guarantee your business success.
  • How to eliminate the biggest bottle-neck in your business.

If you want to learn how to sell your customers what they want but give them what they need then Allan has some information for you here. He states that:

There’s often a big difference between what people want and what people need.

To illustrate this statement he writes that:

So you need to give them (customers) what they need in terms of health improvement but do it via what they want (improvements in appearance) and that is what you sell them.

The principle of creating theater around your product and service is also interesting. This is a way to make your product so interesting through diverse methods such as wacky adverts, videos and various initiatives. This does require a bit of innovation to use your message to attract people in very creative ways.

Allan also writes about the importance of using technology to eliminate friction. In other words use it to make  selling your service or product easier and improve customer satisfaction.

There’s other informative areas here such as the importance of using systems to make your business more valuable and how telling your customers about all the effort that goes into delivering your product  or service in it self is a smart way to market your product or service.

Chapter 8 is titled, Increasing Customer Lifetime Value. Some of the key strategies discussed here are as a way to raise value are:

  • raising prices
  • upselling
  • Ascension
  • Frequency
  • Reactivation

The importance of taking the time to measure the value of your marketing to know what is working is also discussed.

The last chapter is, Orchestrating and Stimulating Referrals. The highlights in this chapter are:

  • Why relying on word of mouth is a losing strategy.
  • How to ask for referrals without looking needy or desperate.
  • The “Law of 250” and how it relates to getting an ongoing stream of referral business.
  • The psychology behind referral marketing and how to compel existing customers to want to give you referrals.
  • How to create a win-win scenario with joint ventures.
  • How to profit by referring your customers to others.
  • What “branding” really is and how to build brand equity in your business.

Overall this is a good marketing book with lots of information. While the book is about a 1-Page marketing plan, in reality it’s not really a 1-Page Marketing plan. The headings of the nine components of the plan can be put on one page but it really feels like a plan that requires you to put a lot into it and it is in no way quick. There is nothing wrong with that, Allan wrote this book to help us see that marketing, particularly successful marketing requires considerable effort. So in my opinion the title 1-Page marketing plan is a misnomer. The plan that Allan writes about in this book will definitely not fit onto a single page but the description of the framework can.

Having said that, this book is worth reading as it will give you a better insight into successful marketing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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